It’s scary but Halloween is the second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. Costumes, candy and decorations seem to arrive in the stores earlier and earlier each year to entice you to spend more. The average Canadian family is expected to spend more than $300 on Halloween. With costumes averaging around $40 or more you can quickly see how Halloween costs add up. So what can you do to save money on Halloween spending and make sure that your credit card bill when it arrives is not scarier than Halloween was? Here are some top Halloween money saving tips from Moneyproblems.ca. so your Halloween thrills don’t turn into bills.
- Don’t wait to the last minute to purchase your costume. The good quality lower priced costumes go fast so shop around, and shop early. On the flip side, spend some time after Halloween looking for discount costumes that you may be able to use next year. Many retailers don’t want to store unsold costumes for another year and offer terrific discounts after Halloween.
- Another advantage of starting early — you can spend more time thinking about how you can create your own costume at a fraction of the cost. Start with old costumes too see if there is anything you can recycle. Look for ideas in your closet – vests, hats, tights, old shirts and coats can be recycled into Halloween costumes. Need more inspiration? Look for materials at low cost places like the dollar store, discount shops and your local thrift store. Dollar stores have lots of items like boas, bandannas, carrying cases, tiaras and other items that can be creatively incorporated into turning your little ones into a top notch scientist, doctor, cowboy or little mermaid.
- Take a look through the office supplies aisle. Printable stickers (iron on or peel and stick) can be useful. Your kids can have fun drawing designs, cutting them out and placing them on their personalized costumes.
- Search the internet for creative ideas on how to make your own costume.
- Swap costumes with friends. Consider having a pre-Halloween get together one afternoon to bring in old costumes and brainstorm how you can turn them into something new.
- Find a bargain on candy at the bulk store and dollar store. Shop early and compare. Sugar candy is usually cheaper than chocolate and offers a nice change for those little ghosts and goblins.
- Another key tip – don’t buy your candy too early. If you think you will be tempted to dip into the Halloween treats long before Halloween then wait a little longer to purchase your candy. You will spend more if you eat all the goodies ahead of time and have to buy more.
- Fitting in dinner on a busy Halloween night can be tricky. Plan ahead. Make a pot of chili or other single pot meal that can quickly be re-heated and eaten in between visits to the door.
- Lastly, cut back on the number of items you buy. You don’t need to go in debt to decorate and celebrate well.