You don’t have to play trick or treat with your budget this Halloween when you plan those candy purchases and flex your crafting muscles to make decorations. The National Retail Federation estimates that consumers will spend $7.4 billion on Halloween this year, with the average person shelling out about $77 on decorations, costumes, and candy. But it’s possible to make savvy purchases to bring down the cost. Follow these seven tips to save money on Halloween this year.
1. Buy Halloween candy from a warehouse club.
Buying your Halloween candy in bulk from a warehouse club can help you save money and avoid the hassle of making multiple trips to the grocery store to stock up on popular types of candy during the weeks leading up to Halloween. Pick up a few mixed bag varieties to give your trick-or-treaters plenty of options. If you’re feeling generous, go with regular-size candy bars that are also priced at a discount at warehouse clubs.
2. Shop at online party stores for Halloween decorations.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or want to deck out your home in Halloween décor, peruse the inventory of online party stores for some great deals before you head out to your local big-box store. Many party stores will offer discounts on bulk buys and run specials on Halloween items throughout the season. Keep an eye out for coupons and online-only offers to save even more on your purchases.
3. Buy arts and craft supplies at the dollar store.
If you’ve caught the crafting bug this season, head to the dollar store or other discount stores in your area to round up basic supplies to make your own decorations. Be creative with ready-made treat bags and other Halloween decorations that you can repurpose to make wreaths, centerpieces and other festive decorations.
4. Search for free activities in the community.
If you don’t have room in the budget to host a Halloween party for the kids or even to stock up on holiday candy this year, plan on taking everyone out for some free Halloween fun at your local community center, school, museums and other local venues. Take a look at the events page in your local newspaper, find events on the Facebook pages of organizations you are a part of or review the community calendar at civic centers and other local organizations to find low-cost ways to celebrate Halloween.
5. Hold off on the pumpkin roundup.
Waiting until Oct. 30 or a few days before Halloween to buy pumpkins could save you some money. Plan on carving the pumpkins on Halloween instead of earlier in the season when the pumpkins are prone to rot. Many stores sell pumpkins at deep discounts right around Halloween to clear out some of the inventory before the big post-Halloween price drop. Keep in mind, you could still use uncarved pumpkins as decorations for Thanksgiving.
6. Make your own Halloween costumes.
You’ll find plenty of tutorials and tips for making Halloween costumes with inexpensive materials online, so get inspired by perusing some Pinterest boards and posts from crafty bloggers. Even something as simple as a decorative mask or a cape embellished with Halloween motifs can be enough to get you in the Halloween spirit. Buy items you can reuse for next year’s Halloween events or even for a costume party this upcoming holiday season.
7. Shop at surplus stores.
Stores that carry overstock, surplus and slightly damaged or irregular merchandise can be a treasure trove for bargain hunters and typically carry a large selection of holiday-themed merchandise. Whether you’re in the market for a Halloween-print tablecloth, candelabras or a festive door hanging, surplus stores may have just what you need to create a spooky space at home or in the office. Some of these stores also carry a line of Halloween costumes for kids and accessories you could use to put together your own costumes. If an item is visibly damaged but still usable, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount – some stores will take 10 percent or more off the sticker price to make the sale.