If you’ve been to any store in the country since September, you probably already know how many people love Halloween. Themed decor and food have been on the shelves for weeks and then fly right back out.
In fact, Halloween spending is expected to exceed last year’s total by more than 13%, according to the National Retail Federation. The survey predicts people will spend about $12.2 billion this year, compared to $10.6 billion last year.
Some of this is probably due to inflation, but not all of it. A record number of people are expected to attend the celebrations this year; 73% say they will celebrate in some way (compared to 69% last year).
Although overall expenses will increase, your personal finances don’t need to be part of that statistic. There are many ways to enjoy Halloween without overspending. Here are a few tips.
1. Reuse or upcycle from previous years
For many people, the biggest Halloween expense is a costume. So why spend more than $40 on a new costume every year?
Everything old is new again. Use the same costume you used last year, assuming it’s in working condition. Very few people will probably notice this, and even fewer still will care. Don’t you want to be your own doppelganger? All it takes is a little creativity (and lots of spray paint) to transform old Halloween costumes or decor into new things.
Of course, you don’t have to settle for your own closet. At our age, the things our parents wore are so old they’re cool again, so be sure to buy them!
Pro tip: Any costume can be transformed into something new with zombies with some scissors, dirt, and “blood” (a mixture of corn syrup, chocolate syrup, and red food coloring).
Have you outgrown the lab coat from two years ago? Rip off his arms, add some “blood”, mess up his hair: zombie doctor. Did you go like a cat last year? Muddy the fur, splash some blood, and bam: zombie cat. Bonus points for being unexpected. Zombie astronaut? I love him. Zombie Power Ranger? Winning.
2. LOOK UP your Halloween party
Your financial situation may be limited, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a great time. You just need to throw a BYOE party: Bring Your Own Everything.
Ask each of your party guests to bring a snack or beverage option to share with everyone. Maybe a bag or two of chips, maybe a 12-pack – whatever it takes. If you want to get organized about it, get approval from a third-grade party and make a list of everything needed so people can sign up for whatever they want to bring. Or just go with the flow and see what comes up!
If you want to buy Really Have guests bring gifts that match their costumes. (Though we might suggest that the vampires bring red soda instead of something thicker.) Vote for who best suits their costume, and give the winners first share of what’s left in the candy bowl at the end of the night.
3. Buy the types of candies you like in bulk
Giving out candy to neighborhood monsters is a big part of the holiday, so I’m always trying to find good deals on candy. My local grocery store has some good buy-get-one sales around Halloween, but I’ve actually gotten the best value buying bulk candy from Sam’s Club. (I love the special Halloween-themed versions of popular treats that come out for Halloween.)
If you’re worried you have too much sugar, don’t; Just buy a type that you and your family enjoy snacking on (in moderation) throughout the year. Most candies will last at least six months, and many types of candies can last 12 months or longer when stored properly.
Store your unused Halloween candy in a cool, dark place and dip into your stash when you need some Halloween fun for the rest of the year.
Halloween means a joyful holiday
One of the best things about Halloween is that it’s supposed to be a joyful holiday. It’s about fun and role-playing, candy and lots of silliness. You don’t have to spend money to be perfect for Halloween. Nothing It should be perfect for Halloween. In fact, Halloween is arguably better when it’s a little weird (mysterious and spooky).
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