- Simple Tips to Save Money at Halloween – Decorations, Food..
- Final Word
- 31 Non-Candy Halloween Treat Ideas For Kids
- The Best Non-Candy Halloween Treats for Kids
- 2. Halloween stamps
- 3. Glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls
- 4. Mini Flashlights
- 5. Glow Stick Bracelets
- 6. Wikki Stix
- 7. Glow-in-the-dark Halloween Rubber Ducks
- 8. Spooky Tattoos
- 9. Mini fidget spinners
- 10. Halloween stickers
- 11. Hatch and Grow Halloween Eggs
- 12. Eyeball Erasers
- 13. Boxes of Halloween crayons
- 14. Bendable Zombie Figures
- 15. Glow-in-the-dark slime
- 16. Halloween Mask Craft
- 17. Pumpkin decorating sticker kit
- 18. Vampire Fangs
- 19. Slinkies
- 20. Spider Rings
- 21. LED Ghost lights
- 22. Glow sticks
- 23. Silly Glasses
- 24. Bubble Wands
- 25. Halloween Pencils
- 26. Mini Notepads
- 27. Jelly Spike Balls
- 28. Eyeball Bouncy Balls
- 29. Slap Bracelets
- 30. Mini Porcupine Balls
- 31. Halloween Finger Puppets
- More Halloween Fun Ideas
- this post? Pin it!
- 55 Best Halloween Cupcake Ideas – Easy Recipes for Cute Halloween Cupcakes
- Our Halloween Party
- Our Halloween Party – How To Have A Cheap But Fun Halloween Party
- Have a Happy Halloween with these Simple Money Saving Tips
- Inexpensive Spooky Decor
- Frugal Halloween Costumes
- Save On Candy & Treats
- Party Ideas
Simple Tips to Save Money at Halloween – Decorations, Food..
Though the holiday season in December is generally the costliest time of the year for many families, the expenses of Halloween can be surprisingly immense. Buying Halloween costumes, candy, special accessories, decorations, and treats for school events can seriously bust your bank account.
The biggest problem is that many people don’t budget for Halloween as they would for Christmas or Easter. Instead, Halloween purchases are often unexpected and made at the last minute.
So, what’s a savvy parent to do when Halloween rolls around? Celebrate on the cheap, of course. By finding more affordable ways to decorate, dress, snack, and party, Halloween doesn’t have to be a budget-busting night. In fact, you might find that a little DIY spirit actually makes it a lot more fun.
What’s Halloween without an appropriately scary house? If you purchase decor at a big box store, you can expect to spend upward of $100 on wall hangings, inflatables, spooky spiderwebs, and all the fixings. Or, you can find more cost-friendly ways to dress up your house for Halloween.
- Make DIY Glowing Eyes. Every family has a few empty toilet paper rolls lying around. Make them into spooky decorations by cutting two slits (for the “eyes”) lengthwise into each tube, and then slide in a colored glow stick. Position the eyes in your garden or front yard so it looks creepy creatures are peering through the plants at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. Just remember that glow sticks only last one night.
- Buy Cheap Pumpkins. If I skipped jack-o’-lantern carving altogether, my kids would stage a revolt. However, while I still carve pumpkins, I buy them at the grocery store for better pricing. There are a number of pumpkin farms nearby, which require entrance fees and hayride tickets in addition to the cost of the pumpkin. By grabbing mine at the grocery store, I usually pay a lower price and nix all the extras.
- Make a Bat Cave. If you have a pair of scissors and some black construction paper, turn a room in your house into a “bat cave.” Start by printing out a few bat shapes from your computer, then cut them out to use as templates. Trace the shapes onto black construction paper and cut those out, too. You can then tape a whole bevy of bats to the walls in your home.
- Monster-ify Your Front Door. Another construction paper craft involves using colorful strips to turn your front door into a spooky (or silly) monster. Your kids can help out, cutting out hair, eyes, a nose, and a mouth to tape onto your front door. Not only should this impress trick-or-treaters, you treat yourself to easy cleanup.
- Swap Out Light Bulbs. A cost-effective way to set the tone at your home or Halloween party is to purchase a few colored light bulbs. Look for blue, red, yellow, or green bulbs at your local hardware or big box store, and then screw them into your usual light fixtures to create a wash of creepy color. Just make sure to store them carefully when you’re done. You can use them year after year.
