Top 7 Ways to Save on Halloween

Easy Ways to Carve Halloween Costs like a Pumpkin

Top 7 Ways to Save on Halloween
October 5, 2020

To some of us, Halloween is an enjoyable time to dress up our children and/or ourselves, carve scary pumpkins, decorate our home with spooky effects, gorge on treats, and spend the next morning jogging off a candy binge. To others, it is a time to figure out how much candy they need to have on hand to avoid cleaning toilet paper out of their trees the next morning.

Regardless of what you do the morning after Halloween, with these simple steps you can wake up with a thicker wallet than usual, and not just from hiding Hershey's Kisses in it.

  1. Buy Bulk Candy – You can save tremendous money by buying individually wrapped bulk candy instead of the overpriced brand name assortments at your grocery store or pharmacy. Do make sure that you buy individually wrapped candies; parents will (and should) shy away from letting their children try loose candies because of tampering concerns.

  2. Make Your Own Costumes – It takes a little more thought, but you can come up with creative ideas for your children's costumes without having to go to the party store and purchase a prepackaged costume. Get your kids involved in the creative process and prepare to be amazed at their ideas.

    As for you, what if you don't like to dress up at all? Get some spare tax forms and go as a tax collector. How frightening is that?

    The point is that you can come up with something clever without an elaborate costume. As a result, you will be more comfortable at the Halloween party, appropriately warm, and not burdened by the realization that your elaborate costume makes it impossible to use the bathroom.
  3. Make/Recycle Decorations – You can save significant money making your own Halloween decorations out of inexpensive craft materials and leftover project materials you may have around the house. Old boxes, construction paper, leftover fabric or worn-out clothes… with a little glue, paint, and markers, they can be made into tombstones, spiders, ghosts, and other timeless classics.

  4. Use Thrift/Dollar Stores – Why pay more than you have to? Thrift shops are full of costumes and decorations for the creative-minded soul at rock-bottom prices. Dollar stores also stock seasonal bargains and are a great source for simple decorations or the materials you need to make them. Go early, or the selection will be picked over.

  5. Pool Your Resources – Find a group of friends with whom you can share decorations and costume pieces. It's a great way to get more life out of materials without doing the same thing every year.

  6. Bring-Your-Own Parties – If you are hosting a party, try making it a bring-your-own buffet. Your guests may surprise you with tasty holiday treats, and if not… well, what could be more frightening than a mystery casserole? Turn it into your advantage with a creative ingredient list: Eye of Newt, and a dash of powdered toenails…

  7. Take Advantage of Post-Halloween Discounts – It won't help you this year, but stores will be clearing out their costume and decorations shelves the day after Halloween to expand the Thanksgiving and Christmas displays. You can pick up great bargains to store for 10/31/2020.

    You can also pick up Halloween candy at a discount, but don’t kid yourself into thinking that will last more than a week. Show up as soon as the store opens and be prepared for hand-to-hand combat in the candy aisle. The day after Halloween is Black Friday for candy addicts.

Get an extra level of Halloween enjoyment this year by having a great time and saving money in the process. You will enjoy the glow of a fatter bank account, and you probably will not feel nearly as guilty when you raid your children's Halloween candy after they go to sleep.

If you want more credit ahead of the holiday shopping season, check out our list of credit card offers.

