Halloween is the one night when you can dress as whomever you want, host spooky parties, and eat your favorite candy without feeling the least bit guilty. It’s full of fright, festivities, and just plain fun!

But here’s the thing—because Halloween isn’t planned for as much as we would Christmas, it’s easy to grab items last minute without thinking about the price.

For instance, a firefighter costume can cost upwards of $40, even $50 off the rack, while big bags of candy can ring in at $15-$20. It’s crazy! But with a little thought and creativity, you can use these tried-and-true Halloween hacks to keep more money in your wallet.

1. Get Creative with Costumes

Just because your daughter wants to be a Disney princess, doesn’t mean you have to buy a brand new costume. Find a dress that’s similar from the thrift store, and add embellishments to make it unique. You might even find a gently used version that doesn’t need any work at all!

You can also use clothing you already have, and dress it up to fit whatever character your child wants. A cowgirl is easily created with a plaid shirt, belt, jeans, and braided pigtails, while a black shirt and pants can be wrapped in toilet paper for a cute little mummy.

Another fun idea is to swap costumes with another family. Even though the costume has been worn before, it’s still new to you!

2. Be Cautious with Candy

Candy goes quickly when you have dozens of trick-or-treaters knocking at your door. Look for sales using your Flipp app, and focus on bags of assorted candies rather than brand specific ones.

A warehouse club like Sam’s or Costco will also have a big selection of candy for a bulk discount. Stock up now so you don’t have to run to the store last minute. You’re more likely to score a sale if you plan ahead!

TIP: Non-chocolate candy tends to be less expensive. It’s true!

3. Find a Festival in Your Community

If your budget is small this year, get out of the house and find a free community festival during Halloween. Many churches offer bounce houses, free food, and other fun games {and of course, candy!} for kiddos of all ages.

Just check the newspaper or your city’s website to find a community calendar. You not only save on buying candy for your own neighborhood, the entire family gets to experience an evening of fun.

4. Shop Smarter for Halloween Décor

If you don’t have time to get crafty with Halloween décor, a visit to the dollar store, party supply store, or discount overstock store will have the best deal on pre-made items.

Give yourself a budget of $10-$20, and accept the challenge of how many items you can put together for that amount. Don’t forget to stop by again after the holiday. Many items will be 50% off or more and you can stash those decorations away for next year!

Halloween doesn’t have to be any less fun, simply because you budgeted for it. In fact, I find holidays even more rewarding when you can celebrate for less. There’s room for a lot more imagination and creativity!


Kalyn Brooke is a writer and blogger living in Southwest Florida. She runs the popular lifestyle site, Creative Savings Blog, which inspires women to better manage their time, home, and budget.