Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
With over 41 million potential trick-or-treaters knocking on 120 million doors, Halloween can become one of our most expensive holidays.
But even if you don’t want to spend a lot, there’s no need to turn off the lights and pretend you’re not home or try to convince your kids that sweets are bad news.
We’ve got you covered more tightly than the mummy wrap, with tips covering how to celebrate on the cheap, including how to save on:
- Halloween party food
- special costumes
- haunted houses
See if any of these ideas tickle your fancy.
1. Save money on Halloween candy
There’s no reason why you can’t wait until October 29th or later to stock up.
It’s not like the stores are going to run out—and if they’re short on candy bars, there’s no penalty for passing out lollipops instead.
Buying in bulk can save you big money; We have an idea how to do this even if you’re not a member of a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club. Look for manufacturers’ coupons, in newspaper entries and on the Internet.
And be sure to save your receipts and open one bag of candy at a time to empty into the serving bowl. This way, you can return any unused bags to the store for a refund.
2. Good and cheap Halloween party food
Even adults love to enjoy their food.
Here are some ideas for cheap and easy Halloween snacks that will delight kids and adults alike, including mysterious Halloween finger food (take it literally); gruesome chip and dipping screens; Apple teeth and apple monsters. Banana ghosts tangerine pumpkin dogs mummy jack lantern cake popcorn Halloween and more.
And don’t forget the fun, scary drinks for kids and adults.
3. Fast, easy and economical fashion
One of our most popular articles of all time is over 100 cheap and easy costume ideas for adults and kids.
You can dress up cheaply by visiting thrift stores. Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and other thrift stores are overflowing with affordable Halloween costumes (up to 80% off), as well as cute containers for kids to hold candy.
Do you want free fashion? Look for a costume swap. Last year’s outfit from your neighbor could be your child’s new outfit for this year. Or try baby consignment stores for similar new items.
Do you have some of your own fashion? Trade it for credit or cash.
4. Don’t forget the pets
You didn’t think we’d forget Fido and Spot, did you? (The cute cat will probably be sitting outside, as usual.) We’ve got pet fashion suggestions along with all the important safety tips.
5. Halloween and Autumn Decorations
What’s Halloween without a jack-o’-lantern? We’ve got free resources for printable pumpkin stencils that make great or showy pumpkins, depending on your preference.
We also have 4 easy and cheap Halloween decorations: Learn how to decorate a wine bottle (a great gift to take to your Halloween party host, or keep for yourself); giant toilet paper roll spider Jack-o’-lantern; Tombstones for the front yard.
6. Entertaining for Halloween
We’ve brought you a complete guide to some of the best Halloween movies to enjoy and how you can stream more, whether you want family-friendly or spooky. Plus, get decorating ideas and costumes to dress up so you can host the perfect Halloween movie night this year.
On a budget? We have Halloween themed party ideas for all ages where the big idea is to have maximum fun for little money. We cover food, decorations, fashion, music, games and activities.
7. Haunted Houses
In some cities, haunted houses are a rite of passage, but the cost of being spooked can be very frightening.
do not worry. We tell you how to get out of haunted houses with your life – and your bank account – intact.
8. Halloween (and more) in October
Finally, be sure to check out our constantly updated freebies and deals for the latest discounts on dining out and more. I worked hard to save money. Maybe you can treat yourself!
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click on links in our Stories.