Costumes can be the priciest part of any Halloween, thanks to markup from stores. To save on outfits and accessories, skip the mad rush on October 30th and get creative with your kids.
- Use Items You Already Own. For the best DIY costumes, use what you already have. From articles of clothing, to makeup, to cardboard pieces, to props, there’s a chance you already have the makings of a great costume around the house. Take a look in your kids’ closets and also your own – you never know what castoffs you might have that would make the perfect funky costume.
- Swap With Friends. One of the reasons buying Halloween costumes is so painful is because kids only wear them once or twice. Chances are, you know parents who feel the same way and would be happy to swap and lend costumes accordingly. Remember that if you borrow a costume, make sure to keep it in good condition. After a night of running around outside and eating candy, it may need a good washing before you return it.
- Buy “Dress Up” Instead of a “Costume.” Don’t want to spend $50 on a deluxe princess dress? Try this little secret: Leave the costume section of the store and head to the toy section. There, you often find “dress-up” costumes not branded for Halloween that are much cheaper than the seasonal versions. A princess dress in the dress-up section usually runs around $20. There may be some minor differences, but the $30 savings is worth a little shopping around.
- Skip the Masks. Not only are masks a pricey part of a costume, they can be dangerous. In fact, Safe Kids Worldwide warns that masks obstruct both vision and breathing in kids, and should be avoided. Skip the cost and the risk and opt for face paint instead. It’s safer and cheaper, especially when you use products that you already own. Eyeliner is especially great for drawing on mustaches.
Throwing a Halloween party? The cost of food quickly adds up, especially when you’re serving up spooky specialties.
Don’t be tempted by Pinterest, which is full of fun but often over-the-top ideas. Keep your budget in check by going for more basic, cheaper fare. After all, candy is the main attraction on Halloween, for kids and adults a. Instead of going all-out on a meal, stick to finger foods with a little freaky flair.
- Make Mummy Dogs. Simple and cheap, mummy dogs are prefect for little fingers. Start by rolling out a can of crescent roll dough and cutting it into thin strips with a pizza cutter. Then, use those strips to wrap hot dogs up mummies with two to three strips per hot dog. Pop them in the oven at 350 degrees and bake them for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. You can even wrap the mummy dogs ahead of time and keep them covered in your fridge until you’re ready to bake.
- Have a Donut-Eating Contest. One of my favorite cheap ways to entertain kids at Halloween parties is with a donut-eating contest. Grab a dozen donuts at your grocery store bakery and attach each to a long dowel with a piece of string. Instruct the kids to try and eat the hanging donut without hands while two adults hold the dowel horizontally. It’s a fun game to fill little bellies and pass the time until trick-or-treating.
- Dress-Up Suckers. In charge of bringing treats for school? Try this cheap trick: Buy a large bag of inexpensive lollipops and a box of facial tissues. Place a tissue over the sucker, tie it with a ribbon, and then use a marker to draw a simple ghost face.
- Float “Eyeballs.” Frozen fruit is a great alternative to ice cubes in punch: It keeps drinks cold and won’t dilute the flavor. The night before your party, throw a bag of green grapes into your freezer. Then, whip up a bowl of your favorite red punch. Just before guests arrive, pour in the frozen grapes, which look creepy floating eyeballs. The best part? No need to buy and replenish ice.
Finally, after all the festivities, it’s time to head out and start trick-or-treating. Whether you’re going house-to-house or you prefer to stay home and hand out candy, there are ways to reduce the cost of the age-old trick-or-treating tradition.
- Use Candy Alternatives. Handing out treats this year? Candy can be seriously expensive. Consider non-candy treats instead. It’s much cheaper to purchase a roll of stickers and hand out one perforated square per child, or grab a huge bucket of plastic bugs at the dollar store. After all, kids get a ton of chocolate, chewy candy, suckers, and gum each Halloween, so getting a little prize, toy, or pencil seems a novelty.
