Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Poor Folks Guide To Halloween

The scariest part of Halloween shouldn't be the price tag. Americans spend a total of $6.8 billion dollars on the spooky holiday each year, averaging $72.32 per person, according to a report from From the costumes, to the parties and accessories, Halloween doesn't have to clear out your wallet. These tips will help your wallet stay in shape this ghoulish season!

Entertaining? Try a BYOP Party!

Pumpkins are a perfect party gourd, and a gift that keeps on giving. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the tradition of scooping out pumpkin guts and carving all sorts of creative faces on those shiny orange surfaces. Pumpkins cost an average of $5 to $10 a piece, so each guest can tailor their Jack-O-Lantern to their pumpkin preference. In addition to providing hours of memorable carving entertainment, pumpkin seeds can also be harvested for a delicious, healthy snack. All you need to do is gather the seeds, rinse them off, pour on some melted butter, sprinkle some salt, and bake on 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Voila, now you have activity and a snack, a snack-tivity party!

Early Online Discounts

Halloween is the first major holiday in the back to school season, generating buzz amongst the kids months in advance. Many complex children costumes are difficult to find in stores, and unlike shopping for daily school clothes, costumes generally come in one-size-fits-all styles, making online shopping an ideal way to browse for the perfect discount fairy costume, or compare snazzy pirate costumes. Online costume retailers frequently offer discounts for those who think ahead and buy costumes before October starts, so it's the perfect time to take advantage of the back to school Halloween buzz and hop onto a great costume website.

Thrifty Costume Shopping

Costumes are fun for the whole family, but when everybody wants to choose a unique and/or complicated costume, once-full wallets can quickly turn into ghost towns. In lieu of splurging for a brand new costume, try your local thrift store. Thrift stores can be gold mines for Halloween shopping. They're generally overflowing with costumes and accessories that have barely been used.

Trim Down Trick or Treats

To save on dentist bills and cut down on added pounds later on, instead of handing out candy to tricker treaters, try handing out stickers or plastic novelty rings, or some other little creative trinket that can be bought in bulk. Candy only lasts as long as you can hold off eating it, but stickers can be placed in a scrapbook or on a keepsake that can last all in a lifetime.

Creative Decorating

With a few simple tips, you can make your happy home look showroom chic without a showroom bill. Do-it-yourself projects have been making headlines as crafty people all around the country share their tips of the trade. Halloween d├ęcor is no different. This year, instead of spending a fortune on a cornucopia centerpiece, pick up a basket of small gourds at your local farmer's market (where they are generally locally grown and less expensive). Take your new array of glorious gourds and arrange them in overturned straw hats, unused grocery bushel baskets, or even a gravy bowl for some unique seasonal pizzazz.

Guest post submitted by Austin Gaines, austing(at)

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