It’s scary how much money some of us spend on Halloween. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend $66 on candy, costumes, and devilish decorations this year. Total Halloween spending could reach nearly $6 billion — all for things that go bump in the night.
There’s no doubt that getting your ghost on and unleashing your inner ghoul is big business for retailers. Heck, I saw spooky Halloween things stocked on store shelves in early September. Jeepers!
Want to have a howl of a Halloween without going into hock? Peek in your closets, dig through your old gear, and shop for novelty items sparingly to creep out your friends for a lot less this year. Here’s how to do it:
1. Make a Free Halloween Costume
You don’t need super sewing skills or a special store bought Halloween costume to have fun this Hallow’s eve. Nope. I’ve had a good time at many Halloween parties over the years by wearing the clothing already hanging in my closet. Rigging a ready-made or free costume is easy — you just need a little creativity to see past your daily duds to find something spooktacular.
Dress as a decade, coordinate in a single color, be a pun, or bust out the bridesmaid’s dress to reuse old clothing and reduce costume costs.
2. Decorate Your Halloween Digs on a Dime
You don’t need to buy big inflatable plastic vampires and novelty gravestones to stage a haunted house or create a chilling vibe. If you’re throwing a party, set an eerie mood by reusing your green, white, or orange Christmas lights around the home. Carve a few pumpkins, relight old used candles, and legally download free music to set a scary tone.
Decorating your front door with a classic Jack O’ Lantern is pretty darn cheap and fun. So get a gourd and get carving!
Don’t forget to download a few free pumpkin carving stencils. These stencils are insanely popular with the downloading bunch. This post offers six simple designs.
Looking for more of a carving challenge? Try any of these eight pumpkin face stencils — there’s even one of Marilyn Monroe if you’re throwing a swanky soiree.
Launch: 8 Scary Printable Pumpkin Faces
To stage your lawn for Halloween night, just stuff fallen leaves into an orange garbage bag and get the kids to decorate the bag with scary faces. Or make a headless body by stuffing worn clothing into an old plaid shirt and a pair of jeans — don’t forget to add an old pair of boots to really give trick or treaters a kick.
3. Cut Your Candy Costs
How much are you spending on sugary sweets this year? According to the National Retail Federation, shelling out around $20 on Halloween candy puts your treat budget at the national average. To cut your candy costs by up to 30%, check out the bulk food section at your local grocery store and opt for non-Halloween themed hard candies over brand name bite-sized chocolate bars. Or do a little price check experiment at Costco before grabbing a bag of spooky sweets at your grocer’s check out — warehouse clubs like Costco often sell quality seasonal snacks at deep discounts for bulk shoppers.
Party hosts and parents can also save a bundle by making, or baking, Halloween treats at home. Halloween themed cupcakes and Ghoulish grub sell for premium prices in October, so look in your pantry and bake up a batch of homemade treats before buying packaged baked goods in a store.
Use fresh and dried fruits, nuts, and nut butters to craft a healthier Halloween snack.
Reuse your muffin tins, cake pans, or cupcake pans to cook up some severed meat heads. A package of ground turkey or beef and a few common condiments are all that’s needed to frugally scare the pants off your guests.
Celebrating Halloween the frugal way is simple if you give yourself the time to plan ahead and use a little creativity to shop inside your home for reusable costumes and decorations. Have a safe and happy Halloween!