Tricks to save on Halloween

Guest blogger Leanne Salyzyn is an insolvency counselor, licensed restructuring professional and trustee in bankruptcy. Post a comment or contact her on Twitter with your personal-finance questions.
All jokes aside, the costs of Halloween can be frightening. I was in the dollar store store recently and there were three isles of Halloween decorations, party favours and scary accessories! Halloween is big business for retailers. But even on the cheap, all those costumes, candy and decoration costs can quickly creep up. However, like putting together a great costume, a little imagination and creativity may be all you need for scary savings.iStock_000006083377Medium-resized

Candy is Dandy

Pound for pound, big bags of candy are less expensive than smaller ones. Buy in bulk. Consider splitting big bags with friends or neighbours if your trick-or-treater count tends to be high. Comparison shop. Don’t necessarily assume that the drugstore or large retail giants have the best prices on treats. Wait to buy candy until the last minute when retailers want it off their shelves to make way for Christmas items. Use coupons or store reward points to reduce the dollar dent.

Be Crafty

Renting an elaborate costume for a Halloween party or buying it new can really add up. Instead, be creative. The web is plagued with simple and inexpensive Halloween costume ideas. Use everyday items around the home to create an imaginative costume. Recycle, reuse. Recreate a new costume from one purchased in the past. A bride last year can be a zombie bride this year. Thrift stores or dollar stores are great resources for costume ideas. Simple ideas can be funny and cheap to put together. Check out Pinterest for great ideas such as free stencils to decorate your pumpkins.

Trade Costumes

Arrange a friends/family/neighborhood costume swap. If you are like most parents, you have a tickle trunk full of costumes from many Halloween adventures. Most kids want to be something different every year. Swapping costumes with neighbours not only gets rid of your clutter but makes another family happy. Better yet, donate old costumes to a local charity. Give back and feel good.

Spooky Snacks

While you may enjoy being the host of the best party of the year, decorations, food and alcohol can really add up. Do your research. Consider inexpensive party snacks as opposed to catering. When invitees ask if there is anything they can bring, don’t be shy; tell them to bring wine or a snack to share. Most people love prizes. Besides best costume, offer a small prize for the best Halloween party snack.
Halloween can be fun without the post-Halloween credit card bills haunting you.

This story was originally published in Halifax Magazine.

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