Fun and Frugal Halloween Ideas

Blog | October 18th, 2013

Fun and Frugal Halloween Ideas

Halloween is just around the corner and people are already
gearing up for this spook-tastic holiday. Costume stores are sprouting up,
trying to get in on the action before the holiday comes and goes, and stores
everywhere are taking advantage of the Halloween craze by offering deals on
candy or even fun events, such as Trunk or Treat. It’s no surprise that
Halloween, like most other holidays, is heavily commercialized, but it’s still
possible to have a fun and frugal All Hallows’ Eve.

Hand-Me-Down Costumes

More than anything else, Halloween is about costumes and
dressing up. Whether you’re headed to an adults-only party or want to take your
kids trick-or-treating, you can save a bundle on Halloween costumes by asking
friends and family if they have old costumes laying around that you could
borrow. Since it’s only for one night out of the entire year, there’s no need
to drop $50-100 on a costume. Be on the lookout for hand-me-downs wherever you
can find them!

Thrift Shop Costumes

If borrowing a costume isn’t an option, then check out your
local thrift shops for ideas. Rather than buying the same, cookie-cutter
costume tens or hundreds of other people will be wearing, you’ll not only be
able to find something unique, but much cheaper than a new, store-bought

Coupons for Candy

The other major component to Halloween is candy. The days of
worrying about razor blades or poison showing up in candy are mostly over, but
the economic worry—how much should I spend on candy to give away to strangers’
kids?—remains. Rather than resigning yourself to grocery store prices, either
go to a 99-cent store or scout around for discounts. During the month of
October, you can probably find coupons
for bags of candy in newspapers and through websites, including Get It Free’s Coupon section. Be sure to buy the “fun-size” candies for extra savings (kids
aren’t as entitled to king-size candy bars as they might think).

Purchasing a Pumpkin

If you’ve been to a pumpkin patch before, you probably
noticed how expensive a single pumpkin could be. High markups on something that
will rot and turn to mush within a couple weeks makes pumpkin carving almost
seem like a luxury hobby that you’d be better off avoiding for the sake of
frugality. If pumpkin carving is a family tradition however, consider shopping
for pumpkins at a grocery store or farmer’s market. Your kids won’t get to play
in the bounce houses or enjoy the hay rides that some pumpkin patches offer,
but you’ll save quite a few dollars on pumpkins of similar or better quality.

Dollar Store Décor

Unless you prefer to go all-out with a haunted house theme, settling
for cheap, dollar-store décor is a frugal alternative to dropping hundreds of
dollars on lights and lawn decorations. Many stores offer cheap spider webs,
plastic spiders, and even cardboard, which you can make into tombstones with a
marker and a little creativity.

Shopping Spree

When’s the best time to buy Halloween costumes and
decorations? After Halloween, of
course! Within the first week of November, check out to the clearance section
of local stores for Halloween goodies with steep discounts. Stores need to get
rid of their product to make room for Thanksgiving and Christmas items, so
you’ll probably find great deals on everything from costumes to spooky

Kelly Kehoe is a staff writer for Money Street Smart and works with, a site full coupons and coupon codes.