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Halloween on a dime: Frighteningly frugal fun!

Not Just Beans author Tawra Jean Kellam is known on the web for her expertise in frugal living. She participates in group discussions on several simple living and frugal bulletin boards and advises people regularly how to save money on h...

Cheap Halloween!

The average American family spends more than $100 per year on Halloween goodies. As your kids drag you through aisles full of ghosts and goblins, the scariest thing about Halloween is threatening to leave bite marks in your pocketbook. No wonder so many moms flee screaming from the store!

Halloween Punch

Inexpensive fun
It can be much less expensive and a lot more fun to devise your own chilling creations. Here are a few tips that you can use to stave off the greenback gremlins and exercise your creative muscle. It won't hurt a bit!

Face paint
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon cold cream
Food coloring

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in an old muffin pan and you are ready to paint. This amount makes one color.

Fake wound
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Vaseline
Tissue
Cocoa powder
2-3 drops red food coloring

Directions:
Place Vaseline in a bowl. Add food coloring. Blend with a toothpick. Stir in a pinch of cocoa to make a darker blood color. Separate tissue. Using 1 layer, tear a 2x3-inch piece and place at wound site. Cover with petroleum jelly and mold into the shape of a wound. The center should be lower than the sides. Fill the center with the red petroleum jelly mixture. Sprinkle center with some cocoa. Sprinkle a little around the edges of the wound to make darker.

Fake blood -- Mix 2/3 cup white corn syrup, 1 teaspoon red food coloring, 2-3 drops blue food coloring to darken and 1 squirt dish soap (helps blood to run well).

Abrasions-- Dab brown, red and black eye shadow on area. Apply blood over area with cotton balls. Use comb to gently scratch area in one direction. Apply cocoa or dirt over wound with cotton balls.

Black eye -- Apply red and blue eye shadow to depressions around eyes.

Bruises -- Rub red and blue shadow over bony area to simulate recent bruises. Blue and yellow eye shadow to create older bruises.

Look old
Cover face with baby powder. Draw dark lines on your skin for wrinkles. Smooth edges to blend. Cover again with baby powder. Add baby powder to your hair to create gray hair.

Deviled eyeballs
Make deviled eggs. Add a green olive with pimento in the center for an "eyeball."

Radioactive juice
Mix equal parts Mountain Dew and blue Kool-Aid

Toxic juice
Add some green food coloring to lemonade for a spooky color!

Brains
Scramble eggs with some green, yellow and blue food coloring

Bloody eyeballs
Boil cherry tomatoes 30 seconds. Allow to cool; then peel skin.

Goblin hand
Freeze green Kool-Aid in a rubber or latex glove, float in punch.

Spider webs
Use the tape from old cassettes or black yarn to make spider webs. Use cotton balls stretched out for small spider webs.

Glass jack-o-lantern
Outline a pumpkin face on a spaghetti or pickle jar with black paint. The paint around the outside of it with orange paint. Place a candle inside for a jack-o-lantern.

Halloween Guess It Game
In this game, you challenge the participants to reach into mystery boxes filled with creepy things and try to guess what each item is. The person with the most correct answers wins the game. An example is if you want them to guess "grapes," you might try to confuse them by saying, "I think it's eyeballs..."

Cut a hole in the top of a shoe box or laundry box for each item to be used. Cover the box with black spray paint. Decorate each box with pumpkins or spiders for a more festive flavor. Place the following items inside, one per box. Be sure to place enough of each item so the guests can adequately "feel" the guts.

Eyeballs -- Grapes or peeled cherry tomatoes

Intestines -- Cooked spaghetti

Skin -- Oil a piece of plastic bag

Brains -- Scrambled eggs

Hair -- An old clown wig

Bones -- Thoroughly washed chicken bones placed in some sand

Fingers -- Hot dogs cut into finger sized pieces Teeth -- Corn nuts, pine nuts or popcorn

Have a pumpkin hunt
Hide mini pumpkins like you would Easter Eggs. Let the kids find and decorate them. For small children, use glue sticks with construction paper cut-outs for decorations.

Edible slime
Pour lime gelatin into a glass bowl. After it is partially set, add gummy worms. Chill until lightly set. Then serve slopped all over the plate.

Bloody popcorn
Add red food color to melted butter and pour over popcorn.

Freeze gummy worms in ice cubes and add them to drinks. Cut gummy worms in half if needed.

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