Halloween already provides plenty of scares—your finances don’t need to be one of them! That’s why today we are sharing five of our favorite ways to celebrate Halloween without ghosting your bank account.
1. Let’s talk about costumes.
We all know how expensive costumes can get when you buy them new, so why not make your own? With a few household supplies, you’ll be able to whip these together in no time. Better yet, you can plan a DIY day with your kids or friends and create your costumes together! Here are some of our favorites:
- The Skeleton: Stick black duct tape to white clothing in a skeleton-like design.
- Raining Cats and Dogs: Use string to hang cut-out pictures of cats and dogs on an umbrella.
- 50 Shades of Gray: Simply wear as many gray clothing items as you can.
- Bunch of Grapes: Tape a bunch of blown-up purple balloons to a monotone outfit.
- Pinterest Board: Tape printed pictures from Pinterest onto a slab of cardboard, and hang it around your neck with ribbon.
2. Now let’s get a handle on the candy.
Chocolate can add up fast, especially if you live in a high-traffic neighborhood! Here are three hacks to slash your candy budget without slashing the quality.
- Invest in cheaper (but still popular) candies, like colorful Dum Dums and Tootsie Rolls instead of pricy chocolate treats. (Of course, you may want to get a few chocolate treats for your own family to enjoy!)
- Visit different stores. Discount stores typically offer better deals than higher-end grocery stores, convenient stores and pharmacies. You may also find that buying in bulk is a more cost-effective option—as long as it doesn’t lead to over-buying.
- Try candy alternatives—like glow sticks! Not only are these a unique and popular gift for young trick-or-treaters, but they’re also a cheap purchase at discount stores.
3. Decorations, anyone?
If you’re the kind of person who feels holidays would not be holidays without decorations, not to worry—you can still decorate on a budget. Instead of purchasing decorations, reuse ones from previous years or DIY new ones with household items like these:
- Old white tablecloths or bed sheets can be turned into spooky spider webs, furniture coverings and window hangings.
- Pull your empty plastic milk jugs out of recycling, draw spooky faces on them and fill them with white holiday lights.
- Get your front door in the holiday spirit by wrapping it in white or orange streamers and decorating it with a face made out of construction paper.
- You can also turn old egg cartons into bats and yarn into spider webs.
4. When party time comes, how can you throw it on the cheap?
Our favorite idea is to host a potluck, where each guest brings their favorite Halloween-themed dish to share. Just be sure that people sign up ahead of time so you don’t have duplicates.
You could also host a spooky snack party, which cuts down on costs since you don’t have to provide a whole meal. Look for recipes that only require a few ingredients and a bit of creativity. Here are some of our favorites:
- Make some wicked punch with an orange or green fizzy drink and some matching sherbet.
- Make your own hocus pocus party mix by combining whatever little snacks you have around the house (think popcorn, chocolate chips or peanuts) and topping them off with gummy worms.
- Turn cheese sticks into fingers by cutting them in half and adding an almond slice at the top (you know, where a fingernail would go).
- Drizzle white frosting on top of brownies in a cobweb design.
Serve it all up on your own dishes (since disposable options add up), or make all the foods perfect for serving with cheap plastic cups and napkins. Remember, you don’t need a lot of different food options; a few dishes to share will be just fine!
5. Finally, our all-time favorite idea for saving during Halloween is to actually create a new family tradition called a Ghostly Savings Challenge.
This challenge actually extends through the rest of the year, and works like this: Any time you say a holiday-inspired word (i.e., ghost, turkey, candles), you add a quarter to a piggy bank. On New Year’s Eve, gift those coins to yourself in a special way. That could mean putting them in a savings account, going out for dessert as a family or contributing to your vacation fund. No matter what you choose, it’ll help make saving seem less scary and more fun than ever before.
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