Craft stores, pick-your-own farms and costume shops are going to be bustling from now right through the very end of the month as families decorate their homes for Halloween and get ready for parties and trick-or-treating. Halloween is big business today; according to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $8 billion (yes, billion with a B) on the holiday this year.
Parents outfitting their children and making their homes festive may feel as though they spend almost that much. Gone are the days when you could just plop a pumpkin on the porch and drape your kid in a white sheet and call it a day.
Kate Gosselin knows what it’s like to spend on holidays; with eight children under her roof, she could easily blow a small fortune on Halloween decor and clothes. (Oldest daughters Mady and Cara have an October birthday, which further adds to the month’s expenditures.) As she points out in her weekly blog for CouponCabin, “[E]ight costumes at a low average of $20 an outfit equals $160. That is an insanely unnecessary amount!”
So rather than running to the local party store to buy prepackaged princess or superhero gear, Kate has her children browse through their large dress-up hamper to put together original outfits. “This year, my littles will hopefully be able to reuse their clown wigs from their school spring concert last year,” she says, “but whatever they choose, it’s always fun to be able to mix and match and create a unique look while still saving tons of money.”
When it comes to trimming up Chez Gosselin, the reality-star mom makes a wise choice that stretches her decorating budget longer than many families’. Instead of going overboard buying ghost window clings, spiderwebs for the bushes and inflatable witches for the yard, Kate sticks with a basic autumnal theme.
“I’ve always saved a lot of money by decorating for fall (versus Halloween) at the end of September and keeping those decorations up through Thanksgiving,” she explains. “Without specifying and being holiday-neutral, I am not only saving money but also saving time because I don’t need to redecorate for a full two months. Yay!”
Finally, Kate recommends stocking up on coupons and looking for sales when it’s time to buy candy for visiting trick-or-treaters.
What about you? Do you splurge on the holiday, or have you found ways to economize while still keeping in the spooky spirit?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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