- Buy Glowsticks. Children are twice as ly to be involved in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than other nights, so you need to make sure your little monster is as visible to cars as possible. You can purchase any number of lighted accessories to make sure that your child is easy to see, but my favorite solution is to buy cheap glowsticks from the dollar store. They come with joining fasteners, which can be used to make circles around ankles, necks, and wrists. Children are much more ly to want to wear glowsticks than a reflective vest that covers their costume. Since glowstick brands vary, buy some extra and test them out before Halloween to see how long yours last.
- Get Creative With Containers. You don’t need the perfect plastic pumpkin for your little one to trick-or-treat. Get creative with your carrying containers: Pillow cases, reusable grocery bags, baskets, decorated gift bags, and even sand buckets work perfectly for treats.
It’s true that Halloween can be an expensive holiday, especially if your kids have big expectations. However, doing some of the work yourself and being creative with your resources is part of the fun of celebrating Halloween as a family. Think outside the big box store and get crafty – and you’ll find that Halloween doesn’t have to break the bank.
How do you keep the costs of Halloween low?
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31 Non-Candy Halloween Treat Ideas For Kids
Kids get so many sugary sweets and chocolate at this time of year that it’s no surprise that candy alternatives for Halloween are becoming more popular.
When I realized that we end up throwing away half the chocolate bars we get or donating it to our dentist’s buy-back scheme, I decided to look for some non-food Halloween treats that both parents and kids would appreciate.
Many companies are catching on to the fact that people are looking for things to hand out to trick or treaters that is not candy and more and more options are becoming available.
If you think you are being a “scrooge” by not passing out candy bars to your little trick or treaters, bear in mind that this is the time of year where candy abounds.
Even if 50% of houses stopped giving out sweets and offered candy alternatives on Halloween night, most kids would still come home with enough chocolate and junk food to last them for months!
This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. Please read my Disclosure for more information.
17 Healthiest Halloween Treats (Kid-Friendly!)
The Best Halloween Party Games For Kids
Food allergies are another reason to choose something other than candy to give out to trick or treaters.
You might have heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project which encourages households to offer treats that everyone can enjoy.
The Teal Pumpkin Project and the Teal Pumpkin Image are trademarks of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) and their mission is “Raising awareness of food allergies and promoting inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season.”.
The idea of the project is that you place a teal-coloured pumpkin on your porch so that trick or treaters know you have non-food halloween treats available. If you don’t have any teal paint, you can buy a teal pumpkin bucket (Amazon gives all proceeds to FARE).
You could buy only peanut-free candy but most parents whose kids have allergies prefer to get them non-candy treats just in case.
This list of 30 non-candy halloween treats will give you some fun ideas for kids of all ages and will let everyone join in the fun regardless of their allergies or dietary requirements.
READ NOW: Halloween Party Games For Kids
RELATED: 25 Fun & Frugal Ideas For Fall
If you are looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween that doesn’t involve any food at all, make sure to download my freeprintable Halloween Scavenger Hunt.
And if you are planning a Halloween party or want to prepare a special treat for school, my list of the the Healthiest Halloween Treats for kids will give you some ideas.
The Best Non-Candy Halloween Treats for Kids
Below are over 30 candy alternatives for Halloween that you can give out at school, parties or keep for Halloween night to give out to trick or treaters.
All of the ideas below are available on Amazon, just click the item to see the price.
What kid doesn’t Playdoh? This set comes in Halloween themed colours orange and black.
2. Halloween stamps
These stamps come in a set of 24 and include ghosts, bats and pumpkins.
3. Glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls
How great would these bouncy balls be during Halloween party games Murder in the dark?
4. Mini Flashlights
These mini-flashlights come with a ring to put on a keychain and they would be perfect for a party favor before doing a neighborhood Halloween Scavenger Hunt. ***Click to get your free printable***
5. Glow Stick Bracelets
Glow stick bracelets are a cheap alternative to Halloween candy and won’t break the bank.
This set comes with 100 bracelets meaning you will have more than enough for your trick or treaters this year. (combine more than one stick to create necklaces and other jewelry).
6. Wikki Stix
Wikki Sticks are tiny bendable wax pieces that have sticky surface that allows you to bend them and mold them together. They get awesome reviews and are perfect for classroom Halloween parties. They are latex free and create no mess.
