Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Frugal Halloween

October 31st has arrived, and it is rapidly becoming one of the more expensive holidays.  According to the National Retailer's Federation, a total of $8 billion will be spent on Halloween 2012, which comes out to a few cents under $80 per person.  Folks, that is a lot of cash for a holiday about candy and costumes!  Since the day is already here, frugal ideas may be a bit late.  But here is how our frugal house embraces this spooky day.


  1. Costumes bought at Savers -- simple cat and bunny ears are easy to outfit kiddos who also need warm winter coats as the temperature dip lower.  I spent less than $5 for Jaguar ears and tail as well as bunny ears.  After the holiday they will be found in the dress up basket, which is kept in our living room.  Lots and lots of use will be had by our kids and friends who visit.
  2. Order on-line.  I caved this year.  After the above listed buys my kids begged to have a separate outfit for the Halloween parade at church.  Thanks to Amazon Prime, I ordered a Pirate Outfit (Melissa & Doug) and an owl costume.  Total spend, $45.  No shipping, purchased at 4am on a weekend when I had insomnia, and no impulse buys tossed into the cart.  Again, both of these will get us some use this next year as part of dress-up play.
  3. Hand out small boxes of raisins, pencils, markers, stickers, or bulk candy.  Most can be found for very little cost, and if there are any left over, they make for easy reuse.
  4. Mark-up pumpkins instead of carving.  This allows you to roast the pumpkin once the holiday passes. The "meat" is far less expensive than canned pumpkin, and the shell can be added to your compost bin.
  5. Decorate with  items you can add to the compost bin (hay, Indian corn, mums, pumpkins).  Most likely it will serve as a decoration through Thanksgiving, then toss it in the compost and you'll maximize the expense by turning it into organic garden material!
I hope you had a fun Halloween, and that it did not break the budget!

They are only going to be 4 and 2 once in this life....so I splurged and ordered exactly what they requested.  Thanks to Amazon Prime my shopping did not require me to drive a car, avoided impulse buys, or there was no shipping cost.  It was the easiest purchase....and I have to say, worth every penny.  Oh so cute in this Frugal Mama's eyes.  Making costumes is not in the picture for me; no sewing machine, no ability to sew; and not a lot of spare time to do something homemade.  Frugal does not have to be extreme, just a wise expenditure of time and money.

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