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:
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.
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.
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.