Halloween on a Budget

Halloween on a Budget 19

decorated pumpkins

decorated pumpkins

Everywhere you look lately – it’s all about Halloween.  Now you need to know up front that I don’t make a big deal about Halloween.  I reserve my money and enthusiasm for other holidays.  That’s not to say that we don’t do anything for Halloween – we just don’t go all-out, full-bore like many folks.  That’s why we do Halloween on a budget.

In fact, as far as money spent on a holiday, some would say that Halloween comes in second only to Christmas.  I would say that’s probably about right.  With all the decorations that go up this month, all the kids that get dress up each year to go trick or treating, all the adults that get dressed up to go to parties and events, and all the candy/food bought/consumed for both those activities – you have a hefty price tag each year.  So how do you have fun and still have Halloween on a budget?

There is a great article I came across recently, all about budget-friendly ideas for this time of year.  And here is it:  How To Budget Your Spending This Halloween.

My favorite trick this year?  Shop for a costume at Goodwill!  My youngest daughter is now 11, and right at the age where she isn’t really sure if she’s too old for trick or treating but still wants to dress up in a cool costume.  So we went to the seasonal costume store that springs up around the first of October, and specializes in all things Halloween and spooky.  We went there to get ideas, and she got lots.  But the costume that she picked out (she wanted to be a “Sugar Skull”, whatever that is) was a nifty $50 -$60 dollars.  Mom wasn’t ready to shell that out just yet.  So a few days later we went to our town’s Goodwill.  We went looking for ideas, and again we found lots.  So now youngest daughter will be a “Steam Punk” – my oldest daughter informs me that’s kinda like Charles Dickens meets Punk Rock.  And we found a dress, new tights, and cool boots there for $16.  Score!

Budget Costume from Goodwill

Budget Costume from Goodwill

Another great idea is to use face paint rather than a mask.  There are some hazards with your little one wearing a mask; they are not able to see as well with a mask on their face, blocking their field of vision, and masks can get hot and uncomfortable.  All you need is a little creativity and some paint – here’s some inspiration from Vocalpoint – Face Painting Ideas for Halloween.

And all that candy?  Buy in bulk.  There are lots of places that have the big bags of candy, and you can get treats at a better price.  Budget the amount you want to spend, and stick to that amount.

Here’s a great tip, too – don’t let those little trick or treat-ers stick their hands in the candy bowl.  In other words, YOU be the one to dole out the candy; then you will be better able to control how much is taken and you won’t run out as early.  Sounds mean, I know.  But hey, it’s better than having to turn kids away from your door later because you ran out of candy.  🙂

With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can still have a fun time this Halloween – and not blow up your budget.


A Fresh Start




19 thoughts on “Halloween on a Budget

  • Stacie

    Saw you on the linkup & love the post! Thanks for the best ideas to enjoy Halloween without breaking the bank! The steam punk idea is genius! 🙂

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to stop and comment. Thanks for the kind words. Have a great weekend!

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      Stacie – Thanks for the comment! I love to come up with new ideas, especially when they save me some $$. 🙂

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      Thank you for the comments. And I didn’t do the pumpkins myself, but yes they were carved with a drill. It is something I want to do myself this Halloween with our pumpkins.

  • Lauren

    Love these ideas! Thanks for linking up with us at Mommy Needs a Timeout Thursday. Hope to see you again this week. Party starts at 8pm EST on Wednesday!
    Twin Tested, Pin Approved

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      Thank you so much! Wow, I am honored. 🙂
      I will be checking it out, and thanks again. It’s always nice to have a blog post recognized like the on a link hop; I appreciate the feature very much. 🙂

  • Mrs. AOK

    I agree Halloween doesn’t have to be expensive. I love Halloween, but I also love being frugal or crafty 😉 Goodwill is such a great place to find deals for Halloween. You can find decorations or costumes and make them your own with a little craftiness, or not. In the past I purchased my son a Darth Vader costume at Goodwill that would’ve cost $40 for $10.
    This year I made the kids’ costumes, which wasn’t expensive at all.
    Hope you had a Happy Halloween.
    Thanks for sharing via Mommy Monday!

  • Reuven

    This is a great post and we’re glad to have found you through the #trafficjamweekend blog hop. Tips on saving money are always appreciated but they’re especially helpful when children want to join in activities and don’t want to be embarrassed by falling short of what their friends are doing. Your suggestions make it possible to do both: have great fun and watch the budget, too. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

  • WebMDiva

    I so love the idea of drilling holes in the pumpkins. It looks so great and how much easier could you get?

    Your daughter’s Halloween costume is precious! I love Goodwill. It’s amazing what you can find for such a cheap price. Dropping by from Turn It Up Tuesday. Following you via BlogLovin, Pinterest, & Twitter.

  • Kat @anaussieinsf

    Haha, that’s an awesome way to describe steam punk. Nice work! This is my second Halloween ever, and I’m using a dress that I already own and making my accessories to go with it. I’m going to be Ms Frizzle from the Magic School Bus books.

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      I love Ms. Frizzle! My daughters and I used to watch the Magic School Bus all the time! What a great idea for a costume. I need to remember that idea for future Halloweens. I bet that’s a fun costume to create, and a great one for creating on a budget. Way to go! I’d love to see a picture of it. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love hearing about how other people are making their Halloween special and economical.

    • jmerrell81@gmail.com Post author

      Great idea! I love Ms. Frizzle. My daughters and I used to watch Magic School Bus all the time. And I bet that is a fun costume to put together on a budget. I would love to see a photo when it’s finished. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love to hear how other people are making their Halloween special and economical. 🙂

Comments are closed.