They would also make a great addition to a Halloween treat bag (read the Amazon comments for lots of info)
7. Glow-in-the-dark Halloween Rubber Ducks
These glow in the dark ducks made a great Halloween treat for younger kids or to add to an apple bobbing bin. They would also make a great Halloween centrepiece if placed in a large cauldron of water.
8. Spooky Tattoos
These Halloween tattoos are really cheap and an Amazon bestseller. They include 26 different designs including glow in the dark tattoos.
9. Mini fidget spinners
This set contains 24 mini fidget spinners that make a fun candy alternative to a Halloween treat bag.
10. Halloween stickers
This set of 500 Halloween-themed stickers is perfect for goodie bags or party prizes. They get great reviews too.
11. Hatch and Grow Halloween Eggs
These eggs are a bit of a pricier Halloween treat idea so they would be a good Halloween giveaway for a small party or for your own kids. The eggs crack and start hatching within 24-48 hours after placed in water revealing 3 Halloween friends.
12. Eyeball Erasers
Get a set of 24 eyeballs to put into treat bags or even to include in a mystery box for kids to guess what it is (get this and more ideas for Halloween party games here.)
13. Boxes of Halloween crayons
Crayons made a great Teal Pumpkin Halloween treat for kids. This set comes with 24 packages of 6 crayons each.
14. Bendable Zombie Figures
These zombies would make a great addition to a Halloween gift bag for young or older kids.
15. Glow-in-the-dark slime
Parents might not the stuff too much but what kid won’t love this safe, non-toxic glow in the dark slime? Just don’t get it on the couch!
16. Halloween Mask Craft
These are perfect for a Halloween party craft! The set contains 12 individually wrapped Halloween mask sets made foam.
17. Pumpkin decorating sticker kit
Another crafty alternative to Halloween candy. Each sheet contains everything you need to design your own pumpkin.
18. Vampire Fangs
If you are still wondering what to pass out on Halloween, this set of 144 vampire fangs is perfect for your trick or treaters.
I think slinkies are one of the best candy alternatives for Halloween, especially for kids aged 4-6 years.
20. Spider Rings
You get 144 rings in this set which makes it a great value for Halloween.
21. LED Ghost lights
These lanterns made a great addition to any Halloween gift bag or party.
22. Glow sticks
You can’t really go wrong with glow sticks. If you have any leftover, let your kids take a spooky bath with them- it’s so much fun.
23. Silly Glasses
A pair of crazy glasses make a fun Halloween treat!
24. Bubble Wands
Bubbles always make a great goodie bag gift at any time of year.
25. Halloween Pencils
Halloween pencils make a great non-candy treat for school parties or for treat bags to classmates.
26. Mini Notepads
These Peanuts note books would go well with the Halloween pencils above!
27. Jelly Spike Balls
These little yo-yos glow in the dark and make a fun Halloween gift.
28. Eyeball Bouncy Balls
If the eyeball erasers weren’t your thing, these bouncy balls might be perfect for your Halloween party.
29. Slap Bracelets
My 5 year old is obsessed with slap bracelets at the moment and I know her friends would love to find these in their Halloween treat bags.
30. Mini Porcupine Balls
These little balls are perfect for goody bags or treasure hunts.
31. Halloween Finger Puppets
These finger puppets are a bestseller on Amazon and make a great gift for Halloween.
More Halloween Fun Ideas
The best party games for a spooktacular Halloween
Halloween Scavenger Hunt with Free printable
Easy Ghost Footprint For Halloween
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55 Best Halloween Cupcake Ideas – Easy Recipes for Cute Halloween Cupcakes
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Halloween Cupcakes Graveyard
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Candy Corn Cupcake Cake
Don't be fooled by this candy corn-inspired treat—it's actually made of cupcakes. If you're hosting a lot of people, this pull-apart cake is a great idea.
Get the recipe at Good Cook.
SHOP CUPCAKE TINS
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Ghost Halloween Cupcakes
These fa-boo-lous cupcakes are scary-easy to decorate. Just top chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow frosting and make a face with chocolate chips.
Get the recipe at Sarah's Bake Studio.
