Halloween is just around the corner. When the kids come to trick or treat, perhaps the real horror is how much money you’ve spent on their sweets!
Though it’s not the most expensive annual event, Halloween can still hit your bank balance. This is especially true if you have many children that want costumes, parties, and fun. Here are a few ways to save money this Halloween:
Save money on Halloween costumes
Charity shop costumes
Whether you create your own costume, or you want one that is ready-made, the charity shop is a great place to start your search.
You will find plenty of unusual items of clothing and accessories that you can use to make a costume from scratch. These are often things that you would not find in your local supermarket.
People often buy Halloween costumes, wear them once and then dispose of them. This means you could find ready-to-go costumes, in great condition, for a fraction of their original price.
Visit Quidco online
This year, Quidco is the place to go for Halloween costume deals.
Spend at least £10 on a Halloween costume from George at Asda, and receive £15 Quidco cashback.
Your little one’s costume could be completely free of charge.
Prices start from £7. These prices are already great for your bank balance, but you will want to look for slightly higher prices to take advantage of Quidco’s offer.
Costumes that you over the £10 minimum spend limit include:
- a glow-in-the-dark skeleton
- zombie (with sound effects)
- and a swashbuckling pirate girl.
Avoid expensive face paint
Cheap face paints do not work particularly well. Expensive face paints can really increase the price of your Halloween costume.
As an alternative, use non-toxic white poster paint. This does not cost much from a supermarket. It should be mixed with liquid soap, to create a smooth paste you can apply to the skin and will wash off as easily as face paint.
Avoid expensive carrying containers
If you are going out to trick or treat, do not spend money on pumpkin-shaped buckets and fancy novelty containers.
A sandcastle bucket is good enough, and you are almost certain to already have one.
If you do not have any buckets, then you can use an old pillow case or even a reusable shopping bag.
Save money on Halloween activities
Carve a pepper
Carving a pumpkin is a Halloween tradition. Unfortunately, children cannot do this on their own.
Pumpkin carving can be time-consuming. It gets boring for younger kids.
Pumpkins are not particularly expensive – supermarkets sell small ones for 50p – but peppers are even cheaper!
You can carve a pepper more easily than you can carve a pumpkin. Smaller children will love this activity.
Make your own Halloween decorations
Making your own decorations is a great way to save money. It will also keep the children happy and away from more expensive activities.
Instead of buying cobweb decorations, did you know that you can buy cotton wool and stretch it? This is an easy activity for all ages and results in stringy cobwebs that you can drape over your furniture at home.
Cut eye holes into a toilet roll tube and put a glow stick into the middle. When it goes dark, this simple creation leads to glowing eyes that you can display indoors or outdoors. If the children want to get involved, ask them to add a monster face with paint or felt tip pens.
Cheap Halloween party games
Apple bobbing is perhaps the most popular Halloween party game. It is also one of the cheapest. Fill a large container with water, then throw in some apples for people to bob for.
Large containers do not have to cost a lot. You might already have a plastic trug in the house, used for toy storage. If not, they cost less than £5 from Homebase and can be repurposed once Halloween is over.
Bags of apples can go a long way. Here are two other party games that use this low-cost fruit:
Ask participants to stand in a line, fists clenched. Give the person at the front of the line an apple, which they must hold without opening their hands. They need to pass this apple onto the person behind them, without dropping it. When it reaches the back of the line, the last person can bring it to the front and start the process again.
Set out a small selection of cheap sweets, or even pieces of cereal, and a bowl of icing. Give each child an apple on a stick, which has been dipped in melted chocolate and left to set. Start a timer, then the children must race to create a monster face by adding decorations to their apple. At the end, provide a prize for the best monster creation.
Host a Halloween movie night
Instead of organising an action-packed party, why not host a Halloween movie night?
Make some popcorn, find a few family-friendly Halloween movies and invite everyone around for the evening. After the kids have gone to bed, you can put on a more serious horror film and relax with your favourite drink.
Go out and celebrate
Hosting Halloween celebrations at home can be stressful. Instead, why not see what is happening in your local area?
On Skiddle, you can view Halloween events in locations all over the UK. You can search for family-friendly events if that is what you need. Or you can find Halloween club nights for a horror-themed night out.
Many events are cheap, or completely free of charge.
Save money on Halloween food
Use your pumpkin
If you are carving pumpkins, do not waste the flesh from inside. It can be used to make pumpkin soup, which is a hearty meal to enjoy the next day.
You can roast the pumpkin seeds separately, too.
Use your pumpkin to make the perfect Halloween supper, so that you do not need to prepare a separate meal.
Do not overspend on trick or treat goodies
You can never know how many people will knock on your door. It is easy to overspend, buying far too many sweets.
Nobody wants to run out of Halloween goodies.
Unfortunately, those goodies cost money. If you buy too many, you are spending cash that you do not need to spend.
Do not be afraid to turn off your lights and lock up. Many households do not open their doors at all to the neighbourhood children. It is fine to run out of sweets, so it is not necessary to fill whole cupboards with them.
Or, if you take a chocolate biscuit to work in your lunch box each day, buy those instead of other expensive Halloween treats. If you have bought too many, at least the leftovers will be useful.
Avoid bitesize bars and Halloween mini bags
Bitesize chocolate bars and multipacks are the perfect size for Halloween. They also cost a lot for what you are getting.
You might need to buy quite a few bags. The cost can quickly mount up.
It is best to buy individually wrapped Halloween treats, for hygiene purposes. Yet these do not need to be expensive mini bags in multipacks.
Wrapped supermarket own-brand chocolate biscuits can be much cheaper. Even their large own-brand chocolate bars are cheaper than branded multipacks.
Host a BYO Halloween party
Bring Your Own, Pot Luck or Jacob’s Join. Whatever you call it, this type of party can save you a small fortune on catering.
Invite friends and relatives over to your house. Ask them each to bring one or two food items. When everyone contributes, the party food costs are spread.
Save money this Halloween
People in the UK do not celebrate Halloween on the same scale as those in the US. This means that you do not need to go overboard like you might feel tempted to at Christmas.
A small Halloween celebration is all that most people expect. You do not need to host a party. You could save money by going out to an organised event, or staying in and watching a scary movie.
If you are not keen on allowing your children to roam the streets in costume, why not hide a few bags of sweets in your house for everyone to find? A treasure hunt can take just as long but will put your mind at ease.
Most children are taught to avoid houses that do not have decorations when they are out in search of candy. If you do not want to get involved, skip the pumpkins and skeletons. A house without decoration is one that most children will leave alone.
How do you celebrate Halloween? What are your best tips, tricks, and treats for saving money, on what could otherwise become a ghoulishly expensive celebration?