Everyday Money

Ways To Spend Less This Halloween

September 19, 2023

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

Total Halloween spending is expected to reach a record $12.2 billion, exceeding last year’s record of $10.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. A record number of people (73%) will participate in Halloween-related activities this year, up from 69% in 2022.

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
    • Fake Spiders
    • Candles
    • Balloons
    • 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 to 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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