SHOP PASTRY BAGS
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Halloween Bat Cupcakes
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Halloween Oreo Spider Cupcakes
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Little ones will love getting in on the fun decorating these one-eyed treats. They'll definitely the cotton candy “hair.”
Get the recipe at The Novice Chef.
SHOP ICING GEL
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Spooky Ghost Cupcakes
Prepare these candy-topped confections using any cupcake recipe you'd . Whether you choose chocolate, vanilla, or something different, any flavor would be delicious.
Get the recipe at The Bearfoot Baker.
SHOP DECORATING TIPS
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The possibilities are endless when it comes to these creatures. You can make each cake completely unique using colored frostings, icing tips, and a different number of eyes.
Get the recipe at Cupcake Diaries.
SHOP CANDY EYES
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Grim Reaper Halloween Cupcakes
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Candy Corn Ghost Cupcakes
Take a bite and you'll discover candy corn-inspired swirls of orange and yellow inside these ghouls.
Get the recipe at Delish.
SHOP ICING BAG KITS
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Butterfinger Skull Cupcakes
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Oreo Spider Cupcakes
Use everyone's favorite chocolate cookie to craft these cuties on top of pumpkin cupcakes and cream cheese frosting.
Get the recipe at Texanerin Baking.
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Something-to-Hide Devil's Food Cupcakes
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Wicked Witch Cupcakes
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This double chocolate recipe is to die for. Don't forget to sprinkle Oreo cookie “dirt” on top!
Get the recipe at Eighteen 25.
SHOP HAND MIXERS
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Easy Pumpkin Cupcakes
No need to over complicated these simple cupcakes. Just place a candy pumpkin on top and your decorating is done!
Get the recipe at Lil' Luna.
SHOP COOLING RACKS
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Witch's Cauldron Cupcakes
Ever wondered what's brewing in a witch's cauldron? In this case, it's a yummy “scream” filling!
Get the recipe at Life Made Simple.
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Tootsie Rolls make the sweetest stems on these edible pumpkins.
Get the recipe at Mom Loves Baking.
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Reese's Cup Werewolf Cupcakes
These adorably delicious treats will have your party guests howling for more!
Get the recipe at Hungry Happenings.
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Witches' Brew Cupcakes
No spells needed to whip up a batch of these amazing cupcakes. Top them off with green gum ball bubbles.
Get the recipe at Cupcakes and Kale Chips.
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Halloween Black Cupcakes with Cherry Filling
Why have death by chocolate when you can have death by cherry-filled chocolate?
Get the recipe at Kitchen Sanctuary.
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Creamsicle-Flavored Mini Orange Halloween Cupcakes
The combination of vanilla and orange flavors make these cupcakes scarily sweet.
Get the recipe at The Soccer Mom Blog.
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Chocolate Pumpkin Witch Cupcakes
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Believe it or not, these silhouettes were created with rubber stamps. Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut fondant into circles and leave out overnight to stiffen. Paint a clean rubber stamp with black food coloring and press image onto the circles.
If needed, fill in bare spots with a small paintbrush dipped in food coloring. Just before serving, place the circles on top of cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Note: Fondant is available, in various colors, at craft stores.
For these cupcakes, microwave it for 8 to 10 seconds, then roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.
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Itsy Bitsy Spiderwebs Cupcakes
Super-easy white-chocolate toppers appear to float, Houdini-, over chocolate cupcakes.
Get the recipe.
Our $25 Halloween Party
It’s possible to have a fun Halloween party without spending a fortune. Here’s how we had a great cheap Halloween party for 10 people that cost us just $25!
Our $25 Halloween Party – How To Have A Cheap But Fun Halloween Party
Halloween is one of our favorite holidays. One year we decided to have a Halloween party for my brother’s family, my mom and my family, which included 10 people (five adults, four kids and a baby). We were able to put it together for less than $25 for the decorations, food, party treats and costumes for my family.
Keep in mind when reading about what we did that we save a lot of money by using items we already have, adapting them if necessary and buying only the minimum necessary from discount or dollar stores.
A little creativity goes a long way for any holiday preparation and the kids always seem to look back the most fondly on the things that cost the least but required a little more thought.
Usually, if you pay more for decorations, you are buying someone else’s creativity and it will be less memorable.
