The scariest part of Halloween for some people isn't the hordes of candy-seeking zombies, it's the bills. Consumers are expected to spend 9% more on costumes, candy and decorations this year. Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, discusses how to save.
Consider looking for costumes online. It's often cheaper to buy at online sites that sell costumes year round. They have sales on stuff from last year, and plenty of codes on sites like RetailMeNot.com or CouponShack.com for as much as 20% off your order. Some sites offer free shipping, too.
You can also consider making your own costumes. Some of the trendiest costumes this year, notably zombies, lend themselves to a do-it-yourself job. That's a great opportunity to cut your bill. Secondhand stores often have costume-worthy duds for just a few bucks.
Shop candy sales. Stores often use candy as a loss-leader at this time of year, offering good sales. There are plenty of manufacturer's coupons, too, to cut the bill further. Some consumers also swear by shopping for candy at the last-minute, when stores have dropped prices to clearance levels.
Open the candy that you buy sparingly. Some years you get a lot of trick-or-treaters, other years, practically none. Some people spend as much as $100 on candy, which means a lot of it goes to waste. So instead of dumping a few bags worth of candy into a bowl, open the bags as needed. That way, you can return the stuff you don't use.
Look around for the best pumpkins. Prices are slightly higher this year in some areas after rains damaged the pumpkin crop. Even so, they're one of your cheapest decorating options. Look for deals at big supermarkets, which usually bring in pumpkins from elsewhere and are less dependent on the local crop.
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