Halloween is right around the corner. While the stores seem to like to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving and shoot right to Christmas (in September!), the majority of us like to embrace each holiday as it comes.
Halloween is one of those holidays that is fun for both kids and adults. However, it can also be an expensive holiday, if you’re not careful. Kids’ costumes alone can run upwards of $50. Here are some ways you can enjoy the holiday and get a little Halloween spirit for less:
Costumes don’t have to cost a fortune. Using these tactics, you can get what you need for less than a Benjamin (or a Ulysses, as the case may be).
1. Shop resale stores.
National chains like Once Upon a Child or Goodwill have plenty of costumes for $10 or less. At our local Once Upon a Child, costumes were about $6.50 each. That beats paying $25 or more.
2. Put out the word.
Let your friends and family know you’re looking for a costume. When my son was 18 months old, we borrowed an adorable, homemade Robin Hood costume. We paid nothing, and my son received many compliments while trick or treating.
3. Check Craigslist.
Many parents also listed outgrown costumes on Craigslist. Remember, you’re free to negotiate on Craigslist, so you may be able to haggle for a lower price.
4. Make your own.
Pinterest is filled with adorable costumes for both those who sew and those who don’t. You might be able to make a costume from items you have around the house or that you can buy cheaply. Don’t forget that items can do double duty. If your son has a fireman raincoat, there’s no reason that can’t be a costume. Does your child have skeleton pajamas? Great, there’s a costume. Does your daughter take ballet? Her recital costume or her dance leotard and tutu can be her costume.
How to Decorate on a Budget
Part of the fun of Halloween is not only dressing up the kids, but dressing up your home. If you go all out, decorating your home can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. Try these tips.
1. Buy on clearance.
As soon as Halloween is over, go to the stores. You’ll find Halloween decor on sale for 50 to 80% off. Now is the time to buy decorations for next year. The same is true for next year’s Halloween costumes.
2. Pinterest to the rescue again.
Pinterest (Beating Broke on Pinterest) has tons of low cost decor suggestions. I saw a cute pumpkin decoration for a table top that used old canning jar bands. If you have those around, your decoration is free. You can also have the kids create Halloween themed crafts and decorate the house that way.
Halloween is a fabulous holiday for kids and adults. Decorating and dressing up can be so much fun, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. By using these techniques and taking advantage of the many frugal crafts and ideas on the web, you can have a great Halloween while keeping your hard earned money where it belongs, in your wallet.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.
It’s not that difficult to have a great Halloween and still not mess up the entire budget, and these ideas will surely help a lot of people.
Janine @ MoneySmartGuides says
Pinterest is the best!!! I am trying to think about costumes now so I have time to plan and look online. Most years, I’m so bad with picking what I want to do, that I’m out buying the more expensive things in the Halloween store on the night before. Determined not to do that this year!