I once read an article that stated Halloween is second only to Christmas in the amount of money that people spend on a holiday. That's pretty amazing, but it makes sense when you account for the cost of candy, costumes, parties and decorations.

I admit, I have gone all out in year's past to create a Happy Halloween for my kids. One year, I purchased Styrofoam and created a front yard full of tombstones, complete with creepy red lighting. However, this year I'm taking a more frugal approach to the holiday, and with expenses being what they are in this economy, you might be considering the same thing. Here are a few measures I have taken this year to create a fun, yet frugal Halloween:

1. Cheaper candy. Sorry Trick-or-Treaters, but this year the candy is coming straight from the Dollar Tree. A few bags of $1 candy should be plenty for the kids that come knocking on my door this year. No premium candy bars this year.

2. Decorations. This year, we hung a few hand-made ghosts from the tree in our front yard. No special lighting. Besides, the leaves are starting to turn color, and the natural fall colors look great.

3. Costumes. My son bought his costume early this year, from a discount store. He's dressing as a ninja, and I think his costume cost $15. I am making my own costume. I'm dressing as Vince the Shamwow Guy. I got the polo shirt from the thrift store, I'm drawing the ShamWow logo on the shirt, and I got a spare headset from work.

4. Parties. Lots of churches in our area have "Harvest Festivals" as alternatives to Halloween. The community center in our town also has a trick-or-treating alternative for the kids, free of charge.

5. Movies. At my house, we watch scary movies each Halloween. That used to mean renting them, but this year we are watching whatever is on cable, no extra charge.

What about you? Are you cutting back on the holidays this year? What frugal things will you do this Halloween. Please share!


  1. Chris // October 31, 2008 at 2:55 PM  

    My daughter's autumn sprite/fairy costume cost $3, courtesy of Deseret Industries thrift shop. I bought cheap candy, but not from the dollar store. I do hope you made sure the candy you bought was not made in China. I wouldn't personally want to risk poisoning the neighborhood kiddos just to save a couple of bucks.

  2. SavvyFrugality // October 31, 2008 at 3:26 PM  

    Hi Chris,

    Nope, the candy I bought was made in the good ol' USA, and it is actually name brand, just on sale at the dollar store. The tainted candy in question was marketed in Canada, not the U.S.

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