5 Tricks to Save on Halloween Treats and Costumes


What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Don't let the cost of this year's Halloween celebration scare you. Find out how to make costumes on the cheap and save a bundle on candy.

Halloween is fun for both kids and adults. But with costumes, candy, and decorations to buy, the price for your celebration can creep up quickly. According to the National Retail Federation, the average American is expected to spend $80 on Halloween.

But the cost of Halloween doesn’t have to be frightening. Like putting together a great costume, a little imagination and creativity may be all you need for big savings.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson tells you how to look great on Halloween and save a bundle in the process. Check out the video, then read on for more tips…

Now that you’ve got the idea, here’s more on how you can save on Halloween this year…

1. Find your costume idea

Whether you’re looking for a fresh and timely costume or prefer a classic, there’s no shortage of places to look for fun and unique ideas.

The best place to find many of the popular ideas this year? The local costume or Halloween store. Some popular options for 2012 include characters from the “Game of Thrones” TV show as well as “Spiderman” and “Thor” from the blockbuster movies. See what’s for sale, but don’t buy anything yet.

Creative ideas are available online as well. One of the best places to get visual ideas for Halloween in 2012: Pinterest. Check out hundreds of photos and ideas that others have pinned related to Halloween and scroll until you find inspiration for your own costume as well as creative examples for kids – like Dora the Explorer or Angry Birds.

Trendy costumes for adults are always a hit, and you’ll find hilarious topical costume ideas online. You could dress up as gold-medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney and her unimpressed expression, or the “Tanning Mom” accused of putting her daughter in a tanning booth earlier this year. Think about recent headlines and turn them into a unique costume.

Don’t forget simple yet thoughtful costumes that will still impress. If you love “punny” ideas, a cereal killer can be made in minutes with basic supplies.

2. Assemble a used or reused costume

Here’s where the real creativity comes in: assembling your costume. While you could buy one at the store, you can easily create your own, well-made costume at a fraction of the cost.

Start with old remnants from previous costumes to put something new together. Vests, tights, and other items you wore last year work great for a variety of costumes. Accessories like hats and wigs are often interchangeable too. Use a top hat to complete your costume as Abraham Lincoln.

Not enough to go on? Hit up your friends or the parents of your kid’s friends and swap.  They’re likely looking for new options, so trade.

Materials found around your house can also be used to create a costume. Cardboard boxes, for example, can be cut up and made into a robot, Lego piece, or even a Rubik’s Cube.

If you’re looking for something ready-to-wear, check Craigslist or eBay for used costumes. Many traditional costumes don’t change year to year, so you may find a vampire or pumpkin at a deep discount. You might even find free costumes up for grabs on Freecycle.

For more ideas, check out these other options to save money on kids’ costumes.

3. Get a deal at the thrift store

Thrift stores are a great spot for deals. If you’re planning to shred up a shirt or drench yourself in fake blood, you won’t have to worry about ruining nice clothes you’d like to wear again.

You’ll also find wacky stuff in thrift stores, with a wide array of clothing in all sorts of designs and colors. Maybe you need red pants to complete your clown outfit or a vest to transform into a pirate. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll likely find a wide range of sizes and styles unrivaled by other clothing stores.

Just don’t be afraid to cross the aisle and shop both the men’s and women’s sections. Anything goes for costumes, and no one will notice the difference if you look great on Halloween night.

4. Don’t forget DIY special effects and decorations

Makeup and decorations can be made inexpensively at home using common ingredients and materials.

This recipe for fake blood just takes cocoa mix, corn syrup, and food coloring to make realistic-looking blood. Colored makeup for a witch or Frankenstein’s monster only requires a simple recipe like this one combining a base with food coloring – which may be safer than store-bought products that might contain harmful chemicals.

Homemade decorations require a little time to make and materials you may have around the house. Want a homemade spider web? This site has six different types made from common items like yarn, cheesecloth, and electrical tape. Or if you just want a cotton web, try cotton balls.

As with costumes, look to recycled materials for decoration possibilities. Instead of tossing out milk jugs, you can transform them into a ghost-lit walkway, and you can use glass jars and some common foods to create spooky eyeballs and fingers.

5. Find a bargain on bulk candy

Sugar candy is often cheaper than chocolate. You can grab a package of 360 Dum Dums from Sam’s Club for about $8. Or compare dollar-store deals. Dollar Tree offers 15 rolls of Smarties for a buck.

If you still choose to go with chocolate, buy the smaller sizes of candy sold in bulk. Walmart sells bags with 95 pieces of Hershey’s Halloween candy for $8.88. Skip the full-size candy bar packs, which go for $10.98 for only 18 pieces.

Don’t just let kids grab a giant handful and run. Spread the love around by giving each trick-or-treater one or two pieces. You don’t have to feel stingy – just remember how many more houses are on your block for kids to fill their candy sacks.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Ask Stacy: What’s the Best Way to Borrow?

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,060 more deals!