Halloween is a great opportunity to have some inexpensive fun with family, friends, neighbors, schoolmates. Everyone is in a “spirited” mood and ready to party. With some easy planning, it’s simple to celebrate on a shoestring. Halloween is a great holiday for Back to Basic DIY projects. All you need is some time and ingenuity to work with the smallest of budgets.
Here are three things you can do right now:
- Candy Co-op : Get a few family members and friends to go in on a candy co-op. Have each participating family/group buy bulk of one candy type. Then get together and split up the candy so everyone gets a variety. You’ll save a lot and the trick-or-treaters in you neighborhood will be happy! NOTE: When buying bulk, make sure the candy inside is individually wrapped with ingredients on the label for children with food allergies .
- Costume Swap: Get together with friends and family at the beginning of October to swap costumes and props. Everyone saves costumes year to year and yet most kids are never the same thing year after year. This means we all have goods to trade. This is a great way to clear out your closet a bit and get a free costume!
- Progressive/Potluck Party: Share the expense and stress of hosting a party with friends and family, then it won’t be a burden for anyone and everyone can enjoy the day. Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, capitalize! Make Halloween more fun. Entertain inexpensively by planning a progressive, potluck or viewing party (desserts already taken care of!) Outline details of party and decide what type of party works best with your crowd and means (expense, space, time, etc.) Send free electronic invitations the beginning of October.
Replace the “Fear Factor” with the “Fun Factor” – make a plan you can afford, stick to it and have a truly Happy Halloween with these rules :
- Advance planning is key. Time is your friend, last minute desperation your enemy. Wait until last minute and, you’ll pay premium for costumes, décor, baked goods and candy.
- Make a budget and stick to it. Be thorough in your planning and account for the smallest details (candy, costumes, outdoor/indoor decorations, parties (including school parties). If your plans exceed your budget, a little ingenuity and effort goes a long way in reducing your expenses and chances are you’ll be happier with the end result.
- Bake homemade treats in lieu of store bought Halloween cupcakes, cookies, cakes.
- Forgo expensive costumes and props and create your own. Consider it a fun project you and your child can work on together. Bag the store bought costumes and bring back the “old school” costumes (ghost – all you need is a white sheet, wizard & vampire (black underclothes and a cape – fangs or wizards hat and wand), animals such as cats, rabbits, mice, etc. – monochromatic pants and top a homemade tail and headband with ears! If your child’s a dancer, bring out the recital outfit and “retrofit” it for Halloween. Check with your child’s teacher and see if there are any upcoming projects involving costumes. Save yourself 2x the headache, time and expense and plan ahead – let your costume do double duty!
- Forget the costly trick or treat bags and have your child pick out a pillow case for their loot (they fit much more candy than the cute containers).
- Decorate – again think double duty recycling. When decorating the front of your entrance, plan ahead and get a variety of small-medium size pumpkins instead of the standard extra large one. You can then use them inside on a table for your party.
- Décor – black fabric (search your closets and collect black scarves or get a cheap piece of black fabric) to cover tabletop(s), top with an assortment of candles (candelabras set a dramatic mood, a multitude of votives deliver a little “less serious” mood. Pull out your tiny white holiday lights and add some more ambience (the more candles and low lights you have, the more you can dim or eliminate the light). For more drama, drape your black scarves, skirts, etc. over your mirrors (remember vampires are anti-mirror). Change the light bulbs and try colored ones, you will need less in terms of decorations with this dramatic light.