Kids and Money - 5 Ways to Spend Less On Halloween This Year

Nestled in between the economic crisis and the election is this little "holiday" named, Halloween. I admit, I am so not focused on Halloween right now which is kind of tough since my 3 boys live for trick o treating and the hordes of candy they bring home. I am more focused on saving money and putting something aside for the holiday season.

But I can't disappoint the little devils so what are some ways to save money this Halloween?

  1. Costumes - This is pretty easy. There are so many ways to save on costumes. First, you can recycle ones from last year. I have 3 boys - they can swap costumes from year to year and change them up with a few cheap accessories. Or, they can swap with friends. Also, use your creativity and make your own. This year with a few accessories we're making our own costumes. Look around your house. It's amazing the things you might find, or go to the Salvation Army and pick up odds and ends. There are so many sites that will lend ideas on making your own costumes. Here are just a few: Robinsfyi , DisneyFamily, Family Crafts.
  2. Decorations - Over the years we have purchased many decorations so I don't need any more. But, if you don't have much, use your creativity here as well. Years ago, we made our own scare crow out of old jeans and a work shirt. We stuffed it with newspapers and stuck a plastic pumpkin head on top - when they were young it looked so sweet; now my boys cover its head with a bloody mask, stick an axe in the poor guy's neck and put fake rats in all sorts of sordid places. And speaking of masks, use the old ones as decorations...just take some rope, string together and hang from trees. If you still have the costumes you can stuff and hang as well. Go through your house and be creative...and buy some fake's amazing how much you can accomplish with a little bit of blood!
  3. Pumpkins- Surprise, surprise. Pumpkins are CHEAPER at the supermarket than the farm! When you go to the "pick your own" farm you pay by weight. A pumpkin that costs $5 at the supermarket can be almost $10 at the farm. But, if a fun family day is what you're after then it's worth the price. If savings is your goal, opt for the supermarket, AND if your kids aren't too picky you can always have Peapod deliver! Get more out of your money by carving them into designs and roasting the seeds. It's a messy, smelly job but let the kids do it - they're used to sticking their hands in funky places. We carve them into some pretty incredible designs and light with candles.
  4. Candy- I have a bit of a problem here because candy expectations are high when you have the best dressed house on the block. How can I say this with out bragging? Well most people on our block do not decorate, that's how. We also live on the school block which means hundreds of kids stop at our house every day marveling at the display. If we disappoint on the candy we will most certainly get egg'd and whipped creamed. Oh like you never did this as a kid? So I just buy everything in bulk at stores like Walmart and Costco, shop the sales and mix up the more expensive chocolate candies with the cheaper non-chocolate ones. If I run low I just take candy out of my children's trick o treat bags. Oh yes, they are thrilled with that one, but come on, how much candy can they really eat? And one other thing on candy, DON'T bother buying those silly little candy bags. Do you really think they kids appreciate the time and money spent? It is just more work for them to get to the the cash and the time!
  5. Parties - My advice for parties is DON'T HAVE ONE! If your child is invited to a party (I'm assuming you're like me and would rather be dipped in fake blood than throw one in your own house), they can bring a little token without spending too much money. Get a box of brownie mix, container of frosting, and some candy corn (from your trick o treat stash). Voila - Halloween brownies for about $3 and you look like a hero, plus the kids have a ball decorating them. I'd even be a sport and spend $5 just for the privilege of shipping my little devils off to some other poor parent's house.

Did I leave anything out here? How do you intend to save money while still providing your sweet little pumpkins with a smashing Halloween this year?


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