A Frugal Halloween

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Those scarring childhood Halloween memories may just be evidence of your parents' frugality. Learn how to create a frugal Halloween for your kids. Without the scarring memories, of course.

Today’s post is from my friend at Ya Jagoff!  You’re going to want to check them out, especially if you’re a Pittsburgher.  Now onto a look at Halloweens past, and ways to make a fun and frugal Halloween for your own kids.

Gather the pillow cases. I mean, the pumpkin spice EVERYTHING is out which means it’s almost time for Halloween.

Here are some Halloween traditions from my kid days that I am glad are gone!

Plastic molded masks with elastic string: God I hated those things.  The eye holes were NEVER big enough.   I had to push the mask up against the bottom of my chin to line up the eye holes so I could navigate the neighborhood steps.  And when I did that, all of the mouth-spit and condensation that built up on the inside of my mask, smeared all over my face.  YEEECK!!  Then, it never failed, halfway through trick-or-treating, the stupid elastic string would BREAK right at that little staple on the side. 

One-Size-Fits-All Pull-On Costumes: The same costumes that came with those stupid plastic masks.  You pulled them on over your legs, up over your body and tied a string behind your neck to hold them on.  Every time my heels caught on the leg cuff, I’d CHOKE myself!  My mother rolled the legs up (cuz that’s what Batman REALLY looks like, right?)  

But I get it!  My parents didn’t have a lot of money and those costumes were low-cost, usually hand-me-downs.  Once I had kids and had my own house, I carried that same frugal approach to Halloween into my adult hood.  This, despite the fact that, the first year we celebrated Halloween in my adulthood, home owner, parent mode, we realized the houses around us were giving out crayons and coloring books and extra-large candy bars, while I was handing out one-snack-sized Snickers to every trick-or-treater.

So how does someone survive in this environment of coolest birthday party and bestest Halloween treat competition? Here’s some tips for a frugal Halloween:

1. If you’re having a Halloween party, don’t waste money on the bobbing for apples game.

Nobody wants to open their mouth in a tub of warm water that’s been tainted with Halloween make-up, human spit. But feel free to hand out fresh apples.  No need to waste the water. And you might even want to pass on the apples once you read #3 below.

2. Need a last-minute frugal Halloween costume idea?

Don’t go rent a costume.  Go as a “Greaser.”  All it takes is a load of grease for your hair some cuffed blue jeans and a white t-shirt with rolled up sleeves.  All of that should be on hand.  Sure, you’ll probably look like half of the other non-creatives at your Halloween event but, you pulled it off at no cost.  

FYI, this costume is not an option if you’re bald or partially bald.

3. Cost-effective treats?

One year, when we were completely cleaned out of our candy, we panicked.  We found an old box of those Freeze-pop things in the bottom of our chest freezer.  Soooooo we sheepishly handed them out.  The results? Kids walked away telling everyone how cool our treat was! Since then, I stay completely away from the candy aisle.  I head directly to the unfrozen, out-of-season cases of Freeze-pops!  They’re so cheap that you could feed a Chinese Army on about $15!  Boom! Take THAT neighbor with the Halloween toy, make-a-sculpture-to take-home tent in your driveway!!!


What are any of YOUR thoughts on cost effective Halloween tips?  

Thanks much FemmeFrugality for inviting me to contribute!  Feel free to join me in catching Pittsburghers who are embarrassing the rest of us on my blog, www.YaJagoff.com!

5 thoughts on “A Frugal Halloween

  1. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies

    Freeze pops are a great idea! I start shopping for candy now. Coupons are out, sales are out, so if I plan ahead, I can get some really cheap treats to pass out. Much better than rushing to Walgreens at the last minute. I also think swapping costumes with people is helpful. One of my cousins and I are about the same size and rarely end up at the same party, so we’ll trade costumes from year to year.

  2. Pingback: Five for Friday (#7) | Miss Personal Finance

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