The National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending survey is out, and it is showing that more people than ever will be celebrating Halloween this year. Spending per person on costumes, decorations and candy is supposed to average $80 each!
So, the family of 4 will be spending $240 on Halloween. Do you plan to spend that much? I don’t. Of course, we don’t get many trick or treaters and we don’t dress up. We do decorate the yard, but our decorations are purchased once and used many times.
How to spend less than $80 per person on Halloween.
Make your own costume, or buy one from a thrift store or arrange a costume exchange party with co-workers, church members or school classmates.
Don’t give out expensive candy – buy in bulk and avoid chocolate. Also, you hand out the pieces instead of letting the kids dive in and take what they want.
Decorate with nature. Pumpkins are cheap this year. Buy several and combine them with corn stalks or grasses in arrangements around the yard. My Walmart has huge ones for around $3.50 per pumpkin. An added benefit of decorating with pumpkins is that you can process and freeze them to use in pies and breads.
Decorate with stuff you have laying around. Make a ghost by stuffing a few t-shirts in the middle of a sheet and tying a chord around them – then hang it in a tree outside. Make a grave yard with stiff cardboard cut to gravestone shapes and stapled to a wooden garden stake and painted with white paint.
Make your own spooky party props. For a kids party, lay pillows haphazardly on the hall floor and cover them with a rug or sheet, as part of your ‘haunted house’.
Turn down the lights and lead the kids through the hall, while playing spooky music, to a room where you sit by candlelight and pass around body parts while telling a story.
For the brain, use a squishy tomato, for the eyeballs, use two peeled grapes, for the hair, use dried corn silk (from fresh corn cobs), for the blood, use ketsup thinned a bit with warm water, for a detached hand, fill a plastic glove with mud, for an ear, use a dried apricot and etc.
A bit of nostalgia.
In times gone by, the trick or treaters in my old neighborhood had to DO a trick (tell a joke, sing a song, do a dance and etc) to get the treat! Treats were homemade – cookies, popcorn balls, candy apples and the like. Trick or treat activity was confined to your own neighborhood. Most kids made their own costumes – so there were lots of ghosts, gypsies and the like because those were easy to make costumes.