How to Enjoy a Budget-Friendly Halloween

Follow these tips to save on candy, decorations, and costumes.

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Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party this year or just getting ready to decorate the house with some seasonal décor, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the season without blowing your budget. There’s still time to pick up some great deals on Halloween décor and supplies, and you can put together some tasty snacks and menu items for any get-togethers you’re hosting or attending this season. Planning ahead and avoiding the temptation to buy decorations, treats, and other Halloween items on impulse will help you keep your budget on track.

Use these tips to enjoy a budget-friendly Halloween:

1. Buy candy in bulk. Look online to find good deals on bulk Halloween candy, or buy those bulk bags of candy from warehouse stores a few weeks before the Halloween weekend. Stocking up now will prevent expensive last-minute purchases closer to the holiday. You’ll also have a wider selection to choose from. Keep an eye out for in-store deals, special offers, and coupons so you can get the lowest price.

2. Make your own decorations. Gather some basic themed supplies from your local craft store and spend an afternoon making your own Halloween decorations. The sky’s the limit when it comes to crafting eye-catching wall hangings, wreaths, window decorations, and other items. You can even reuse and recycle decorations from seasons past. Keep an eye out for coupons and special offers available from craft stores and party supply stores in your area. Some will accept competitor coupons, so you’ll find it even easier to purchase those supplies on a tighter budget. Making your own decorations can also be a fun family activity.

3. Host a potluck party. Substantially cut the costs of food and drinks at that Halloween get-together by hosting a potluck. Encourage guests to bring over different Halloween-themed food and treats so that everyone can try something new. You can be responsible for picking up partyware and decorations, but the cost of hosting the party will be much lower when you’re not purchasing all of the food and drinks. Plan out a menu beforehand and have everyone sign up for different dishes and beverages. Send e-mail or Facebook invitations so that guests can RSVP easily and also send you information about what they plan to bring.

4. Shop the dollar store. Dollar stores can be a great place to pick up inexpensive Halloween supplies, party essentials, décor, and even candy for treat bags. Hit the dollar store to round up some basic items for your Halloween party or low-key get-togethers. You’ll find plenty of low-cost items you can use to make eye-catching centerpieces and tablescapes for the holiday. If you’re entertaining kids, pick up toys and assortments to make your own gift bags.

5. Attend a costume swap. If you’re looking for a new Halloween costume but don’t want to spend a fortune, find out if anyone in the neighborhood would be interested in attending or hosting a costume swap. Several communities host an annual costume swap so that attendees can trade slightly used costumes for something else. This can be a great way to save on the costs of a Halloween costume, meet the neighbors, and pick up creative costumes for the entire family.

6. Check the community calendar. If you aren’t too keen on hosting a costly Halloween party this year, find out if there are any free or low-cost events taking place in your community. Check the community calendar for information about Halloween parties for kids, hay rides, pumpkin hunts, and costume contests. These can be fun activities for the whole family and a simple way to cut down on the costs of a big celebration.

Need last-minute help? Find 85 easy and frugal Halloween costume ideas from Sabah Karimi’s frugality blog Wise Bread.