How to Save on Halloween

Get lots of treats and few tricks with this frugal plan.

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It won't be long before Halloween is here and the thought of all the money you will spend on costumes, candy, and other supplies might be frightening. There is no need to be spooked though, because by implementing a few tips you can reduce the cost of your Halloween to a not-so-scary level.

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Halloween Costumes

Make your own costume. When I was a kid, homemade costumes were more common than store-bought. Not only does making your own costume save money, but the costume you make will probably be one of a kind. You can get some ideas just by going through your closet or looking up costume plans online.

Buy a used costume. Your local thrift store probably has plenty of items that can be used as a Halloween costume even if they were not made for that purpose. If the thrift store does not have anything that strikes your fancy you can check out Ebay and Craigslist.

Buy costumes after Halloween. This tip won’t help you this year but you can use it to save for next year. Halloween costumes are often reduced to a fraction of their price after Halloween, making it a great time to stock up for the next year.

Reuse costumes. You can use a costume your older child wore last year for a younger child this year. Alternatively, you can swap costumes with friends. The costume will still be new to your child.

Halloween Candy

The easiest way might be to just turn off your lights and pretend you are not home, but then you might end up with a few tricks. Plus, that isn’t any fun. There are a couple ways you can save on Halloween candy.

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Buy cheaper, sugar candy. A bag of sugar-based candy will be a lot cheaper than chocolate-based candy. The kids might not like them as much but that will be to your benefit because they will not take as many. (This might sound mean, but don’t worry, they’re collecting much more candy then they need anyway.)

Buy in bulk. A large bag of candy will cost much less per item than buying the candy individually. Make sure you do not buy too much, though, because it isn’t a good deal if you end up with a bunch of candy you don’t need. Don’t worry too much about running out. It won’t be that big of a deal if you run out of candy a little earlier in the evening than others.

Ration the candy out. If you let the children decide how much candy they want or worse yet just leave a big bowl of candy on the doorstep your candy probably will not last too long because there are always going to be a few greedy kids (or maybe adults) out there. By handing the candy out yourself you will make sure each child gets a fair amount, plus you will get the fun of seeing all the children in their costumes.

Using all of these tips or even just a few should allow you to keep your Halloween expenses at a reasonable level. Halloween will be lots of fun when you do not have to worry about all the money you are spending.

Andy Hough writes about frugality and living well on a small income at