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Last Updated on September 29, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
Halloween is coming up soon and WOW, is it not a cheap holiday! Have you seen the price of some of the costumes? Not to mention the cost of that Halloween candy! A mom could seriously go broke trying to give her kids a fun Halloween. If you are working on a budget and looking for cheap Halloween ideas, I thought I would put together a few that may help. Some of these you will have to implement this year to save on NEXT YEAR's Halloween fun. But, over the long term, these Halloween ideas will help save you money on an evening of spooky fun with your family. So start carving a pumpkin and getting into the spirit of Halloween!
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Cheap Halloween Ideas
You don't need to spend a ton of money to have fun on Halloween. Here are a few tips to get you started on a frugal Halloween adventure!
Plan ahead for Halloween Decor
You need to shop the year before if you want to get cheap Halloween decor. A week after Halloween, hit your local Target for clearance sales. Store all of your finds in a large plastic bin for next year. Then, you can set up all your Halloween decorations that you saved a ton of money on.
Skip the expensive Halloween Costumes
Have you seen how much those Halloween masks and premade costumes sell for in the stores? A ton of money! You have a few options for Halloween costumes that will be much more frugal:
- Make your own costumes: Let your kids be creative and make their own costumes. This doesn't have to be difficult. One year, my daughter blew up tons of small water balloons. She cut leg holes in a large clear garbage bag and stepped into it. Then, she filled it with the balloons and tied the top over her shoulders. She printed out a jelly belly logo (large) and taped it on herself and went as a bag of jelly bellies. You can see something similar here. It cost less than $10. (and I had lots of garbage bags to use in my outdoor can) Be creative. You can do it!
- Check thrift stores and Good Will: These are both great ways to save on Halloween costumes. We made my daughter's Paranormal Prom costume with a dress we found at Goodwill.
- Have a neighborhood costume swap: Get your whole neighborhood together to swap costumes to save money.
Check out my post on what to do with Halloween costumes when the party is over.
Make Your Halloween Party Frugal!
If you want to have a Halloween Party, ask your friends to arrive with a dish in hand to share. Assign certain people to main dishes, desserts, drinks, etc. That takes quite a bit of the work and the cost off of your shoulders. Play a movie for your guests. Watch a scary movie at home and check out these ways to watch movies for free. If your kids are younger, borrow Halloween books from the library. Skip the expensive craft kits and come up with a few frugal Halloween crafts to keep them busy. Try this healthy Halloween dessert if you want a less calorie-laden dessert option at your party.
Frugal Nighttime Fun
You don't need to pay lots of money for expensive haunted houses or pricey corn maze adventures. Find some free Halloween fun by going on a walk or drive to look at Halloween decorations. Or, head out into the woods with flashlights for a nighttime hike with friends. Sit around a campfire and roast marshmallows with friends instead of paying a fortune for tickets to the latest and greatest movie in the theater. There are plenty of ways to make nighttime scary without a scary price tag!
Save on Halloween Candy
Halloween Candy is one thing you should definitely NOT buy weeks ahead of time. Wait and watch for good deals. Trust me, there will still be plenty of candy left 2 days before Halloween. To really save money, buy the inexpensive types. The really good chocolate stuff is much pricier. Or, buy a combination to keep the goblins happy. Every child can have a chocolate and a lolly. Frugal but the little devils won't come egg your home afterward. Look for coupons and deals on Halloween candy at drug stores, Target, Walmart, etc. Don't just buy it at the grocery store because you happen to be there.
Halloween is a fun holiday but it can get pricey if you don't set a budget. Plan ahead, look for deals, and get creative with cheap Halloween ideas to help save money on Halloween!
Have any other cheap Halloween ideas to share?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.