Halloween is back and bigger than ever, with 69% of Americans saying they are celebrating the end-of-October observance, which is up from 65% in 2021, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The report also showed total spending on the holiday is expected to reach a record $10.6 billion in 2022, beating last year’s record of $10.1 billion in spending by a wide margin.
We’ll let you in on a secret. Just because someone down the street is going all-out for Halloween doesn’t mean you have to bust your budget by buying new decorations for every nook and cranny of your condo, too. It’s possible to celebrate the spookiest season in style AND on the cheap.
Here are some clever ideas for enjoying October 31 without breaking the bank:
Selecting the treats
Let this be the year you leave the cavity-inducing candy at the store. Instead, you can hand out cute stickers or temporary tattoos of ghouls and goblins to the neighborhood kids. Their parents – and your wallet – will thank you. Online stores such as Orientaltrading.com offer stickers and faux body art in bulk at a big discount. In late September, you could buy 300 1.5-inch classic round Halloween stickers for $7.79. An assortment of 500 temporary tattoos emblazoned with not-so-spooky ghosts and jack-lanterns were priced at $7.49. That means, even if you had 100 visitors drop by, everyone could have between three and five “treats” for less than $10 total. Big box retailers and dollar stores also offer non-edible treats for All Hallow’s Eve, including bulk bags of pencil erasers, colorful bracelets and glow-sticks. The bonus? No one has to worry about a nut allergy and whatever you don’t use can be stored and brought out again next year.
Creating a costume
Before you head out to buy a pre-packaged outfit three other people may be wearing at the party you attend, go online and scroll with a purpose. The internet does not disappoint when it comes to offering up hundreds – okay, maybe thousands – of clever costume ideas that cost little to nothing to assemble with items you already have in your closet. For example, over at Goodhousekeeping.com, there’s a couple’s costume with one person wearing a green T-shirt and the other donning a white top with the word ENVY written across the chest. Get it? They are green with envy. If you can’t find what you need at home, hit up your local thrift stores to assemble a cool look. Often, companies such as Goodwill sell wedding dresses for $10 or less. Grab a pair of sneakers, pull on a thrift-store white gown and you have a classic runaway bride costume.
Decorations to die for
Just because thousands of home improvement stores across the U.S. are stocked with giant Halloween-themed inflatables right now doesn’t mean you need to buy one for your home. You really don’t. There was a time when a simple pumpkin or two was a perfectly acceptable way to mark the season that comes before Thanksgiving. If you feel the need to do more than put out a few carved or painted pumpkins, look through your garage or attic for old decorations to see what you can bring back to life for at least one more year. Need inspiration? Check out the ideas on Oprahdaily.com, where there’s a photo gallery of 75 do-it-yourself decorations to create from items you likely already have. Don’t miss the Halloween village crafted from old bird houses and the spooky candle holders. Over at Jojotastic.com, you’ll find a tutorial on how to create a dark and quirky message for trick-or-treaters for less than $10. You’ll need a light-colored sisal doormat, black paint and a stencil to spell out “Strangers have the best candy” on your welcome mat. We couldn’t agree more!
With reporting by Casandra Andrews