Ask the Readers: How Do You Celebrate Halloween Frugally?

By Ashley Jacobs on 27 October 2015 61 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Bethany, Liz, and Lisa for winning this week's contest!

Halloween is just around the corner! Between the candy, costumes, and decorations, celebrating this spooky holiday can get expensive fast. But there are many ways to save money on Halloween, like donning a DIY costume instead of store-bought and crafting your own decor...and opting out of this holiday altogether!

How do you celebrate Halloween frugally? What Halloween crafts are your favorite? Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, what is your costume this year?

Tell us how you celebrate Halloween frugally and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Mary

Celebrate Halloween frugally by purchasing 2nd hand costumes.

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Julie Wood

I make our own Halloween costumes by collecting items during the year at yard sales. This saves me a lot of money.

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addrienne m

I shop at the second hand stores. So i find many items for next to nothing.

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Elena

I celebrate Halloween frugally by buying treats at dollar stores

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Ernest S.

In my old neighborhood, we would cut-out jack-o-lanterns out of brown grocery bags and place them over smaller lamp posts. All the neighbors would participate, and it would create a very spooky and cool look!

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Sara C

I've saved almost all the costumes my family has used in the past 30 years so have lots of different items to choose from.

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Gina

I don't dress up so I don't spend money on a costume. I buy candy the day after Halloween when it's discounted.

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April C.

We make homemade costumes. My son has fun and it saves a lot of money.

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Renee

I wait until after Halloween is over to buy sale candy and always make my own costume from stuff I already have or can get for cheap at the thrift store.

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Julie Lundstrom

We carve pumpkins, make some pumpkin seeds, pick up a pumpkin shaped pizza at Papa Murphy's for dinner, then go out trick or treat with the kids.

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Susan P.

I celebrate Halloween frugally by not buying candy and not being home on Halloween. If I do need a costume, I always make one from items I have on hand. I have decorations that I've saved over the years that I reuse every year for Halloween and Fall.

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Emily S.

We never spend <$5 on costumes and we host a potluck style party!

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Jen D

Years ago I bought a number of foam pumpkins at Michaels when they were on sale. I've never carved them, just set them out in my fall decor. Because these pumpkins are light and can blow away, I still buy a few pumpkins at the lowest possible prices - again I don't carve them, so that I can have them in my yard decor through Thanksgiving. For treats I buy a big bag of candy from Sam's Club and also throw in some glow sticks so that bracelets, necklaces, tiaras, etc. can help with safety.

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Liz

I don't dress up or buy candy.

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Guest

We make our own Halloween costumes each year - or at least as much as we can. This year we are all dressed as pumpkins and going as a pumpkin patch. Saves a lot of money that way and we get to have fun as a family together.

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Anna Pry

we dont celebrate halloween in any big way which is super-frugal without trying. i take the kids to trunk or treat which is free and they make their own costumes

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Gues

My parents come from out of town every year to celebrate Halloween with my family. We usually make carmel apples together, since it is apple season. It is fun to decorate them and does not cost a lot. This year we are going to do a bonfire in the driveway, while the girls go trick-or-treating. I try and make my daughters' costumes every year. This year they are friends' of Strawberry Shortcake, Blueberry Muffin and Lemon Meringue. They both have tutus we made for $7, I bought $1 shirts in their appropriate color, and I bought white leggings for $2 and used markers to put the green stripes on them.

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Manohar Dodballapur

Buy used halloween costumes from Goodwill.

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An g

yes we try to use what we have in the house and for food we always use coupons and watch for the best deals.

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Raina

My company has a costume contest at work, and my boss lets us "expense" our costumes (the company pays for them). I don't decorate my house or buy candy to give out; I always go to a family member's house on Halloween night.

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lostAnnfound

when the kids were young and went out trick-or-treating, we would either swap costumes with friends and families or make our own. One year our older daughter went out as a washing machine, which she made with a big box that she colored and then decorated with some clothes that she attached to the box along with an empty box of fabric softener and container of laundry detergent.

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Guest

We use last seasons dance recital costume for Halloween. I also gather up all the unused miscellaneous snacks and gifts to add to the candy bucket.

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Nancy

For frugal outdoor decorations, we hang ghosts from the trees and the porch. Years ago, I saved white tulle (netting) used to decorate at the wedding reception of my daughter and son-in-law. I create spooky faces with black marker on white balloons and cover the balloons with jagged, trailing lengths of the white tulle, tied off with fishing line or dental floss. I reuse the white netting year after year.

