Halloween Savings Tips on Costumes, Candy and Decorations! With Halloween just around the corner, here are some great money-saving tips. BY STEPHANIE NELSON
Halloween doesn't need to be scary for your budget.
“ The challenge is to avoid overbuying—who wants bags of leftover candy when our kids come home with far more than they need?”
Halloween is now reported to be one of the most expensive holidays of the year. Even though we don't exchange expensive gifts on Halloween, it is easy to rack up big bills on costumes and candy.
I, through my years of couponing, have found that you can be creative on costumes, save on candy, and get crafty with decorations without spending lots of money!
According to NRF’s Halloween Spending Survey, 158 million Americans will celebrate the holiday and total spending on costumes, treats, festivities, and, yes, even pets will reach $6.9 billion this year. The average spending on Halloween has increased 55 percent since 2005, and this year’s spending forecast is slightly higher than 2011.
Here are four easy money saving ideas:
1. Costumes. Be creative. It can cost $35 to $50 for many popular children's costumes at party stores, which adds up quickly if you have more than one child. With a little creativity, you and your children can make easy costumes with items you have around the house. You can also shop at a local thrift store to buy vintage clothing to use as costumes.
2. Candy. Don't overbuy. If you live in a neighborhood, you will most likely be buying candy to give out on Halloween night. The challenge is to avoid overbuying—who wants bags of leftover candy when our kids come home with far more than they need? Be conservative and buy a little less than you think you need. Look for coupons for candy by watching for store sales and coupons in the Sunday coupon circulars or in your mailbox. Find coupons in the Sunday newspaper ads throughout October.
3. Decorations. Carve a pumpkin. The easiest decoration that is also fun for kids is carving a pumpkin together. For just a few dollars, you can create a memorable annual tradition with your child and decorate your front porch or window at the same time. Save the seeds and find a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, as well.
Get crafty. You can find plenty of inexpensive Halloween decorating projects from books in the library, local family magazines distributed free at libraries and schools or Pinterest. Easier projects include making ghosts to hang in the window made out of string, glue and waxed paper. Doing a project with your children will be much less expensive and far more memorable than shelling out $100 for decorations at the local party store.
4. Family entertainment. This is the time of year for pumpkin festivals, Halloween fairs, hayrides, haunted house tours and more. Prices for these family events vary widely, from free to as much as $20 a head. Check the local calendar section in community newspapers and magazines to find inexpensive events. Look for admission coupons in the newspapers and magazines as well.
Also, check the websites of sponsoring organizations to find printable coupons for reduced admissions. Check to see if your local grocery store sells discounted tickets for seasonal festivals and events either on their website or at their customer service counter. Finally, many schools, churches and places of worship offer free festivals and fairs as family-friendly alternatives on Halloween.
Stephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. Her website, www.CouponMom.com, which has 7 million members and she is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country. Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save money for the past 13 years. She has been called "the rock star of the recession" by the Washington Post and her book, "The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half", is a New York Times best seller. You can also follow Stephanie on Google+.