Tuesday 23 October 2012

A Not-So-Spendy Halloween

I recently read an infographic that said our per capita spending on Halloween has more than doubled since 2001.  I'm not surprised.  Halloween's a huge deal these days, and not just for kids:  Grown ups have embraced the day in a big way too.  

Interestingly, 70% of those polled said that our current economic woes won't influence their Halloween spending.  I was not among those polled.  I can say with certainty that, when times are tough, I'm not about to pull money from elsewhere in the budget to pay for spooky celebrations.

Before you dub me the Ebenezer Scrooge of Halloween, I'll also assure you that we do still celebrate.  We just look for more affordable ways to do so.  

There are lots of fun ways to celebrate Halloween without breaking the budget.  A quick look on line provides a wealth of inspiration.  

Here are some of my favourites:

Make your own costumes using thrift store items or things found around the house.  

Premeditated Leftovers has shared some great advice on how to put together a frugal costumeThis was standard practice when I was a kid, and it made Halloween a lot more fun. We spent weeks planning and making our costumes and were so proud of the finished products.  We couldn't wait to show them off!

Look for free printables and projects on line.  These Halloween masks by Mr Printable are a great example:  Print them off, get out the craft supplies, and let the kids embellish the masks to their hearts' content.  

Printable coloring pages are also good fun.  You can find a good selection at All About Coloring.  

You can make your own Halloween cards using images cut from magazines and advertising flyers, or with printables like those offered on The Graphics Fairy website.

There are an abundance of Halloween decorating ideas out there.  I, of course, prefer those that are both simple and affordable. Thrifty Decor Chick shares some wonderful ideas in her  "So Cheap It's Scary" post,

and The Art of Doing Stuff shared instructions for this spooky Halloween wreath made from Dollar Store supplies.

That should get you started.  

Enjoy!   :)   

I'll be back tomorrow with some links for fun Halloween foods.

Title image info:  This photo was taken on my daughter Sue's front porch, in 2010.  Sue adds a few things to her stock of decorations every year and has, over time, built quite an inventory of items.  Spreading your purchases over time like that is a great way to be frugal when celebrating any holiday.


Annie at Haphazard Homestead said...

One thing we have cut out entirely this year is passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. This is largely based on the fact that our short 2-block street has six(!) vacant house this year, mostly on our end of the street. Most kids are going to look down our dark street and not want to waste their time. Should we actually get a brave ghoul or two at our door, I think Kat can share some of her candy. :)

Aunt B said...

Now that we live in an apartment we don't get trick-or-treaters and I must confess that I miss them. Our last house was in a neighbourhood with many children, between two schools, and we did see a great many children - in the hundreds every year. It can get expensive, I know. We tended to shop for non-traditional treats. Microwave popcorn often goes on sale here at this time of year, making it a more affordable treat than chocolate and the kids love it. We've also given out little bags with Halloween pencils, erasers, colouring pages, and stickers.

Lois Christensen said...

What great ideas!

Alea said...

We don't have a lot of kids in our neighborhood either. I make sure I take Andrew around because many of our neighbors are retired and they make a fuss over him.

One thing we do to keep it frugal is we don't carve all of our pumpkins. we will carve one big, cheap one from the store and then we just use washable markers or accessories (red bandana and pirate eye-patch) on the little sugar pumpkins. That way when I am done using them for decorations I can cook them.

Aunt B said...

Thank you. I had great fun seeking them out. :)

Aunt B said...

Good suggestion Alea. It's fun to carve pumpkins, for sure, but better still to eat them. :)