Halloween on a Budget

By | October 1, 2012

Alrighty!  It’s that time again – Halloween!  Though I love this holiday to pieces, my wallet does not.  Some analyst say that families – on average – spend more on Halloween than any other holiday.  Not sure I agree with that completely – looking at you Christmas – but I will admit that Halloween does do a good amount of damage to my wallet.  Lets review a few common wallet killers and provide some options.

Costumes:

1 – EBay is your friend.  I have been purchasing costume from Ebay since my kid was a year old.  Why go used?  Most costumes on Ebay were only used once and are in NEW condition.  2 years ago, I purchased a deluxe spiderman costume for only $5!  Retail, the costume sold for $39.99.    Yes, you can find deals but shop early.

2 – Shop early.  I love it when all those Spirit Stores and one-off Halloween shops open up but people never actually enter until days before the holiday.  Beat the rush and shop early.  Often, these stores will have a sales rack full of last year’s costumes.  The find this year?  Super Mario costumes – Luigi, Princess Peach, and Toad.  All costumes were $10 each.  The same exact costumes retailed for $39.99-49.99 each.  Shop early and save.

3 – Salvation Army and Goodwill are GOOD!  These overlooked jems always seem to offer up a great selection of gently used costumes for all sizes (mom and dad too).  Again, shop early for the best selection.

4 – Have a little help from your friends.  Costume swaps with friends are the best.  A great way to get a great costume for nothing.

Tricks or Treats:

1 – Warehouse Clubs.  Buy those large quantities of goodness at your nearest Costco or Sam’s Club.  Not only will you save money but you have a large selection of items to choose from.  Skip over the candy and look at healthier alternatives like pretzel bags or fruit chews.

2 – Candy Alternatives.  Yes, candy can be fun but what about something different – and friendly to your wallet.  Purchasing fun toys from places like Oriental Trading or Party City can be a great alternative to the mounds of chocolate or candy.  Save even more money and purchase non-Halloween toys like super balls or puzzles.  Kids love them and parents will thank you.

3 – Get your shop on.  If you decide to go the no-candy route, you can always buy now and save for later.  All Halloween toys go on sale starting November 1st.  Buy now and save for next year.  Your wallet will love you.

Decorations:

1 – Put a bird on it.  That’s right, put those little kiddos to work making unique and fun decorations for the house.  This is fun for the whole family and the kids really take pride in creating a “spooky” haunted house.

2 – After season shopping spree.  Take advantage of those spooky holiday savings on November 1st.  Stock up on all things Halloween.  Supplies are usually good and you can get some great deals.  One year, I obsessed over these DVDs ($19.99 each) that reflect a floating head on any object you want.  On November 1st, I bought the entire set of DVDs (five total) for $2 each!  Shop late and get the best deals.

I hope you all have a fun, safe, and inexpensive Halloween.

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