Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids and adults alike! It's one of the best holidays for having fun as a family, dressing up in costume and having an excuse to eat lots of sweets.
However, Halloween can also be incredibly expensive if you're not careful. Collectively, people spend millions on Halloween costumes and decorations that are often disregarded once the big day is over. And with the cost of living crisis on the rise, for many families, this Halloween will have to be a little more frugal.
How to save money this halloween: best tips and tricks
In this article, we'll give you some of our best tips on saving money this Halloween to cut back on costs. Here are low cost and free ways to celebrate the spookiest day of the year!
Save on halloween costumes
The key to saving on Halloween costumes is to use what you already have or invest in things you can use again.
For clothes, try looking through your wardrobe first to see if you have anything that you could use. It depends on the look you're going for – but most of the time, you'll find that you have something versatile that you've forgotten about.
If you're struggling, think about picking a costume that involves clothing you'd wear again under other circumstances. For example, if you want to be a witch, you could buy a nice black dress that you'd wear casually again and spookify it with a hat and cape.
This will save you money compared to purchasing a 'full witch costume', often overpriced, and it'll get you something you'll use for several occasions. Plus, the witches hat and cape can be used for future Halloween costumes too.
Some Halloween accessories can be expensive, such as professional wigs, so if you don't have a wig at home and don't want to invest in one, why not try a temporary hair dye instead? It offers a fun one-night colour that'll come off in the shower, and for less than £6, you'll have a fun colour you can repeatedly use for festivals or events until the bottle runs out!
You can also save money on Halloween outfits by scouring charity shops and thrift stores. They will often lay out their best Halloween themed clothing and donated costumes in the lead up so you can bag a costume at a much better price than buying new. Sometimes they have more out back if they can’t fit everything on the rails, so just ask if you can’t see what you’re looking for.
Don't get tricked! Buy treats in bulk
If you live in a busy trick-or-treating area, you'll know the pressure to have lots of treats and Halloween candy ready for hopeful kids!
The key to keeping them happy is to buy treats in bulk. Though it may seem like a larger investment up-front, it'll save you significant cash compared to how much you'd spend if you have to keep running back to the shop for more single bags of candy.
Things like hard-boiled candy and gummies (in wrappers/packets) also have a long shelf life, so if you don't use them all this year, you can save them for the next without them going bad. A bulk pack of lollipops could be a winner here - all kids love lollipops!
Something such as Haribo has an 18-month shelf life if unopened and can even stay fresh for six months in the fridge after being taken out of their packet!
Check out your local dollar stores or pound stores to see what deals you can find. Also, check our list of how to get free food as there could be some good tips here to get Halloween candy for free or discounted.
Deter trick or treaters at your own house with these tips
Or you could be the Scrooge of Halloween and not take part in the trick or treating shenanigans! Many local areas we have lived in have a rule for trick and treating - you are only to knock on the houses that have a pumpkin at the door.
Other signs that someone is taking part in trick or treating and has sweets or treats to hand out include having a porch light on or other spooky Halloween themed decorations at the door, in the windows or front garden.
So, if you don’t want trick or treaters to knock on your door simply make sure your front porch light is turned off on Halloween and you don’t have any Halloween decorations visible at the front of your house.
This will save you money on having to buy candy if you don’t want to take part or simply can’t afford to. It will also save the awkwardness of having children knock on your door and be disappointed!
Reuse, recycle and make your own Halloween decorations
If you love to decorate for Halloween, we understand. It's so much fun to celebrate the holidays in style – and decorating is a big part of the festivities. However, it can be very costly to be investing in new decor, and it can also be wasteful if the stuff you buy goes in the bin afterwards.
There are a few ways you can go about decorating in a more sustainable and cost-cutting way:
Use What You Have – Like the costume tip, if you already have Halloween decorations stored away – dig them out! You never know what you have until you look, and you can even look online for tips on repurposing them and making them look new.
Invest In Reusable Decor – Instead of littering your house with pumpkins that'll go off, you could spend a bit more on decorative velvet pumpkins that'll last for many years. In the long run, investing in high-quality decorations will save you from having to buy new things each year. It's all about thinking forward.
Make Your Own – Using materials in your home, you can make your own decorations and spooky decor. This can be a great way to reuse old packaging, bottles and fabrics, and it can also be a fun way to bond with the family or your flatmates!
Celebrate Halloween for FREE this year
Throwing a Halloween party, buying costumes, party snacks, sweets and the rest, can all add up. If you simply can’t afford any of it, then have a Halloween with a difference this year. You can still do something spooky with your family and friends on the cheap. Why not cosy up in a darkened room and watch a spooky or Halloween themed film? There will be plenty of choice on Netflix or TV for kids and adults to choose from.
Turn out the lights, whack on the fairy lights or disco lights if you have some, and find a free Halloween playlist online you can listen to. Dance around and see who can do the creepiest most ghoulish dance moves!
If you have old clothes or textiles such as old sheets that can be cut up then make your own costumes. Have a competition to see who can make the best Halloween costume and the most inventive costume for free.
You can also make fun Halloween masks using cardboard and other safe materials out of the recycling and colouring pens or paints.
When you start thinking outside of the box, there are lots of ways you can celebrate Halloween at home for free with all the things you already have access to. It doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money.
Choose cheap or free Halloween activities
There are lots of traditional Halloween games that are free or very cheap to do. Apple bobbing requires a bucket of water and some apples, making it a fun and wallet-friendly Halloween activity.
Pass the apple is also a fun game to play. Simply line up or gather in a circle and pass an apple from person to person from under the chin! The first to drop loses!
Telling ghost stories in the dark while holding up a flashlight to the person speaking is free to do.
Hide and seek in the dark with flashlights is also a fun way to make this simple game extra spooky!
There are also lots of free Halloween printables and ideas online such as Halloween quizzes, Halloween bingo and more.
Check cashback apps for free pumpkins
For two years in a row, we have been able to get free pumpkins thanks to cashback apps like TopCashback. If you use cashback and coupon apps then check them close to Halloween as they may have a special offer to reimburse you the price of a pumpkin from a supermarket.
Here’s a list of cashback websites and apps for some of our favourites.
Spending more makes sense sometimes
Our advice on saving money this Halloween wouldn't be complete without telling you that saving money doesn't mean you have to cut out everything you love this holiday season.
Saving money is great, and it's a fantastic way to plan for the future and an important way of keeping yourself financially secure. However, this doesn't mean you don't deserve a treat now and again if you can afford it.
For example, if there's a particular person you want to dress up as, it might be worth buying the costume if it brings you a lot of joy. A little treat for yourself can go a long way, especially in these harsh financial times. Especially if you’ll be able to wear it again and again. This is where it can pay to buy something of higher quality that can be reused for years to come instead of something cheap and tacky that will fall apart after one wear!
Be smart and cautious with your money but don't feel guilty about the odd treat! You deserve it!
Final word on how to save on Halloween this year
There are many ways to save money on Halloween from being more cost-effective with your spending and buying high-quality costumes and decorations that can be reused year after year, to sourcing your costumes from charity stores or even having a free Halloween at no cost whatsoever using whatever you already have available at home.
Hopefully this article will help you realise how Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you have no money at all, there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy Halloween with your family and friends.
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