Here is what we did including a breakdown of the prices at the bottom of the page. Click on any of the pictures for a larger view.
We either purchased most of the decorations on clearance or already had them.
We draped spider webs from the ceiling fan to each wall and hung streamers all over the room. We turned the pictures so they were crooked or falling down. I didn’t dust for a month. We had a large black yarn spider web that we hung on the wall over the couch.
We put red tissue paper over the top of the globes of some lights for an eerie lighting effect. We then placed as many candles as we could find all over the room. Used tiny tea lights and placed on plates with a larger candle in the middle.
We draped Christmas lights around the punch bowl which was sitting on the baby’s changing table that was draped with a black sheet. We hung a Happy Halloween banner that we had from years past.
We draped a black sheet over the couch. We reused a sheet that we had purchased for $2.00 at a discount store and previously used for a craft show.
We set the table with a table cloth and cups, plates and napkins purchased new at a garage sale. We laid vinyl gloves next to each plate. (I already had a huge package from another project.) We didn’t allow anyone to use any utensils to eat. They could only eat with their hands.
We drew pumpkin faces with permanent marker on the orange plates.
We really did eat only with gloves!
For the table we put a pumpkin tablecloth that we had received as a gift. A black sheet could also be used. We put more candles on the table. We put a ghost in a tree trunk that we had from years past. He moves up and down and goes boo. We placed spider rings all over the table.
Using any candles we can find…
We laid out tags to identify the food that I made using clip art and a spooky font. Then we tore out the tags and spread a wet tea bag all over them to make them look old. Some of the names were Witches Brew, Slime, Vomit, Monster Toes, Deviled Eyeballs, Floating Eyeballs, Octopus etc.
Here are some of the foods we made:
Slimy Hands (on the tray)- Green Jell-O poured into vinyl gloves. Chill until set. Peel off gloves and lay on tray. You may have to piece a finger or two back on. This adds to the effect ;-). Also pictured are Deviled Eyeballs, Floating Eyeballs (a bowl of grapes in water), and vomit (salsa).
We put the food either on silver platters ( we already had but purchased at a garage sale for .10 each) or in clear bowls so that everyone could see the full effect of the food.
Octopus– Cut the hot dogs about 2/3 of the way up into 8 sections. Boil until they curl and then use cloves for the eyes.
We served the Octopus with chili and cheese. Be creative with whatever your family s!
Monster Toes- Hot dogs with a small hole cut in the end wrapped in biscuit dough and then baked. Fill hole with catsup.
Graveyard pudding – chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate cookies. We wrote names with frosting on a few of the cookies for tombstones. We put a few gummie worms around the edges.
Witches Brew and Caramel Apples. Witches Brew was Hawaiian Punch.
Spider Cupcakes – Cupcakes topped with two blobs of frosting for the spider body. Then we used licorice and made the legs. We couldn’t find the string licorice so we cut up regular licorice with scissors. Try and find the string licorice if possible. Trust me on this! It’s really hard to cut licorice into that many little pieces.
Ghost Suckers – We wrapped suckers with a tissue and tied them at the bottom. Draw on the faces with a marker.
We also had yummy Orange Popcorn Balls. (not pictured)
We were able to make costumes for our family of 5 for around $2.00.
I was a witch. I have used this costume for years. I wear a black dress, a wig that I purchased on clearance one year for around $1.00, a hat that I have had as long as I can remember.
I also smear black mascara on my face to look dirty, black out a tooth with mascara, stretch spider web on the hat and hook a spider ring on my glasses so that it looks a spider is crawling on them.
Tawra with the octopus. (Is that really a costume she’s wearing?)
BJ and David were both Superman. ($0) They wore some Superman pajama’s that they received as a present from their uncle Dave who thinks he is Superman. We then put red hair gel in their hair and spiked it. The gel was free from a rebate.
Mike was Kryptonite Man. (You know Kryptonite that makes Superman lose his power.
) This was an original costume he made as a tongue in cheek gag for all of the Supermen that were coming to our party.
He wore a green shirt, put a green blanket around him and made a Superman logo on the computer to wear on his chest. Then we colored his hair and face green with face paint. The .20 was for the face paint.
