Posted by

Michelle Fern Michelle Fern
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
edge staff writer


Halloween's costs don't have to be scary

October 24, 2012
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Halloween is a fun event for both kids and adults alike, but it's easy to rack up the expenses when you fork out for candy, decorations and costumes.

According to the National Retail Federation, the average American is expected to spend $80 on Halloween this year, up from $72 last year.

The hottest costume this year are all rooted in popular culture, including the TV show 'Game of Thrones,' and blockbuster movie superheroes such as Thor, Bateman and Spiderman. And since it is an election year, there is a lot of interest in political costumes.

A great way to save on costumes is to first inventory what you have at home to improvise, and then make a trip to thrift stores, Goodwill, or even online websites like Craigslist and eBay to get used costumes. You can even post on to see if anyone has costumes or props that they are willing to give away for free. You'll also find wacky stuff in thrift stores, such as a wide array of clothing in all sorts of designs and colors. Maybe you need red pants to complete your clown outfit or a vest to transform into a pirate.

Makeup and decorations can be made inexpensively at home using common ingredients and materials. You can find the recipe for fake blood using cocoa mix, corn syrup and food coloring. Colored makeup for a witch or Frankenstein's monster involves a simple recipe by combining a base such as unscented lotion or pure cocoa and combining it with food coloring it may actually be safer than store-bought products that might contain harmful chemicals.

You can use recycled materials for costumes and also for your spooky Halloween decorations. Instead of tossing out milk jugs, you can transform them into a ghost-lit walkway, and you can use glass jars and some common foods to create spooky eyeballs and fingers.

Homemade decorations require a little time and effort to make, and with materials you may have around the house. Want a homemade spider web? You can use screen netting (that stuff you use to block the sun on the porch), or trim boat netting into triangles for the porch, shred cheesecloth for the dinner table or piece together yarn, string or rope for a giant DIY web. If you want a cotton web, try cotton balls.

Candy is another wallet buster. However, there are a few ways to save on your treats. Sugar candy is often cheaper than chocolate you can get a package of 360 Dum Dums from Sam's Club for about $8. Depending on how many trick-or-treaters you get, remember to compare dollar-store deals. Dollar Tree offers 15 rolls of Smarties for $1.

If you still choose to go with chocolate, buy the smaller sized candy that is sold in bulk. Walmart sells bags with 95 pieces of Hershey's Halloween candy for $8.88. Skip the full-size candy bar packs, which go for $10.98 for only 18 pieces.

Don't allow the kiddos to grab and go, it's best to spread the love around by giving each trick-or-treater one or two pieces. You don't have to feel stingy just remember how many more houses there are on your block for kids to fill their candy sacks.

Don't forget that the prices for Halloween supplies start to plummet right after Oct. 31. Knowing that, retailers tend to start their discounting a little earlier. Stores are in such a hurry to get their Christmas merchandise out that they often start marking down Halloween candy before Halloween even arrives. Take advantage of this bit of craziness by waiting until a day or two before Halloween to buy your candy. And of course use coupons! Look for candy coupons in the weekend paper and online in the weeks leading up to Halloween. If you combine coupons with a sale, you might be able to get some of your candy for free.

If you have the Halloween spirit but also a tight budget, you can decorate your house from top to bottom without spending a lot of money. If you enjoy doing crafts, you probably have most of these supplies already lying around the house. But even if you don't, you can buy everything you need for less than $100. In addition, you can store many of these decorations and continue to use them to scare and delight your friends and family every year.

Latest from Michelle Fern

Related items (by tag)

back to top