Halloween Time Savers for a Stress-Free Holiday


Halloween is lurking just around the corner. To help you prepare in advance (so on October 31 you’re not in a zombie-like trance), here are some pre-holiday tips that will allow you to make the most of the scariest night of the year.

Get Your Costumes and Accessories Early

Yes, I know that costumes are discounted as Halloween nears — and those discounts are well worth waiting for if you don’t care what your costume is — but if you want the pick of the litter, you have to shop early. Shopping even a week in advance will limit your selection, because the best costumes will be picked through and the range of sizes will be small. (See also: 85 Easy, Frugal Halloween Costume Ideas)

Think of all the other items you’ll need, too, and make a list. If you plan to use accessories or makeup, don’t wait until the last minute to pick them up. You’ll be disappointed if they’re not available at the costume shop or stressed out if you’re rushing in there two hours before the big party.

The night before, bring all your items out, take inventory, and place everything together in a safe place. If all your costume components are ready and waiting for you when you get off work, you'll get out of the house and into celebration mode much quicker.

Make Your Costume From Things Around the House

Want to avoid the crowds and mass-produced costumes all together? Let your creativity run wild in your own closet, which will also save you time and money. Everyone has random clothes and accessories that would work well as part of a themed outfit. Football jerseys, tool belts, boots, scrubs, cheerleading outfits, old suits — whatever it is, you can dress it up or down and turn into something fun and frightening. It might not be the most original costume out there (although you can still come up with amazing ideas with things you have already have around the house), but at least you’ll be festive without dropping dough on a costume you’ll wear for less than 12 hours.

Make Dinner the Night Before

If you have a family of trick-or-treaters, make your Halloween meal the night before. Put it in the fridge so you can heat it up and serve quickly. As soon as you get off work, the kids will be ready to go; by having the meal on the table in less time that it usually takes, they’ll have more time to go door-to-door, and you won’t have to listen to as much nagging. Plus, by heading out on a full stomach, you and the kids will be less inclined to dig into the stash before you can get home to properly inspect it.

Plan the Trick-or-Treating Route

Print out a map of the neighborhood in which you intend to trick-or-treat, and sit down as a family and discuss the route. This will give the kids a chance to pick the houses they definitely want to hit (they always remember the ones will the full-size candy bars), and it will allow you to set a schedule. If you have more than one child, let them each contribute to the route choices, so there's an equal balance of power. Once you reach the end of the route, let them know that it will be time to go home — an easier task to accomplish if it’s predetermined and on paper.

Have even more time-saving Halloween tips? Let me know in the comments below.

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