11 ideas to save money on Halloween celebrations

Pumpkin lanternIs it just me, or are the shops stocking Halloween stuff earlier this year? I spotted the first displays in mid-September, which is mad. It’s getting as bad as Christmas. Either way, it looks like they’re gearing us up for a spending frenzy, which is enough to make me dig my heels in.

It’s yet another reminder that the entire western world economy depends on us being persuaded to buy a constant stream of stuff. If we don’t spend enough, the whole kit and caboodle disappears down the toilet and we all lose our jobs and starve. What a stupid system. But we’re stuck with it.

So, how to cut your Halloween spending to the bone? Here are some handy tips for keeping it under control.

  1. Hide! It’s what we do. Put the lights out at the front of the house and ignore the doorbell. Then you won’t have to buy trick or treat sweets for complete strangers, for no reason other than that’s what people traditionally do. Call us tight if you like, but it’s better than being interrupted every five minutes by gangs of sweet-crazed kids, parents and teens.
  2. Keep fireworks for November 5th. They don’t have anything to do with Halloween, it’s just another creeping trend designed to make us spend cash.
  3. Make your own costumes. Black bin bags are an excellent starting point for all sorts of scary costumes.
  4. Have a night in instead of going out, inviting everyone round your place and getting them all to bring a bottle and snacks. If you’re 100% grown ups with no kids around, how about a ghost story party? Everyone knows at least one spooky tale and gathering around in a dimly lit room telling tall tales is a sure-fire way to scare yourelf silly – great fun!
  5. Make your own decorations. There are some excellent tips here on the DIY network site, on the Martha Stewart site and at Country Living
  6. Use Pinterest for inspiration. Here’s a link to a particularly good board full of fab Halloween ideas
  7. Up north, in Yorkshire, we’d hang a sprig of Mountain Ash, AKA Witch Hazel, at each window and door to keep the spirits out. What about traditional Halloween things to do in your region or county? Old fashioned celebrations are often cheap and cheerful because they originated in an age before shopping took over the world, and it helps you keep old traditions alive, too.
  8. Visit Favecrafts for a whopping 268 DIY Halloween ideas. Crikey!
  9. Buy a brew your own kit and might have just enough time to brew up a load of cheap booze – you can get kits to brew in a week
  10. Try these last minute cheap Halloween costume ideas by the Huffington Post.
  11. Make the most of the humble baked spud, cheap and totally delicious with really simple fillings like baked beans – make it even better by using black food colouring to create horribly spooky baked beans