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Halloween Strategies to Save

Halloween Strategies to Save | MoneywiseMoms

Halloween is coming–are you frightened? It's easy to overspend when you're having fun celebrating holidays with the family. Just take a moment to plan ahead, and you'll be in better shape by the time Halloween rolls around. Consider some of these Halloween strategies to save:

Costumes
There are so many ways to dress up for less! Start early to give yourself time and save yourself stress. This year, you can:

  • Host a costume swap with your neighborhood, preschool moms, or moms club. Everyone brings their old costumes, and you keep track of who has borrowed. Return the costumes after Halloween in great condition, and plan to do it again next year!
  • Buy used costumes from yard sales, kids’ consignment sales, thrift stores for pennies on the dollar compared to new.
  • Shop your house, especially the kids’ dress-up box, and put together costumes using what you already have. For inspiration or ideas, look online for photos of homemade costumes.

Halloween Strategies to Save | MoneywiseMoms

Candy
Be careful not to spend too much on candy; it’s easy to do. Some tips that work for me:

  • Estimate how many trick-or-treaters you’ll have, and only buy that much candy. Extra candy means you end up eating the leftovers (at least, I do!) and money wasted. If you’re new to the neighborhood, ask your neighbors for a sense of the crowd.
  • Control how much candy you hand out. Instead of letting your kids dole out handful after handful, give a reasonable 1-2 pieces per child.
  • Recycle your candy. Since my son has a severe peanut allergy, we go through the kids’ buckets right away and remove all of it. Then, we hand that out for the rest of the evening. Kills two birds with one stone!
  • Match sales and coupons. This month, all the grocery and drug stores are offering sales on bagged candy. Combine the sale prices with manufacturer’s coupons for the most savings. Find blogs that cover your local stores and watch for announcements about great deals.

Outings
It’s fall! It’s fun to spend the cool days outside at the pumpkin patches or apple picking, but it can get very expensive, especially with a big family. Some ideas:

  • Check the daily deal sites for discount tickets to your local pumpkin patch, fruit orchards and other fall outings. Last year, I found a great deal for a pumpkin patch near us bringing $15/person tickets down to $5/person for six of us. Invite friends and neighbors to earn referral credit (depending on the site) and bring your out-of-pocket cost down even more.
  • Purchase group rate tickets. with friends or members of your multiples group. Be aware of restrictions like weekdays-only or special hours for these types of tickets.
  • Look for free fun around town, and check with your social groups (moms club, church, etc.) if you need suggestions. There’s a plant nursery in our area that’s the perfect “pumpkin patch” for toddlers without the cost.
  • Pack your own food and drinks and save money over expensive food stands. Just as with any family outing, you can greatly reduce your expenses by planning ahead for snacks and meals.

What are your tips for saving money at Halloween?

This post is linked up to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.

Image courtesy of juushika on Flickr

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CreditDonkey

Friday 21st of September 2012

It's not just Halloween, it seems any and all occasions are getting more expensive as the years pass. The sad thing is not everyone is getting job promotions or additional perks. I have been trying to save every buck but it's never always enough. Ah. if I can survive Halloween by spending a few dollars less than the expense list shows, I'd be lucky:-)

Tennille

Friday 14th of September 2012

We love the coupon booklets from Wendy's - 10 Jr. Frosty's for 1.00. The children in our neighborhood have always loved them and they are much cheaper than buying candy. Also, our children have food allergies so whatever candy we get that we can't eat, a local dentist collects each year to send to the military troops. I got a costume at the thrift store last week that was new with tags still on it for 3.98 and my other son is wearing a homemade costume from a play he was in at school last year. Inexpensive Halloween this year!!!!

Gina

Friday 14th of September 2012

Love the idea for the Wendy's coupons! Sounds like you're already on track for a very frugal Halloween. Great job, Tennille!

Jean

Friday 14th of September 2012

I'm visiting from Frugal Fridays. These are all great tips! I would also add to be sure not to buy your Halloween candy too early unless you and your family have great willpower. Sometimes it's better to pay a little more for a bag or two of candy closer to Halloween than to rebuy bags of candy than to keep rebuying that sale candy over and over again as it disappears. Not that anything like that has ever happened around here :)

Gina

Friday 14th of September 2012

I totally agree, Jean! I am the worst--I'll even hide the candy in the basement but I still know it's there.

Washington DC Mom Blog - Friday Five: Blogs To Read - Tiny Steps MommyTiny Steps Mommy

Friday 14th of September 2012

[...] commonsense advice about savings for families on a budget (which is just about everyone). Her post Halloween Strategies to Save is of interest because I find the expense of this holiday always surprisingly high. With [...]

Nicole

Friday 14th of September 2012

Halloween seems to get more expensive every year. I love the idea for a halloween costume swap. It seems such a waste to buy brand new costumes every year for just one night. The only benefit I have with my daycare is that I have a massive dress-up bin. Depending on the costume, I usually do get more use out of what I buy.

Gina

Friday 14th of September 2012

Good point, Nicole. With toddlers and preschoolers, you can keep costumes for a few years for a dress-up box. We're a little older than that now, but our costumes did last us a long time.