Ways to Save Money on Halloween

Ways to Save Money on Halloween
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Prior to Thanksgiving, the one occasion that a lot of people look forward to is Halloween. Kids await it for all the candies that they will get once they go trick-or-treating. Adults can’t wait to get into costume so that they can accompany their kids, or attend either wholesome or more grown-up themed Halloween parties.

Whether it’s the candies or the costume parties that you are most looking forward to, its being a national holiday will cause you to take some money out of your pocket for the celebrations.

Parents in particular who go all-out with their Halloween celebrations might just find themselves spending too much on pumpkin buying, candy shopping, decorating and costume-buying. Halloween may be a fun holiday, but it does not mean that you have to burn a hole in your pocket just to celebrate the occasion.

Here, we have put together a list of the things that you can do in order to save money on Halloween – starting from the décor to the costumes, all the way to the candy for trick-or-treaters and food for the party goers if you are hosting an event.

Ways to Save Money on Halloween

As you may already know, Halloween is celebrated every 31st of October in most countries. It’s a Western Christian feast for All Hallow’s Day and the other names for the occasion are All Saint’s Eve or All Hallows’ Eve.

Next to the Halloween costume parties, trick-or-treating is one of the most popular parts of the celebration.

For this, kids go from one house to another in costume as they ask for candy or sometimes money as treats. The question asked is “Trick or treat” and the assumption is that the homeowner would not want the kids to perform mischief on their property, so they’d rather dole out treats. Mumming and souling are said to be the roots of trick-or-treating.

Now, if you are in the middle of your Halloween preparations, your goal should be to have fun during the celebrations – but without spending a lot of money. Remember that Halloween signals the start of the holiday season and with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day also looming, you don’t want to use up all your resources on buying candy for Halloween.

Check out the numerous ways by which you can save money on Halloween, starting from decorating your home with spooky items to buying candy treats for the kids who will go trick-or-treating.


  • You’d want your home, storefront or office to look spooky, so what can you do about the Halloween décor? There are plenty of items that you already have at home which you can use to decorate so you don’t have to spend a single cent.

    For instance, you can use an old pair of jeans and t-shirt which you can stuff with scrap paper or leaves. Put it up to make it look like a scarecrow, or use a scary mask as the head. Cobwebs can be made out of cotton or white string, then you can use craft paper to make spiders or bats.

    If you have no idea how to start, go online and look for a video or step-by-step instructions.

  • If you’re not into crafts but you would like to deck out your front yard with spooky décor for the Halloween season, buy your supplies from online or brick-and-mortar party stores. Dollar stores, art supply stores and crafts stores also have cheaper items that you can use as Halloween décor. The key is to not rush through the process of decorating for the holiday so that you can compare prices and gather supplies once you are able to buy them cheap.
  • You can also check out the online vouchers or discounts offered by both online and physical stores to save money when buying Halloween decorations.
  • If you would like to decorate your home using pumpkins, waiting until the 30th of October might give you great deals. Pumpkins are prone to rot if you buy them too early, anyway, so visit the stores just when they are clearing out their inventory before the post-Halloween rush and price drop. You can also use those pumpkins for your Thanksgiving decoration to save even more money.

Halloween Costumes

  • One of the most fun parts of Halloween as a holiday is dressing up in costumes – whether it’s for adults or kids. When attending a party, you don’t want to be caught wearing the same costume as another person so it pays to focus more on originality instead of the cost.

    When you buy ready-to-wear costumes from stores, you will most likely end up looking exactly the same as another partygoer. So be creative and resourceful in order for you to come up with unique Halloween costume ideas that you can make using the stuff that you already have at home.

  • For kids’ Halloween costumes, a nifty trick that will help you save money is to head up to the ‘dress-up costumes’ section instead of the one branded specifically for the holiday. A princess costume under the Halloween aisle, for example, can easily set you back $50. But when you buy it from a toy store or the dress-up costume section of a supermarket aisle, you can easily save anywhere from $10 to $30.
  • It’s also a good idea to skip the masks, especially for young kids, because they can be a health hazard. Safe Kids Worldwide is an agency that warns against the use of masks, because they can obstruct the vision and breathing of kids. Instead of masks, use water-based face paint or make-up so you can get the effect that you want to match your kid’s costume.

Candy for Trick-or-Treaters & Party Food

  • According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spend more than $7 billion annually on Halloween decorations, costumes, and candy. A huge part of this money goes towards buying candy and other treats for the kids during Halloween. How can you save money on this aspect of Halloween celebrations without feeling like a Scrooge?
  • The most common way to save money on Halloween candy is to purchase the supplies from a warehouse club. Shop with another parent and buy candies in bulk. You can purchase a few bags of assorted candies, or look for regular-sized candy bars at discounted prices if you would like to put a huge smile on the face of little trick-or-treaters.
  • Your son or daughter can’t eat a bucketful of candy, so why not give their teeth a break from the sweets by giving out non-candy treats? You can distribute stickers, small toys or school supplies like pencil or a box of crayons. The kids who will receive your gift would have a blast at the novelty of your non-candy surprise.
  • To cut back on the cost of candy even more, check out the coupons and discount vouchers offered by manufacturers. Some of these are better than bulk rates, and gives you more options in terms of variety. If you end up buying too much candy, you can actually return the unopened bags to the store for a refund – so make sure to keep the receipt.