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Guest

I use the same decorations every year and I buy candy from the Grocery Outlet.

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Guest

I give out candy for the few kids that come by. Other than that, I usually wear old costumes I have.

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Matt

I don't spend a lot on my costume and I try to make it myself

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Monique

I don't have kids and my area is not a trick-or-treating hot spot, so there's not a lot of need to buy candy or decorate. I do like to get dressed up for Halloween, though. The thrift store is great for many costumes. I think I might be a raccoon, but I'm not quite decided yet.

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Karen L.

We shop for candy at the warehouse club stores and reuse some of our decorations from previous years. Most costumes are made using every day items in unique ways.

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Ana

a night in with halloween movies, popcorn, and cookies.

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Susan Smith

I use the same decorations, year after year.

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Lynda

we don't really celebrate halloween

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Lisa Puckett (@luvmykids72)

We celebrate frugally by shopping at dollar store, making our own costumes and reusing decorations and treat bags.

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R. B. A. Ross

I usually make my own costumes and then buy my candy after Halloween.

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Jeff

we don't celebrate Halloween and if we want some candy we'll get it on sale after the fact.

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Alissa A

I don't celebrate Halloween so I don't spend anything!!

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Betty

We have a party in work, and it's a potluck. The food is always great.

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Kimmy Burgess

I celebrate Halloween by decorating pumpkins and by lighting pumpkin lamps. Stitching old clothes with horrifying designs are good to go.

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Suz_Glo

I only give out the "good" candy bars but I save money by combining coupons with drugstore deals and store rebate offers all month long. By the end of October I've usually got a good supply of candy for less than $15

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Laura J

We celebrate frugally by picking up our candy to pass out when its on sale stacked with a coupon! We also shop for our costumes at our local thrift stores!

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Rich

I use coupons to buy candy and once it is gone, I turn off the porch lights.

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Amanda Sakovitz

I buy candy on sale.

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Sheryl

Buy my candy on sale and reuse decorations.

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Miss kim

We make our own halloween costumes.

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jaron

I just use an old sheet and cut some holes out and boom I have a ghost costume. FREE!

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Elle

I always buy candy on sale, never ever pay full price and we reuse costumes for many years.

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MELISSA HANSSON

I use coupons for candy and try to combine with store sales. I used coupons for the Spirit halloween store last night to pick up the last 2 pieces of my husband's costume. And I try to choose costumes that work with clothes and accessories we already have. This year we're going as silent film actors - a villain and a girl tied to the railroad tracks.

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Liisa R

By not dressing up because I don't like to anyway, and by going to friends' houses or staying home. :) We don't celebrate Halloween much, I guess.

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Ginger

I don't waste money on buying a Halloween costume. I bought some nice fake white and orange pumpkins at Michael's when they were 70% off and re-use these year after year. I haven't had any trick or treaters in 4 years so I don't have to buy candy.

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SKB

I buy candy with coupons and wear the same pirate outfit each year.

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Catseye

Re-use costumes until they fall apart.

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Guest

I make cookies instead of buy candy to give out and make my own costumes.

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DT

buy candy on sale with coupons and use homemade decorations or those passed down from my parents

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Kim

Dollar store decorations (that can be re-used), pick your own pumpkins, and costumes thought of in advance (to reduce the last-minute rush!)

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Michelle D.

I buy decorations at the dollar store or else make them myself!

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Michael k

We wait until the last minute to buy costumes because it always goes 50% off

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Happy Love

We reused Halloween decorations, buy candy on sale (we don't get a lot of trick-or-treaters on our street, but we get a few), and we buy our pumpkins from a neighbor's cart or from a local civics group.

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Jess

Buy costume(s) on sale or second hand. No big yard decorations, just a couple pumpkins. I buy just enough candy to hand out and don't open the bags (bought on sale) until it's trick or treat time (no eating all the candy before Halloween and having to replace it).

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Bethany

We reuse costumes.

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BRB

We don't! We have a budget line item for the holiday as it is our anniversary and we have a party!

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Cf

We buy Halloween costumes for next year the day after Halloween whe it has big mark downs

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Louly

Throw a day-after-Halloween party so that everyone can get their costumes on clearance!! :)

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Thomas Murphy

I use coupons to buy candy.