Anyone who likes to party but doesn’t like to plan knows what the Oct. 30 crowd is like at the local Halloween store. Avoid the hordes of children, the apathetic staff and the incredibly expensive bare-bones selection, ranging from “Sexy Bingo” to “Party Gorilla,” by planning a little earlier this year.
It’s not too late at all; here are some tips for how to make the most of your holiday without going scary broke.
As we know at Extrabux, Halloween is the second-biggest holiday for online shopping — and it’s incredibly easy to save. Our greatest advice for the season is that you shouldn’t hesitate to buy online. Right now, many costume stores typically offer coupon discounts of 30 to 50 percent off your order and even free shipping. If you insist on going to the store and actually trying things on, then do yourself a favor and be sure to check out social buying sites like Groupon before you leave the house. You can save more than 50 percent with their vouchers.
If you still have last year’s costume awkwardly hanging in your coat closet, then you might want to consider an economical and ecological solution this season. Check out the Costume Swap Master List on GreenHalloween.org, where you’ll learn how you can trade your child’s costume for another one. If you’ve missed the Costume Swap in your area, then don’t hesitate to organize an informal one with your friends or co-workers; there’s a very good chance that they at least have a spare witch hat or dramatic cape haunting their closet that they’ll want to get rid of.
If store-bought costumes are like greeting cards, then a homemade costume is like a handwritten note; people will be impressed by your inventiveness and originality if you add a personal touch to your ensemble. Whether you’re artistic or just enjoy costumes that aren’t made out of paper-thin rayon, you’ll want to consider putting in a little more effort and making the outfit yourself. There is so much more to DIY than just pairing a cat headband with a short dress — you can get plenty of creative ideas and instructions for topical and classic costumes via Pinterest and, of course, SheKnows.com. With a sewing machine and a makeup kit, you can easily turn a thrift store prom dress into a unique and eye-catching costume.
Of course, Halloween is about much more than costumes and J-walking: The candy has always been the star. Now, this isn’t a category where you want to skimp too much — children have been known to start fires over receiving the generic rock-hard taffy “treats.” Candy tends to be most marked-up at the Halloween and grocery stores, so keep your eye on the local ads and instead buy your sweet treats at discount department stores like Target or Walmart. Finally, even though the dollar bags of brand name chocolates can be tempting, you will actually save more ounce-for-ounce by investing in the larger bags. And, considering that you might actually have some leftovers for yourself, never be afraid to buy in bulk.