10/07/2008

Halloween On The Cheap

The cheapest way to handle Halloween is to leave the porch light off and forget about it. BUT when you have little kids or enjoy the holiday it makes it hard to just ignore Halloween. I find most costumes at the store to be cheaply made and not able to hold up to my kids. Especially since they want to use the costume as dress-up clothes after the holiday. Because of this I always end up making my own costumes. Some years have been expensive, like the Snow White costume that I spent a fortune on fabric to get just the right colors. But other years have cost close to nothing like the Black Cat year. I'm no expert on cheap Halloweens but here are some tips that I have learned along the way.


  • Plan ahead- Like most things in life, if you give yourself enough time to think and get good deals you will save money.
  • Creative Costumes- Be creative and make your kid's (or your own) costumes. Instead of asking "What do you want to be this year?" ask, "Do you want to be a train engineer, a robot or a super hero?". By narrowing the choices down to options you know you can make cheaply or for free you and your child can both be happy about the decision.
  • Rethink Treats- We all know that we can not give out homemade goodies on Halloween night or at the school parties. I try to be healthier and cheaper by shopping for the little snack packs of animal cracker or similar when they are on sale. I will sometimes find other smaller packaged items on sale to use also.
  • After Holiday Sales- This good rule of thumb applies to all holidays not just Christmas. Last year I was able to get Halloween knee-hi socks for 90% off at Target. I bought all of them and made a boat load of Baby Legs for my kids to wear this year.
  • Reuse Candy- This is not as gross as it sounds. If your kids get candy at school or daycare like mine do then you know how it feels to end up with candy no one in your house will eat. Why not turn around and give it out to the kids who come to your door that night? It's still wrapped and untouched so to speak.
These helpful tips should help you have a happy Halloween no matter the size of your budget. Do you have any other cheap Halloween tips? We'd love to hear them!

2 comments:

Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet said...

My mom always made our costumes and it was so fun. I thought store bought costumes were so dumb as a kid. I felt bad for the kids who just went to a store and bought a costume. My mom always went all out making our costumes. I'm sure they were frugal, but we would sew and cut and glue and paint together. It was always a blast. To me that was what Halloween was all about.

Contrariwise said...

We've been making our own costumes for years. Usually they involve some kind of face make-up, which I save from year to year. (Another savings.)

But regarding "Rethinking treats", yes they can be nutricious but don't make the mistake of picking out ones that are looked at as "too healthy". My kids always go through the Halloween treats and pick out and throw away raisins, granola bags, etc. They just can't compete with Snickers.

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