Everyday Money

Ways To Spend Less This Halloween

October 7, 2019

Tips and Tricks to save on the costumes, candy and decor.

The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend a record $8.8 billion on Halloween this year, an average of $86 per household with the top spending categories of:

  • $3.2 billion on costumes
  • $2.6 billion on candy
  • $2.7 billion on decorations
  • $390 million on greeting cards

Whoa, that’s a spooky amount of money! Here are some ways to avoid this nightmare and save some money this Halloween.

Save on the costume:

  • Get creative and make a DIY Halloween costume.  This can be easier than it sounds! We suggest looking to Pinterest for inspiration. (While you’re there, make sure to check out Bank Five Nine’s Pinterest page!)
  • Trade or buy gently used. Go online to look for local costume swap events or shop Facebook Marketplace. 
  • Check out a local thrift shop. You might be surprised at the kind of merchandise you find! Some Goodwill stores even create a separate section in their store for Halloween items during the fall season.  Since children (and adults) usually dress up as something different each year, recycled costumes can be easily found.
  • Check out TJ Maxx online for some new costumes at a discounted price.
  • Buy from the toy section, instead of the costume section.  Sometimes you can find “dress-up” costumes that are not branded for Halloween that are cheaper than the seasonal versions.

Save on the candy

If you live in a neighborhood that gets a lot of trick-or-treaters, the cost of candy can add up, and fast.

  • Shop for generic brands.
  • Shop in bulk! When buying in bulk, double check that the candy you are buying is individually wrapped.
  • Hand out something other than candy. For example, online retailers like Oriental Trading or even local dollar stores sell Halloween toys in bulk.  Keep a look out for glow sticks, stickers, jumping spiders or spider rings.   
  • Shop last minute. Retailers will be a lot more anxious to get rid of Halloween merchandise the closer the holiday gets.
  • Use a pillowcase to collect candy versus using a pumpkin bucket. (Bonus: pillowcases hold more candy!)

Save on the décor

  • Shop the dollar store: You can save a good amount of money by buying more of your accent decorations from the Dollar store. Some great Halloween items to buy at the dollar store include:
    • Black and orange paper plates
    • Cups and silverware
    • Halloween garland
    • Fake cobwebs
    • Balloons
    • Candles
    • Vases and candle holders
  • Plan ahead and buy your decorations a year earlier, or buy for the next year at the end of the season!  A large number of stores slash their prices the closer the holiday gets, and especially after the holiday is over.
  • Pumpkin carving is fun and also a great way turn that fun into decor for your porch!
    • After you pick and carve your pumpkins, consider roasting the seeds. This makes a cheap and fun Halloween snack that is not just pure sugar. Click here for some seed recipes.

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