The Halloween season is upon us, and the stores are packed with adorably creepy costumes and decorations.
It appears this year's celebration will be far from tempered, with people expected to spend slightly more. The average person will shell out $72.31 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $66.28 last year, according to the National Retail Federation's 2011 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
But you don't have to spend a lot to celebrate the spooky season. Consider these tips from Cindy Hilkin, a loan consultant at Dupaco Community Credit Union:
- Costumes: Magazines and websites are great resources for frugal alternatives to store-bought costumes. Plus, it's a great way to get the whole family involved. If you're short on time, call a friend. "Borrow something from them because their kids probably used it last year for a couple of hours and it's now sitting in their closet," Hilkin says.
- Decorations: Don't mess with tradition. "All of my kids are 6 and under, and their favorite decorations are the pumpkins," Hilkin says. Her family is considering growing their own pumpkins next year. It's even cheaper, and it will offer her kids a chance to watch their efforts grow.
- Know your budget: "So many people have no idea where their money goes each month," she says. "Knowing that Halloween is coming up, plan ahead."
For a fun and frugal twist on traditional pumpkin decorating, check out this idea from Disney FamilyFun magazine:
Freaky Faces: These collage pumpkins are easy for little hands to decorate, and because they're no-carve, the pumpkins will last longer.
You will need: Old magazines or catalogs, glue dots and pumpkins.
- Cut out noses, mismatched eyes and ears, mouths, hair and accessories such as glasses and jewelry from magazine pages. For ears that stick out, cut out each one with a tab you can fold back.
- Use glue dots to attach the features and accessories to the pumpkins. Display your pals in a covered area to protect them from the elements.
By Emily Kittle