Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive. No need to break the bank on costumes, parties, candy, or decorations.
You can still have fun, and save some money on Halloween by following these nine tips.
1. Avoid Store Bought Costumes
If you are going to buy a costume from the store, think again. Homemade costumes almost always look cooler, and they are usually cheaper. They also allow you to be more creative and are usually better quality than cheap store-bought costumes.
Look at thrift stores and the dollar store to find pieces for your costume. Wigs, props, clothes, and more can be found for cheap at these stores.
If you want to go to the next level, buy different pieces for your costume that could be reused in future years. You could get a vest that would work for a biker or a pirate for example.
2. Buy a Pumpkin Last Minute
There is a larger markup on pumpkins for those that plan ahead, and want to have a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern out for all of October.
Instead, go out close to the 30th of October to look for your pumpkin. You’ll find them at a discount to the prices of only a few weeks before. While you are at it, don’t carve your pumpkin you can use it as decor for the rest of the fall. Instead of carving, paint the pumpkin with washable paint and then remove the paint once Halloween is over.
The reasoning behind this is that retailers are constantly trying to turn over shelf space. If they can sell you a discounted pumpkin before they have to discount it even further post Halloween they will then use that shelf space for Christmas supplies.
3. Find Free Activities
Instead of paying for corn mazes, haunted houses, Halloween parties, or pumpkin patches, find free activities. There are so many communities, churches, or neighborhood events surrounding Halloween, you just need to look for them. You also can have a party with friends and there is always trick or treating if you have children. There is no need to be spending big bucks on Halloween activities with all the free ones available to you. Check your local Facebook groups if you don’t know of any.
4. Buy Candy Last Minute
Like buying a pumpkin last minute, buying candy last minute can save you. Retailers don’t need Halloween candy in November, so prices will frequently begin to be marked down a few days before Halloween. That will save you money, and allow you to spend it on other things. You can also stock up on sales ways before Halloween and use that candy to hand out. Trick-or-treaters are not picky about the candy wrappers being Halloween-themed.
5. Buy Decorations From the Dollar Store
You could buy a few real pumpkins for decoration at your house, but I don’t know if you have noticed but pumpkins aren’t really reusable year to year. That means that you have to buy new pumpkins every year to decorate.
Now if you take that money to the dollar store, you can get a lot of decorations, and can find items that you are willing to decorate with every year. That means that next year you don’t have to buy as many decorations, and you can use that time to focus on something else.
6. Buy Candy at Costco or Sams Club
If you buy your candy from a warehouse club, you can get the biggest variety of bags available and can avoid trips for specialized candy to many different stores. If you are feeling like making it rain this Halloween, warehouse stores also have full-sized candy bars for a lower price than going to a normal grocery store.
7. Don’t Buy Too Much Candy
If you are like me, you like to be prepared. However, you probably have a good estimate of how much candy you actually need for Halloween. You know what events you are going to, if you are going to be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters, etc. Make an educated guess, and stick with it. You can get a better idea by asking your neighbors.
8. Buy Decorations Online From Party Stores
Many party stores have discounts when you buy in bulk. If you buy decorations that will last you years and years you can pay now, and not have to pay in years to come. Most party stores have coupons as well, especially during the holidays so do a quick search for those to save even more money.
9. Shop For Next Year’s Halloween in November
It might seem weird to be planning ahead and shopping for Halloween in November, but hear me out. Retailers need to be selling out all the items on their shelves so then they can have room for more products.
That means that you can swoop in during the first few days after Halloween and find costumes and decorations for up to 75% for the next year. I don’t recommend stocking up on candy for the next year, but that’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.
Zach Larsen is a small business owner, finance and investment expert, and co-founder of PineappleMoney.com. He has been featured in publications including GOBankingRates, Yahoo Finance, Credit Sesame, and Workast. He enjoys teaching others about personal finance and spending time with his family.