He put a giant green and black spider that he named Rex on his shoulder. (As you might imagine, there was not much cost in this costume. Our total pocket was $0.20 worth of face paint. We already had the spider which we have had for years and originally got for something .10 at a garage sale).
Nan (Jill) was the kissing monster.
Elly (on the right) was a princess Barbie. We made the costume using a head piece and jewelry we purchased at the dollar store, a regular pair of her dress shoes and a dress we purchased for $0.25 from a garage sale.
We didn’t plan too many games. The kids were in school all day and trick or treating started about 6:30 so we only planned enough games to last from when the kids got school until we went trick or treating. If you’re not sure, plan for extra games and then drop some of them if you run time. Don’t feel you have to do it just because you planned it.
Elly and Alex painting their pumpkins
Pumpkin carving and painting. $1.00 for the paints and carving supplies.
Halloween treasure hunt. Click this link for what the clues said. ($5.00 for the small toys and treats. This was for the 4 kids.)
David getting ready for the glow in the dark chalk drawing. (David does all the illustrations for our books.)
Sidewalk chalk – drawing on the driveway with glow in the dark sidewalk chalk. (Grandmother “Nan” gave it as a gift to the kids.)
Pin the nose on the pumpkin – We had a pumpkin cutout from years past and we cut out triangles from black construction paper for the noses
Then we went Trick or Treating.
We had a blast for under $25.00! You can have great parties for very little money. Just try to think of different uses for things you already have. Try shopping you local dollar store. Many of them have lots of great stuff for very little money.
Be sure and purchase items for next year’s party on clearance. One of the ways we save a bundle is planning at clearance time for the next year. You can also buy extra face paint, hair gels etc.
for birthday parties or school carnivals! Just because you’re frugal doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!
Need more creative Halloween Ideas? Halloween On A Dime shows you practical and creative ways to make your own decorations, costumes, party games and more!
Buy Halloween On A Dime e-book now!
- Spider webs- 3 large $0.60, 10 small $1.00
- 10 Spider rings- $0.20
- Large black spider web- $0.50
- Streamers- $1.00
- Happy Halloween banner- Reused from a previous year
- Pumpkin table cloth- Reused from a previous year. You could just as easily use a black sheet.
- 15-20 Candles – we already had
- Black sheet for the couch – We used one we purchased previously for a craft show
- Cups, plates and napkins- $0.50 for all items new in packages at a garage sale
- Vinyl gloves – We used some we already had that we had purchased for another project.
- Octopus- Hot dogs, chili and cheese – $2.50
- Monster toes $0.25 (We used a full package of hot dogs between the monster toes and octopus.)
- Slime Hands – Lime Jell-o – $0.30
- Graveyard pudding $1.50
- Vomit-Salsa – $0.25
- Tortilla Chips – $2.00
- Spider cupcakes $1.50 – Cupcake liners were $0.10 on clearance (included)
- Ghost Suckers – $0.40
- Caramel apples $1.50 for caramels and apples
- Punch – $1.00
- Deviled eyeballs – $0.50
- Floating eyeballs – Green grapes – $0.50
- Orange Popcorn Balls – $0.75
(family of 5) – Total $2.05
- Tawra – Witch – Reused a costume I’ve had for years
- Boys – Superman costumes: Received sleepers as gifts from their uncle, hair gel for boys was free with rebate
- Mike – Kryptonite Man – $0.20 for face paint, no cost for old shirt, blanket and giant spider we’ve had for years
- Elly – Princess Barbie – head piece and jewelry – $1.00 at dollar store, dress – $0.25 at garage sale, dress shoes she already had
- Trick or treat bags – 2 @ $0.30 each
- Pumpkin carving and painting – $1.00 for paints and carving supplies
- Halloween treasure hunt -$5.00 for small toys and treats for the four older kids
- Pin the nose on the pumpkin – Free
- Sidewalk chalk – gift to the kids from Nan (Jill, their grandmother)
- Trick or Treating – No cost!
Have a Happy Halloween with these Simple Money Saving Tips
The days are getting shorter, leaves are turning and the air is feeling more crisp. Now that school is in full swing, and Fall has officially arrived, it’s time to start thinking about Halloween.
