Did you know that the average American household is expected to spend $125 on Halloween this year? If you want to trim that number, here are some ways to save this spooky season:
Once upon a time you had to buy sound effects on a cassette tape and hide a boombox fitted with expensive D batteries behind your shrubbery. But now there’s an app for that! Halloween Sounds Pro by Dream Injector lets you play creepy sounds on your phone. Set it on a timer and hide it somewhere to create the perfect eerie ambience. In “Bluetooth Bufoonery” mode, send the sounds to a remote speaker (like Jambox) and hide THAT in the shrubbery to creep out the neighborhood kids as they approach your door.
If you want yours to be the creepiest house or dorm room on the block, you don’t have to drop a bunch of cash on blow-up jack-o-lanterns or fake tarantulas. Turn to the internet for inspirational DIY projects, and then look around your place for materials. You’re bound to have just the right stuff hanging around for a great scarecrow (old clothes and inexpensive stuffing), Frankenstein door (my favorite – construction paper and kids for free labor), or creepy spider webs (glue and fishing line). And if you must visit the craft store, try your hand at DIY with lower-cost materials to make your own version of a finished piece, like this googly eyed wreath.
Haunting Homemade Costumes
Savvy Minters know that getting great deals on Halloween costumes means shopping early. For procrastinators (like me!) assembling the perfect costume for ourselves or our kids without blowing the budget can take a little bit of creativity. Luckily, my 7-year-old decided to be a ninja this year. All black scarf, bandana, shirt, pants and shoes, and a little homemade flair. Bam! Check out this blogger’s curated collection of homemade costumes for more inspiration. If you’re short on money and time, well, smart retailers know that Halloween is a spending bonanza so there are a lot of discounts and sales – Coupons.com has a nice hub set up for one-stop shopping.
Candy is the whole point of Halloween for some kids, so I’d actually advise you to invest wisely in this department. If you’re giving out candy and you know you have a horde of trick-or-treaters coming, this cost can definitely skyrocket. Consider teaming up with a neighbor or friend to adorn one house in spectacular fashion and split the cost of the goodies. If you are hosting a party, by all means invite guests to participate in a potluck with candy instead of side dishes. Everyone knows that the good stuff is pricier than those little lollipops or 4/$1 candy corn.
Supplies for in-home and classroom Halloween parties can add up. Consider easy games and activities using low-cost items. Pumpkin bowling is a big hit at my kids’ school – use paper towel rolls for the pins (dress them up with black construction paper eyes and mouths to make them look ghostly) and little baby sugar pumpkins as the bowling balls! Any regular party game is bound to work well for a Halloween party with everyone dressed up in their affordable DIY finest!
Kim Tracy Prince is dressing up as a harried mother of two for Halloween this year.