Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't Let Halloween Costs Scare You

It's that time of the year when your little goblins will be looking for a favorite costume to wear and you are digging in the attic to find the best Halloween decorations to make your house look spooktacular.  I love to decorate this time of the year because my preschoolers are always so excited to see all the pumpkins, ghosts and spider webs.  Halloween has actually started to become an expensive part of the year, mainly because I can't pass up all the yummy Halloween treats, cool decorations and amazing costumes.  Over the years I have learned to become a thrifty shopper to help out with my Halloween spending frenzy. So if you fall in the same category as me and love all the fun happenings of Halloween, here are a few tips that may help you save a little and also give you some creative Halloween ideas.

Costumes Galore

halloween ideas
Be thrifty and add old tights, boots, gloves,
and make-up for a homemade Halloween costume.
If you want some easy Halloween costume ideas first gather old costumes and see if you can create a new homemade Halloween costume. In the past my girls have turned an old bumble bee costume into a fairy costume and a clown into a 70's-era costume.

For all the busy parents like myself, you can find some great deals and even free things online. Halloween costume ideas, decorations and even recipes can be downloaded for free.

Thrift stores are great places to find clothing and accessories that won't put fear into your budget! You can always find odds and ends to make up a great costume. I usually buy the main part of a costume then go to the thrift store to find the accessories since they seem to cost more.

Candy Cravings

Buy bulk when you are buying Halloween candy. The cheapest alternative that I have found instead of candy is Halloween pretzel bags. It is a healthy solution to candy and I've usually been able to get a large quantity for as low as five dollars. Also the longer you wait to buy your candy the cheaper it seems to get. The week of Halloween is when candy is least expensive. They don't want it lingering around after the holiday so they lower prices to move it off the shelves. Plus if you wait you won't be tempted to eat it! A holiday hazard! Whenever I buy it early it seems to disappear quickly and I find wrappers all over the house.

Simple Halloween Decorations

Make your own easy Halloween crafts with your kids.
  • Make ghosts from tissue paper and rubber balls and hang them up with fishing line.
  • Cut bats out of black paper and color them with chalk and hang them all over the house.  
  • Cut pumpkins out of orange paper and different shapes out of black paper and have your kids make their own Jack-O-Lanterns.
  • Buy a cheap bag of webs and put them all over the porch. Once the web is up have your children make paper spiders or pumpkins and place them throughout the web. This is always a favorite project to do with kids. 
  • If you are a Pintrest fan there are always great ideas for homemade Halloween decorations on their website.

Inexpensive Pumpkin Shopping

halloween candy
Pick your own pumpkins for
Halloween decorations.
Pumpkins have become pretty pricey over the years and if you like to carve or decorate around the house with them I would suggest going to a pumpkin patch or local farm rather than a store. If you are buying more than one pumpkin, buying local can save money. Also your child will love going and picking out their own pumpkin and most pumpkin patches/farms will have a corn maze or maybe some animals to check out too.

One last Halloween tip is, keep your kids safe.  When you are trying to think of a costume for your child make sure it has some white material or lighting/reflectors on it.  When they are trick-or-treating it can get hectic and you want to make sure they are seen by everyone. If your child has a dark costume, use glow sticks around their wrists or make a necklace or headband out of them. Flashlights are a good idea, and make sure it can be attached, for instance looped around their wrist, as kids might fidget with their bags or costume.

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer

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