Savings tips

7 Ways to Keep Budget Alive Over Halloween

Many people enjoy celebrating Halloween oven any other holiday. Between dressing up, carving pumpkins and passing out candy, the average American spends $74 per year according to the National Retail Federation. Even if you don’t have little children ghosts that want to haunt your wallet, it’s the grown-ups who end up spending $1.2 billion on their costumes. Children’s costumes top out at $950 million.

Luckily, there are ways to kill it at a party without murdering you budget. Here are some of the best ideas on how to inject some life into the Halloween season and still have enough money left over for your thanksgiving turkey.

1. Retro game party

Want something new? Just look far enough in the past! Rachel Jonat, founder of The Minimalist Mom blog, has decided to host her party for her 5-year-old son that will bring back the ghosts of games gone by. Some of these old classic games include bobbing for apples and musical chairs. These low-cost games require very little setup and are scary fun! She plans to decorate with pumpkins and make simple crafts from recycled material. Instead of handing out traditional gift bags, she plans to doing a science experiment that involves microwaving soap so that the kids can have something exciting to take home that “is cheap, fun — and not candy.”

2. Take advantage of your community

Teri had an idea to buy secondhand costumes for her six children from local thrift stores. Her family will also attend a free Halloween event put on by a group of local businesses. Check your local paper to get information about when and where events will take place in your community. When they get to the local pumpkin patch, they’ll only buy the pumpkins and skip the money-making hay rides and other attractions.

3. Recycle candy

Ashley Langston, founder of Frugal Coupon Living suggests that you browse Pinterest for ways to turn leftover Halloween candy into deserts for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. This saves you from the need to eat all the candy that didn’t get passed out. You can also opt to hand out toys, novelty pencils and erasers that are cheap to find at party stores. If you have any left you can easily use them for school or art projects.

4. Get creative

It is possible that you don’t even need to leave the house to put your costume together. Lauren Greutman, founder of, says, “We often find dress up toys very useful during Halloween.” A black outfit with creative face paint can do the trick to get the treats. Even an old ballet costume with a pair of $5 fairy wings can get any little girl ready to fly door-to-door.

5. Prepare early — way early

It is never to early to get ready for Halloween. Haunt local yard sales and consignment shops just after Halloween to scare up some great deals for next year. “Early November is the best time of year to get steeply marked-down costumes,” says Laura Harders, U.S. News Frugal Shopper contributor and founder of the Beltway Bargain Mom website. If decided you don’t want that costume in the interim, just add it to your dress-up box. You can also find costume swaps in your area and exchange it for and outfit with some fright left in it. Harders says that you can bulk up on candy and décor in November.

6. Protect your decor

To get more life out of your pumpkin, Regina Conway, consumer expert at the deals website, suggests that after cleaning out the inside of your pumpkin, rinse it with bleach and covering the inside with petroleum jelly. This will help it last longer and keep away meddling squirrels. Jack o’ Lanterns are still one of the best ways to cut costs and can fit in to any decoration style, indoor and out. For 2 weeks of the year, orange really is the new black!

7. Enjoy Halloween’s kitchen

On his blog,, U.S. News My Money blog contributor Trent Hamm suggests you put family time back on the menu by making your own homemade pumpkin pie. It is easier than it looks and he suggests making it with the flesh from the same pumpkin you carve for décor. An entire pumpkin pie will cost just $5!

Hamm says you can enjoy the same savings by making homemade apple cider. His recipe includes blending apples to make a puree, pressing the juice through a muslin sack or pillowcase and adding brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon and allspice to the mix. Just let the mix bubble in your cauldron for 20 minutes and serve the potion to all your guests, living or undead.

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Olha graduated from Brigham Young University - Idaho. She joined PocketGuard in 2022 as a digital marketing manager with a strong background in product marketing. Olha is focused on brand awareness ...

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