It’s the month we create a Halloween budget. It’s amazing what some families actually spend on this holiday. But you can use these scary situations to gain some tips for making this holiday less scary.

Halloween Budget

The National Retail Federation estimates that 158 million people will celebrate Halloween this year, down from 170 million in 2012. Likewise, spending on the spooky holiday will decrease from $79.82 per person from last year to $75.03 on décor, costumes, candy and more. Since consumers are clearly trying to cut spending, the consumer savings team at has the solutions to all of your Halloween situations to make the holiday less of a fright!

Scary Situation #1: Costumes for the family

  • ·         Get creative: Before purchasing a costume, come up with ideas that you can make out of items you already own. You can also find inspiration for homemade costumes on sites like
  • ·         Crack the code: Go to or where you’ll find Halloween sections with promotional codes for 15, 30 and 40 percent off Halloween costumes and accessories from sites like, Spirit Halloween,Costume Express and more.
  • ·         Buddy up for savings: Sometimes going in on online costume purchases with a friend or family member can mean savings. Purchasing more may qualify you for a better value promotional code, like $30 off a $100 purchase. Here, teaming up allows each person to stock up for Halloween while staying on-budget.

Scary Situation #2: Hosting a party

  • ·         Thrift it out: Many local thrift stores have special fall/Halloween sections where you can find scary décor at low prices. You just might find the perfect addition to your table centerpieces!
  • ·         Get crafty: Craft stores have do-it-yourself projects that are both easy and enjoyable—and many offer deep discounts on supplies during Halloween. Focus your energy on a few small projects that will impress your guests: like making your own cobwebs using pillow filling, switching out light bulbs with funky colors for special effects and creating freaky centerpieces using a mix of pumpkins, spiders and skulls of your choice.
  • ·         Think next year now: Buy next year’s costume or party décor after Halloween. Retailers begin slashing prices November 1 to clear the shelves for the winter holiday shopping season, so you can score up to 80 percent savings just by thinking ahead for next year.

Scary Situation #3: Buying candy for Trick-or-Treaters

  • ·         Open when necessary: Forget the idea that you need to have a full bowl every time the doorbell rings. Opening bags only when necessary and handing the candy out yourself can mean using less candy, which means you may be able to return unused bags after the night is over.  
  • ·         Avoid candy hoarding: Don’t find yourself clearing out the candy section the night before Halloween. Throughout the month, use your frequent member program on everyday purchases like toiletries and household supplies, toward small quantity candy purchases at CVS, Rite Aid or Walgreens.
  • ·         Recycle from early trick-or-treat runs: Many families who go out earlier in the night should feel free to use extra unopened candy from their trip for trick-or-treaters who show up at the door later in the evening.
    Candice Cerro is a Consumer Savings Expert at
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