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Erin | 10.09.15 @ 18:01
Good tips for those who are looking to save some money.
Nancy | 10.09.15 @ 18:02
I like these tips. But unless you're extremely clever and can work with what is around the house, often making a costume is a lot more expensive these days than just going and buying one.
irene | 10.09.15 @ 18:03
Some great ideas! We don't get trick or treaters here so I don't even bother buying candy anymore
Sarah | 10.09.15 @ 18:04
Interesting tips. Always a good idea to attempt to save where you can.
Sara | 10.09.15 @ 18:04
Most things that are commercialized are expensive. So yep we try to save where we can.
Kathryn | 10.09.15 @ 18:05
I never spend a lot on Halloween, every year I have only spent.. Maybe $10 on my costume. It's one night a year so why spend the money?
Bobbie | 10.09.15 @ 18:12
I've always tried to make costumes last a couple of years, or rotate through them now that the kids are not growing. Don't have to worry about candy since we have door knockers, and don't bother putting up decorations.
Britt | 10.09.15 @ 18:17
I am getting ready to do my halloween shopping and not really looking forward to it
Amanda | 10.09.15 @ 18:17
I do all these steps and have for years. We make all our costumes by hand or by buying clothing from Goodwill and then altering it as needed. Decorations are half and half, I buy clearance after seasons and rest I make through out the year. It takes lots of time, and a lot of patience but you can have a wonderful halloween for cheap. We also do Halloween parties and a full graveyard each year. Neighbors love it
trish | 10.09.15 @ 18:18
Consignment sales are great for new or almost new costumes. I spent $10 total on both my kids costumes and one was brand new with tags!!
Kyle | 10.09.15 @ 18:26
Halloween stuff has increasingly gotten more and more expensive.
Kailie | 10.09.15 @ 18:27
Great Article! Halloween has gotten really expensive.
Elaine | 10.09.15 @ 18:27
Everything is expensive lately. I'm just glad I don't do Halloween.
Daniel | 10.09.15 @ 18:31
Excellent ideas to increase the spooky fun on a budget
Leslie | 10.09.15 @ 18:31
These are all really good tips! I'm a big fan of half off Halloween candy and decorations. I try to buy costume items that can be reused, like capes, and use the make-up I bought half off the year before instead of buying a mask.
Angie | 10.09.15 @ 18:31
I am a big-time customer of the dollar stores for Halloween candies and goodies!
STOKES | 10.09.15 @ 18:32
Halloween is only expensive if you allow it. We buy 5 costumes at the end of the season for half the price of one at the beginning of October. Costs me less, the kids still have choices, and I can sell or fonate the extras.
gracie | 10.09.15 @ 18:34
This is a great list of tips to help keep holiday spending in chekc. I know I use the after holiday mark downs and thrift stores to keep costs down for our celebrations.te a commentThes
Owen | 10.09.15 @ 18:35
Just go to the day after sale every year and you will have what you need for the next year.
Steffanie | 10.09.15 @ 18:36
Glad we don't do Halloween if it's getting so expensive.
Meredith L | 10.09.15 @ 18:37
I am SO thankful that my kids are old enough not to have to worry about this so much anymore. Although... I did move and there are a few kids around so I'll have to buy a bag of candy...which is fine because leftovers are mine :)
Jo Ann | 10.09.15 @ 18:38
Selena | 10.09.15 @ 18:41
We live out in the country, and never, ever, ever see any trick or treats. All our Halloween expenses are a few decorations and enough candy for three kids.
Crystal | 10.09.15 @ 18:46
Great tips!
Chrisitna | 10.09.15 @ 18:47
Or just don't answer the door ;)
Kaila tubbs | 10.09.15 @ 19:09
Sadly we dont get trick or treaters either. I agree though with Nancy unless you have the stuff making a costume sometimes it is more expensive to do it that way.
Alec | 10.09.15 @ 19:11
i always take a "Mommy tax" from my daughter's candy stash! We pick up bits and pieces of Costumes throughout the year to minimize how much we spend at once and to avoid the massive price spikes around the time to actually buy them! We don't have trick or treaters come to our apartments so we get to skip on buying candy.
Jo | 10.09.15 @ 19:13
The dollar store can be a great place to get stuff just be aware that the quality might not be as good.
Jonathan | 10.09.15 @ 19:14
This whole list sounds like my wife. Costumes are crazy, we wait like 3 weeks after and buy the next size up for our kids at like 90% off
Zanna | 10.09.15 @ 19:25
Thrift store costumes are a great bargain! My other money-saver tip is to stock up on candy after Halloween - my kids walk in a Christmas parade and need candy to throw, most of the candy that goes on sale is not Halloween themed if you open the outside package, and they're all individually wrapped, perfect for parade!
Clarissa | 10.09.15 @ 19:46
I always make my own costumes to save money. As for candy, I'm having a get together and splitting the coy with friends!
Debbie | 10.10.15 @ 05:50
Good tips....I love Halloween and always go overboard
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.01.20 @ 11:25