    It’s also a good idea to check on the weather because rainy or cold evenings will cut down the number of kids knocking at your door for treats. You can also have a pre-set time of when you’ll turn out the lights – or simply do it when you’re out of candy.

  • If you are hosting a Halloween party, there is no need to go all-out in the food department. It’s more fun to serve finger foods which are decorated or designed to look like scary things. Mummy dogs, floating eyeballs which you can serve as ice with drinks, cookies decorated with spider webs – these will make your Halloween party look more fun without your having to spend too much.
  • Another money-saving tip when organizing a Halloween party is to have those costumed guests bring their own share of the food to be served. A potluck dinner is fair to all parties concerned because there will be no one person to handle all the expenses. You can also have guests bring their own pumpkins to carve if you are holding a pre-Halloween party. For the kids, there are plenty of games and activities that you can organize including donut-eating or hotdog-eating contests.

To sum it all up, saving money during Halloween is all about using the items that you already have at home – be it for food to serve at the party, costumes or décor. For the Halloween treats, buying in bulk and using coupons will save you a lot of money. For the costumes, taking the do-it-yourself route is the best way to go.

You can even go online to watch YouTube tutorials on how to make your own costume, décor, or scary-looking yet edible treats. The celebration for Halloween is all about having fun, and the good news is that you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy the holiday.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • A potluck party is a great idea. I wish I had planned one this year. I try to save money by waiting to buy candy on sale and going to thrift stores for costume supplies. I like halloween but don’t want to spend much every year.

  • Whoa, what a staggering number pertaining to the national U.S statistics of how much people spend on Halloween. $7 billion in total between everyone is a lot of money. But it’s difficult to actually save money on Halloween when most people just want to indulge in the day and have fun with the kids. While ideas presented here are useful, I still think people will ultimately continue to force their hand.

  • Halloween can be horrendously expensive especially if you have babies. Between candy, school party supplies, costumes and home decorations — you might be a bit out of your spending budget by the time your done with this holiday, These are excellent saving trips that I will likely be using in the near future with my baby girl. She’s only two weeks right now — so I get to enjoy the holiday more than she does –but it will drive mommy crazy soon enough!

  • I know it’s not the done thing but I wish people would recycle costumes more. If there’s a community with several kids around the same age, I don’t see why you can’t offer to rotate costumes on a yearly basis. Again, I can see why people wouldn’t but anything that cuts down on waste and improves the economics is a good thing.

  • I love Halloween but what I don’t love about this Holiday is that I have to really spend a lot on candies which is really not part of my budget at all so most of the times I just don’t participate at all. And when it comes to costumes,I just don’t spend money at all I just DIY everything.

  • What an awesome idea for a potluck party! I will have to keep that in mind for next year. Retailers seem to take full advantage of Halloween when it comes to costume and candy prices…I mean, we find them the day for a fraction of the cost!! DIY costumes are easy to pull together and so much fun to put together, so I tend to go the DIT route. My husband and I are newly married, so we went this year and Newlywed PotatoHeads! I spent less than $15 putting it all together and we were praised all night long for our cleverness (I’m not sure he will get over the embarrassment!). What big, chocolate candy, selling holiday comes before Halloween? Would it be awful to buy candy then in a generic type and color scheme and save it…? Just a thought.

  • This article is so helpful, as someone who’s obsessed with Halloween. I’ve never hosted my own Halloween party, but I love going overboard with trick-or-treaters, and it can get so expensive depending on how crowded the neighborhood is. One of my tricks is that I get all of my candy in bulk like you mentioned (yum, leftovers!), and I get little items in bulk — spider rings, pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, whatever isn’t too expensive — and bag them up. It takes some time, yeah, but it’s worth it to save money and still give the kids a treat. It’d work as a nicer favor for parties, too.

  • I can’t believe how much is spent on Halloween! Here in the UK, we don’t do a great deal at all. There might be a few parties and the kids sometimes get dressed up and go trick or treating but it is not celebrated anywhere near as much as it is in the USA. I tend to buy a large bag of inexpensive candies and just give those out should anyone knock. It is too close to Christmas to be spending any more.

  • I have saved some money during halloween by making my own decorations with stuff I had around the house and reusing old ones every year. Also buying the candy when its on for a good price seems to help a bit too.

Leave a Reply