Cutting Edge: Halloween

Taking the fright out of fun festivities

carved_pumpkinsAlong with the ghosts, goblins, and your neighbor’s makeshift graveyard, the cost of celebrating Halloween can be scary. This year, Americans will spend $5.77 billion for the occasion, according to the National Retail Federation. Additionally more than 64% of people are expected to dress up, trick or treat, and distribute candy this year, compared with 59% last year. Before you don this season’s most ghastly attire, learn how you can take the fright out of Halloween shopping.

Try thrift stores, dollar stores, and flea markets. These bargain depots are virtual treasure troves of inexpensive vintage clothes and cheap decorations. Instead of purchasing a costume from a traditional novelty store, try piecing one together. You can also buy old items for decorations. Add Halloween flair with cobwebs from a dollar store or even dirt and leaves from your own yard.

Swap costumes. If Junior has his heart set on being Batman this year, try scoping out his suit at Halloween costume exchange online. Preschoolrock.com allows visitors to exchange their old costumes.

Wait until the last minute. This is the only time you should wait to shop. “The evening of Oct. 31st is a great way to get candy really cheap,” says Ellen Davis, spokesperson for the National Retail Association. “It’s possible a lot of retailers will activate next-day prices in the evening,” she adds.

Cut the chocolate. Sure, kids love big-name chocolate bars, but if you’re shopping at BJ’s, Costco, or other warehouses, those boxes of Snickers can set you back a pretty penny, even wholesale. Opt for bubble gum-stuffed lollipops instead; they’re usually cheaper than chocolate and come in more bulk. The kids will be just as happy.

Come back next Wednesday for more cost cutting tips, and check out the Cutting Edge blog for more on maximizing your dollar this Halloween. Plus, share your own tips.

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