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Halloween On A Budget

By Edited Oct 13, 2016 1 4

trick or treater


A recent news report[893] stated that Americans will be spending $1 billion dollars in 2011 on Halloween.  Who are these Americans?  And how can one night be so expensive?  With the current state of our economy it’s hard to believe many people will be spending their hard-to-come-by dollars on Halloween costumes, candy, and decorations.  Even if you’re cutting back this year, that doesn’t mean kids can’t have fun.  Tell the little ones to cheer up because although you may not be a member of that billion-dollar club, you can still create a memorable celebration for your kids and yourself with the many opportunities online and off that offer free and discounted products.

Homemade Costumes

Some kids balk at the idea of a Homemade costume.  They think it has to be unsophisticated and look homemade.  You'll see proof that will say that's not always the case on the sites listed below.  Browse through them for inspiration.


Umbrellas transformed into bat wings, and ski gloves that make an inventive and hilarious moose head, are just some of the wild things in the collection of nine costumes you’ll find at Inventorspot.com.  These fun get-ups were put together with pure imagination and a quick search through closets and garages.  Beat up stuffed animals?  CD disks?  Everything has value when it can contribute to a costume.


Alligators, human cupcakes and 98 other costumes are pictured on the dailygreen.com.  You won’t find store bought items here.  From comical to horrifying, people show off their knack for recycling objects to create some fun costumes.  This is a great source for ideas.


Still haven’t come up with a costume?  Visit this site for a whopping 200 free Halloween costume ideas for kids and grownups.  Thumbnail mages appear on the page so you can scroll quickly through to view them.  Some require sewing while others are made using cardboard and glue.  You’ll find a great variety for all ages.

Drastic Costume Discounts

There are few times that shopping at the last minute pays off, but this is one of them.  With only days left until Halloween, check out stores for huge savings.  That vampire costume that was so expensive will cost a fraction of the price the closer you get to the bewitching hour.  This is not only true for dedicated costume shops but also for stores like Rite-Aid and CVS.

Costume Swap

Did you know October 8th is national Costume Swap Day?  While it may be too late to participate this year, keep this annual event in mind for the future.  It’s a community affair that features donated costumes for all ages.  Bring a costume, get a costume.  It’s an excellent way to recycle.  Often times thrift stores and consignment shops are involved.  Maybe next year you can organize one in your community.  Get all the information you need at Green Halloween Costume Swap

Halloween Decorations

11 Easy Halloween Craft Ideas 


This eBook is full of wonderful budget-friendly ideas that are fast and easy to make.  Check out the funny milk jug ghosts lined up at the front door.  If you have a set of Christmas lights or tea lights and a marker, you’re ready to create your own outdoor Halloween décor.  If you’re more into scary than funny, you’ll find spiders and more.  This book includes something for every taste like a gorgeous, paper table centerpiece.  Just download the book’s pdf.  It’s free!


The collection of Halloween decorations is endless at Allcrafts and none of them will put a dent in your budget.  Pipe cleaners wrapped in cotton make the coolest mummies with positionable limbs. 


Simple black balloons can fill your nest with spooky spiders.   You'll be amazed by what can be created with simple household items.

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Stencils And More



Get the kids involved and have them cut out Halloween cat stencils.  From scary to cute, this site offers free downloads.  Some may be too involved for little ones but there are some simple images too, just right for smaller hands.  Stencils can be used for pumpkin carving and paper crafts.


Among the many Halloween goodies you'll find at this site, the free pumpkin carving stencils and templates come in a variety of themes.  Disney characters, traditional jack-o-lantern faces, and even a Volkswagen logo round out the selection on this web page.


This is a cool site with many Halloween stencils.  But beyond the large stencil collection, you can learn how to paint a pumpkin, how to cut a stencil, how to make fake blood, and how to paint a zombie face in addition to other face painting tips. 


Celebrate Halloween with Hershey’s, the same people who bring you Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  Their site offers free stencils arranged in order from “easy”, “intermediate” to “advanced”.   These are not run-of-the-mill stencils but especially good images.  At the website you can also find crafts, coloring pages, wallpapers, clip art and instructions for “booing”.  This entails leaving a Hershey’s goodie bag for a neighbor, ringing the doorbell, and running off.  The bag includes a sign which you download from the site saying “You’ve Been Booed”. The idea is for the recipient to do what you did at another neighbor’s door, eventually involving the entire neighborhood, and selling a lot of Hershey’s products.  How clever they are! 

Halloween Games


Kids love Halloween theme games and this site has something for everyone.  Online coloring pages, jigsaw puzzles, Halloween music and games will keep kids busy while they’re anticipating trick-or-treating.  You’ll even find clipart and desktop wallpaper.  There’s lots more entertainment in the Kidszpage Fun Room where you’ll find Pumpkin Dress-up, a sort of Mr. Potato Head activity only with a pumpkin.  Just drag and drop to change the pumpkin’s appearance. 


Free educational games, crafts, interactive e-books and more.   Kids and their parents can explore holiday activities that engage kids and help them learn about many subjects.  In games like The Typing of the Ghosts, skill is also involved.  Spooky ghosts materialize with a word printed on them.  The player must type in that word to get rid of the ghost.  But more and more ghosts appear and the pace speeds up.  Great fun, even for adults!


Do you have all the details about the upcoming Wonka Candy Exchange on November 1?  Kids have to be 13 years or older in order to participate in this candy swap.  If they have a favorite Wonka candy like NERDS®, LAFFY TAFFY® and SWEETARTS®, they can trade in their unwanted Halloween candy in exchange and receive as many as 32 pieces of the Wonka favorites.  Before and after school hours have been set up in select cities across the nation for this rare opportunity.  Willy Wonka Wants Your Unwanted Halloween Candy so read the entire article and see if there is a participating  “It’s Sugar” candy store in your area.



Oct 27, 2011 8:17pm
Great ideas for a budget Halloween. I always think of Halloween as one of those holidays when we should keep our costs as low as possible. You'll help many people achieve that goal!
Oct 28, 2011 11:45am
Thanks Deb! I've always enjoyed handcrafting decorations and costumes which makes Halloween very affordable.
Jan 12, 2012 5:37pm
Yes, there is a ton of great information here on Halloween resources here. I especially like your mention of Halloween craft ideas and games. How fun! I bet these same sites cited in your article above also have some other terrific seasonal and holiday advice too.
Jan 14, 2012 6:49pm
Thanks for taking the time to reply!
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  1. Deborah NetBurn "A New Trick: Used Costumes." Los Angeles Times. 22/10/2011.
  2. "Willy Wonka Wants Your Halloween Candy." CSPnet.com. 27/10/2011 <Web >

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