If you’re feeling the pinch of the slow economy but you still want your family’s Halloween to be filled with jack–o–lanterns, costumes, and frightful decorations, you’re not alone. Ghosts and goblins are as fun as ever and October is a time when "Trick-or-Treaters" of all ages open their wallets to spend.
Halloween purchases can really add up. According to an online study Visa conducted in 2009, parents plan on spending an average of $67 this year on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations. Other key findings:
- Parents under 35 years old believe they will spend an average of $72 compared to $65 for those between 35 and 54 years old.
- Parents in the East estimate their spending will be $75, while parents in the South, West and Midwest expect to spend less—$67, $65 and $63, respectively.
- Parents married within the past 10 years plan on spending $76—$15 more than parents married over 10 years.
|To learn more on how Americans spend during Halloween, view the video.|
|Or download the Halloween Spending Survey 2009 results.|
Whether you’re hosting a big party or going to someone else’s event, keep these tips in mind to make a big impression without spending big bucks.
- Plan Ahead. Make sure you have all of the costume materials, decorations and candy that you need on Halloween day to avoid last–minute splurges.
- Make a budget and stick to it. Like any holiday, there is the temptation to overspend during Halloween. You can set a realistic budget for your family in advance using our Entertainment Planner calculator.
- Reuse decorations. If you keep decorations in good condition, they can often last you for years to come.
- Get creative. Want to have the scariest looking house in your neighborhood? Get your kids or friends involved in making decorations, so you don’t break the bank making the house look frightful. Construction paper, pens and a little imagination can go a long way.
- Get together. To help defer some of your holiday costs, plan a party with friends and family so you can share the burden (and the fun!) of hosting a neighborhood bash.
- Shop clearance sales for next year. Enjoy significant savings on costumes and decorations by shopping just after Halloween this year for supplies you can use next year.
- Be safe. Everyone wants to have fun on Halloween, so when hosting an event, remember to keep the environment safe for children and parents alike.
Whether you’re outfitting yourself or helping to dress up your kids, you don’t have to break the bank to have a ghoulishly good costume this Halloween. Here are a few time–tested tricks for saving yourself big:
Skip the store. Seasonal Halloween stores can be tempting, but purchases there tend to really add up. Instead of visiting a specialty store to shop for your entire costume, get your costume elsewhere first and visit seasonal stores for accessories only.
Be thrifty. Cruise the thrift stores to look for accessories or your entire costume. Whether its Alice in Wonderland or Harry Potter, you can often find what you need at a second-hand store. The price tag is likely to be less than $10 compared to $70 for a costume purchased at a specialty store.
Swap with friends. Kids don’t typically wear the same costume year after year. Consider getting together with neighbors who have kids the same age as yours and swap costumes from previous years. As it happens, swapping isn’t just for kids. Planning to dress up as a popular celebrity? Raid your friends’ closets for the perfect accessories.
Jump online. If you are set on the idea of getting a complete costume online, check out eBay’s Halloween store or other discount sites. The kids’ clothing swap site, thredUP, and the Freecycle website are other good online options for cost-conscious costumes this Halloween.
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