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Well Halloween is almost upon us! Walmart asked me to share with all of you some ways that I keep Halloween frugal for my family.
The major Halloween costs can be broken down into 3 parts: candy, costumes, and decorations.
Candy is one of the biggest expenses for us at Halloween each year.
We live on a 2 mile loop in the village with nice sidewalks and streetlights. Families in the surrounding farmland (read-lousy trick ‘o treating) drive into town, park at the grocery store parking lot about 1/4 mile up the street from us and take their kids through town.
We get around 150 kids. That’s a lot of candy!
So I like to mix some of the nicer brand name candy with some of the old classics-like lollipops-to make our money go farther. I also comparison shop to see which bags give me the most “bang” for my buck. I usually purchase those huge “mix” bags of candy at Walmart.
I wish that I could give out homemade treats-bags of caramel corn or my Halloween Hands. . .but in today’s environment I think that most parents would err on the side of safety and just throw it out.
Plus then we’d be the folks who gave out the cruddy homemade snacks instead of Snickers bars.
Oh, I did buy a new plastic Halloween bucket/bowl to put the candy in-it was about $2. That will be saved and used for years, of course!
I am very lucky. Buddy & Princess love coming up with their own costume ideas and making them from things around the house. Last year Buddy decided he wanted to be an eyeball, and Princess wanted to be a rock star! Talk about easy costumes! Princess wore her “coolest” clothes along with makeup (ooohhh, ahhhh), and old boom style phone headset as a pretend microphone, some of my jewelry and glitter hairspray we bought at Walmart. Buddy and I made a sandwich board style eyeball for him out of foam board.
This year they both want to be vampires. Big surprise there-vampires are the “in thing” and you see them everywhere right now. Princess choose to be a “teenage” vampire-which means wearing her coolest clothes and makeup. Buddy wants to go the traditional vampire route, like those he’s seen on old Scooby Doo episodes, so he is wearing black pants, white shirt, and a red vest we already had (the boy loves vests so I pick them up when I see them at the thrift store).
Buddy really wanted a cape as well-but the only ones I could find were fairly expensive-$10 for a one use item. And those were in adult sizes. Instead I headed to Walmart’s trusty fabric department and found a bolt of black felt for $2.97 a yard. I bought 2 yards (in case Princess opts for a cape last minute) and am going to whip up a quick no sew cape. Basically a rectangle with slits cut along the top to run a strip of the felt through as a tie. That’s the great thing about felt (or even polar fleece). . . it doesn’t unravel. If I hadn’t found the felt I probably would have rigged up a quick cape out of a black plastic lawn sized trashbag.
Of course both kids will use makeup and fangs to complete their costumes. It is so easy to pick up costume makeup at this time of year for just a few dollars.
What am I dressing up as? Well, I don’t really dress up, but if I felt moved to I have a real Indian Sari from my trip around the world in college, or I could easily whip up a Gypsy costume from a skirt and blouse with hoop earrings & my copious collection of scarves.
Yankee Bill has a super creepy mask he bought on sale a few years back that he pairs with a vampire cape I purchased in the post Halloween bargain basement sales 2 years ago that he wears when answering the door to scare the bejesus out of kids. . .
I love decorating for the holidays! We have a gorgeous wide wrap around porch that I am very vain about. I love the front of the house to look lovely for all season. Of course, I don’t want to spend a fortune doing it! So when I choose decorations I do so with an eye to reuse. I tend to go for items that I feel are classy and add a few things each year until I have the look I want.
Two years ago I purchased fall “leaf” garlands for the porch. This was a major expense-I needed to buy 6 of them, and they don’t quite stretch all the way around! You don’t want to know how much I spent. Actually I don’t even remember-I think I’ve subconsciously blocked it out due to frugal guilt.
This year I added a lot to the decor, thanks to Walmart! First I purchase some cool “Freaky Fabric” to hang from the porch columns.
These panels were more expensive than the stretchy white spiderweb-$4 as opposed to $1-but that stuff is shot after one use, and I should get several years of use from the freaky fabric.
Then Yankee Bill made me a cool “spooky tree” from an old dead Hawthorn tree set into a bucket filled with quick setting concrete. The bucket looked pretty lame, so I bought a yard of burlap at Walmart for about $2, begged some hay bale twine off a girlfriend with horses and fixed it up.
Of course I made one of my Halloween Trashbag Wreaths to go on the front door.
Tada-the Frugal Upstate Halloween Porch:
But wait, there is more!
Yes, I had a brilliant, monumental idea. I sent Yankee Bill back to Walmart to pick up a green floodlight bulb-less than $4-and installed that in the porch light. Now when you drive by my house at night you see. . .
So there you have it, my frugal Halloween plans. I spent less than $70 on everything. Next year I’ll be able to spend even less, since I won’t have to buy anything at all for the front porch.
Honestly, I think the only way we could save any more money would be to be extremely stingy about the candy we hand out-and who wants to do that?
So how do you keep your Halloween costs down? I’d love to hear about it!
Disclosure: This post is part of a campaign I am participating in with Walmart to share budget conscious Halloween ideas. Walmart has provided me with compensation for this posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions, as always are my own.