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Spooky Savings: Celebrating Halloween on a Budget

Spooky Savings: Celebrating Halloween on a Budget

Parties, home decorations and treats usually mean spending outside of your normal budget. Don’t be spooked by the spending or let money vampires drain your bank account dry; you can celebrate without breaking the bank, and that’s no ghost story.

Decorating

Instead of buying out the Halloween aisle at your local big box store, use your creativity instead of your credit card and make your own decorations. Buy old white sheets from garage sales or thrift stores and splatter with red food coloring. Layer a clean sheet or, better yet, a sheet of plastic underneath. The inner layer will keep your furniture clean and the upper layer looks festively creepy. For a darker effect, you can cut apart black trash bags, tape them together and finish with fake spider web. You can create shadows that make your guests do a double-take using just a flashlight and heavy construction paper or cardboard. Cut out simple shapes like bats or ghosts, tape them to the light and position the flashlight carefully to place the corresponding shadow. If you want a really over-the-top scary scene, try making your own shrunken heads!

Food and Beverage

The key to memorable party refreshments is not how much they cost but how much fun they are. That doesn’t mean you have to outdo Martha Steward preparing the treats; remember that she has a whole crew to help. A decorate-your-own cookie or cupcake station with plenty of options ensures that everyone can have his or her individualized treat. It satisfies the sweet tooth, while the act of preparation actually makes the eating more conscious and enjoyable.  For the adults, what could possibly be cooler than a pumpkin keg?

Activities

Fun and games that are available but generally unstructured make the best party fun. Children and the young at heart – on Halloween, who isn’t- will enjoy making trick or treat bags by decorating plain brown or white lunch bags with markers, stencils, stamps, glitter, sequins or any other odd craft supplies you might have available, the stranger the better. A feel-box can really set the Halloween mood; cut holes in boxes big enough for guests to put their hands in if they dare and guess what nasty object is inside. Try cold cooked spaghetti noodles for “worms,” peeled grapes for “eyeballs” and more ideas here.

Costumes

save on halloween stuffPlan ahead now for next year; costumes will be priced to sell after Halloween to make room for Christmas, so you’ll find savings to die for on classics like skeletons, zombies, vampires, etc. Also, many costumes can be made easily with a little time, creativity and a few resources. Any old clothes, ripped and covered in fake blood with some dramatic makeup to match can be a zombie costume. Popular variations include zombie clown, zombie bride and zombie prom. A cardboard box is the start of a Rubik’s Cube or jack-in-the-box.

This Halloween, you can celebrate in scary style while keeping the costs from creeping up on you. By using items you probably already have around the house, you save and have money left over to start building your zombie apocalypse survival kit.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • FirstBaby2011 October 24, 2012, 3:58 pm

    These are great ideas! The best costume my brother ever put together was created from thrift store treasures. He bought a silver wig, large rabbit slippers, and an extra large floral dress all for less than $10. With a little help from his big sister, he looked like a beautiful old woman in no time. Being on a budget can be limiting, but it can also bring forth lots of creativity!

    Reply
  • Herewegrow October 27, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Great article. Halloween is easily one of my favorite holidays but this year money is tight since I haven’t had a job since the middle of July. I will surely use some of the idea’s in this article to celebrate Halloween with my limited resources.

    Reply
  • PurpleRose October 28, 2012, 9:36 pm

    I love the ideas you have presented. Being a single parent, I do not have the money to spend for real costumes from Wal-Mart or such stores. We use creativity in what we do have on hand to create our characters.

    Having a Halloween party can be just as fun as going trick or treating for the child. Have their friends come over for a party with their treat bags. This keeps the children safe as well since you will know the children and their parents!

    Reply

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