Did you know Halloween is second only to Christmas when it comes to annual holiday spending? According to Fortune magazine, Americans spent 8.
4 billion dollars on this freaky fun holiday in 2016 – a record high!
For savvy shoppers and creative folks, the price tag for this celebration doesn’t have to be a horror story. There are some simple ways to save money and still have a frighteningly good time. From candy, to costumes, decor and more here are some simple Halloween money saving tips.
Inexpensive Spooky Decor
Homemade projects are fun for the whole family. We line our walk every year with luminaries. I purchase Halloween themed paper bags at the dollar store, fill the bottoms with a couple of inches of kitty litter, and then place an LED candle in the middle. They give a soft glow that lights the walkway for trick-or- treaters.
Jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins can be expensive depending on your location, but if you are fortunate enough to live near a rural area seek out a pumpkin farm to save a bundle vs grocery store prices.
If you need to purchase from a grocery chain, check discount stores Aldi first.
Also, don’t let those seeds go to waste! After you pull the guts your pumpkin, separate the seeds, rinse them and roast them for a healthy snack you can enjoy for days to come.
Papier Mache jack-o-lanterns are time consuming, but they are inexpensive to make and will last for many years. There are excellent tutorials for how to do them on (and other projects too!).
Papier mache is inexpensive, messy fun and everyone will love it, but be sure to start your project at least 2 weeks in advance so it has time for all the layers to dry! Purchase decor for the following year the day after Halloween.
This is when I find plates, napkins and other assorted odds and ends and store them for the following year. This also allows me to donate items to the school for parties without breaking the budget.
Frugal Halloween Costumes
Yes, you can purchase costumes in most discount stores, but they all look a and if you have several people to purchase for they add up quick. Homemade costumes are unique, original and much less expensive.
Thrift stores are fantastic for finding clothes and other fabrics that can be reimagined into something special. Look around throughout the year, not just near Halloween when everyone else is doing the same thing.
Old dresses, suits, and more can be converted into beautiful costumes.
Look at the dollar stores for simple ideas. I found temporary facial tattoos at our local Dollar General for $1 each.
Set up a costume exchange at your local church or community center. Everyone who donates can also “shop” for a different costume. This is a great way to reduce waste and still let the kids enjoy picking their own outfit.
Forget pricey Halloween specialty stores. You’ll find much better deals online especially in the off season. Costumes and props at these specialty stores are incredibly expensive due to the high overhead costs of running them for such a short time. Buy direct on Amazon or Ebay throughout the year.
Uh-oh, did you wait until the last minute and now you’re scrambling? No worries. Colored light bulbs and black construction paper are all you need to bring some spooky ambience to your porch.
Cut bat shapes the paper and use black string and clear tape to attach them to your porch roof or throughout the house. When a breeze hits them they fly about and look super spooky and fun.
This whole project can be done in 30 minutes or less.
Save On Candy & Treats
Don’t wait until September to buy large bags of candy. This is when retailers mark it up in anticipation of upcoming holidays. We purchase candy earlier in the year and store it. Kids will eat it, they don’t care if it has special Halloween packaging or not.
Dollar stores carry “fun sized” candy bars year round. We purchase a bit here and there throughout the year and use it for all the holidays.
Stop contributing to tooth decay by purchasing bags of non-candy treats. Kids also love pencils, stickers, spider rings and other little items. Purchase these the day after Halloween along with treat bags and you have super cheap and amazing handouts for the next year for 50% off or more.
Halloween parties are great fun and they don’t have to break the bank. For adults, host a “bring your own spirits” party and have a bonfire if it’s cold. Straw bales are great for decor and for seating. They are inexpensive and after the party you can use the straw as ground cover to protect your garden space for the following spring.
Host a Halloween potluck and have everyone bring a Halloween themed treat or dish. Have prizes for grossest treat, scariest dessert etc.
This allows everyone to participate and have fun making crazy concoctions while competing for prizes. You”ll have an array of great treats to amaze your guests all while saving on your food bill.
We do this every year and it’s always fun to see what others come up with. Pinterest is the best free resource for spooky recipes ideas!
Halloween is great fun for kids of all ages. Some creativity and good planning will ensure you have a stress-free, inexpensive and fun event everyone will enjoy.