In an effort to do something a little different this week, I thought I’d post an article I wrote several years ago on saving money when it comes to celebrating Halloween.
Whether you call it Halloween or All Hallows Eve in this economy saving money is priority number one. I mean, who doesn’t like to save money?
Halloween is the third most expensive holiday of the year behind Christmas and Valentine’s Day. While kids are dreaming about swimming in pools of delicious candy, parents are racking their brains on how to save money this year on costumes, candy, and decorations.
And, with only a couple of weeks left, the pressure is on…
Saving on Costumes ~ Shopping early won’t necessarily save you money. Most stores don’t mark decorations and costumes on sale until after Halloween, but setting aside money in your budget a few months in advance will save your budget from getting busted every October.
While most children don’t know what they want to wear a year in advance, shopping the after Halloween sales for different costumes will save you big. No store wants to store product for twelve months or their profit margins cut in half if not more, so finding deals on after-market items is easy. Talking to your children and getting them on board with planning ahead could save your wallet from quite a dent.
Most times a child will only get one wear out of a costume and not only will making your own costumes, but swapping with friends and family save you money. And don’t forget shopping at discount stores, thrift stores, yard sales, Craigslist, and Ebay will do the same. Play it Again Kids stores and Once Upon a Child stores are stocked with tons of gently used costumes, and you can even sell the costume back to them next year.
Saving on Candy ~ Just as with costumes stores rarely market sales on candy before Halloween, but stocking up early will help keep the added expense in check. Shopping at bulk stores or dollar stores will also stretch your dollars per piece of deliciousness to pennies on the dollar.
As fun and easy as it is to dump bags and bags of candy into one large bowl, keeping a smaller bowl less filled will help ease the urge to give each child a handful and in the excitement of seeing all the little painted, smiling faces looking down onto a smaller less filled bowl will trick your mind into giving out just a few pieces instead of handfuls. And, never allow children to grab their own stash. While their hands look little, when it comes to candy even little hands can grab huge amounts.
As tempting as it is, don’t go straight for the chocolate candy. Instead before you grab, look for non-chocolate candy and price out the difference. Even savings a few dollars on a few bags will be worth it in the end. Dollar stores are also brimming with cheap non-candy items such as pencils, erasers, and little Halloween toys. Of course, you might want to really think about that route or else you might find your house is a target for tricks. Just sayin’….
Saving on Decorations ~ The best option for saving money on decorations is to shop the after Halloween sales and store for the next year. No amount of planning or saving would be of more benefit then saving 50-75% on anything, even if you had to wait a year to use it. So if you can, shop late and wait.
For some, though, the excitement of the holiday is just too much and for those of you who love to decorate your house for the little ghosts and goblins, shopping at discount stores is your next best choice. And don’t forget the party supply stores. Most actual party supply stores can be cheaper then your big grocery store chains who make a lot of their money on non-grocery items.
Planning ahead and using your imagination will not only get you and your wallet through the Halloween holiday, but allow you to actually enjoy the holiday. Now if we can just learn how to make all that candy stay off the scale…
Good luck and Happy Halloween!