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9 Clever Money-Saving Ideas for Halloween

You can still have spook-tacular fun on Halloween without breaking the bank. Read on for money-saving tips for Halloween.

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HalloweenLook Studio/Shutterstock


See what you have on hand. Last year’s Harry Potter cape can be re-purposed into a vampire cape with minimal effort. You have black clothes to wear underneath, so all you need are some fangs and face makeup. If you need inspiration, check out our best DIY Halloween costumes that are easy to put together last minute

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clothesSTUDIO GRAND OUEST/Shutterstock

Get thrifty

Swing by the local second-hand shop or Salvation Army to check out their selection of cheap Halloween costumes. Given that most Halloween costumes are worn once, you can often find options that are in decent shape. The formal wear section may have gowns, suits, and tuxedos, which can be used for a whole host of cheap Halloween costumes. If you prefer online, search “Halloween costumes” at an online consignment shop, like or Facebook Marketplace. Amp up the spooky fun with these creepy, crawly Halloween crafts for kids.

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furAlexandra Tyukavina/Shutterstock

Word of caution on buying used

Note that if you purchase something used, run it through a hot dryer to ward off any unwanted passengers, i.e. bedbugs. If there is faux fur on the costume, freeze the garment instead. The fur could melt in the dryer. 

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halloweenCreative Lab/Shutterstock

Set limits

If, after you’ve exhausted your DIY and previously-owned options and a few family members still need costumes, set some spending limits before heading to the store so everyone is aware of the parameters (and know to steer clear of the high-end section). And if they land on a costume that is well below their spending cap, they can “give” those extra funds to someone else whose costume may be more expensive, thereby teaching the lesson of generosity—a stretch for us all. Also find out how you can decorate a pumpkin without carving.

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candyMarjan Apostolovic/Shutterstock

Wait…if you can stand it

The prices for costumes and candy will decrease as the holiday approaches, but as the prices fall, the selection will thin. If a certain someone has their heart set on a specific character, i.e. Elsa from Frozen, you might want to snag that costume on the early side, as in, NOW. If you wait until a day or two before Halloween, the options could be limited to the less popular princesses. Same goes for candy. You may not be able to find that big bag of pumpkin-shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups so close to Halloween, but the Smarties will be 50 to 75 percent off.  FYI, the very best time to buy Halloween costumes is the day or two after Halloween. If you’re a planner, buy next year’s costume at a rock bottom price and store it away.  

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Costume sales

Before you decide where to shop, look for where the sales are. Currently, Spirit Halloween is offering online-only discounts, and Party City and Halloween Express already have select costumes on clearance. Looking to lighten the mood of scary Halloween costumes? Try out one of these 25 punny Halloween costumes that are sure to make people laugh

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candyDan Kosmayer/Shutterstock

Save on sweets

If you own an Alexa-enabled device, say, “Alexa, what are your Halloween deals?” to get the scoop on savings. If you expect to give out–or eat–a lot of candy, bulk Halloween candy can be a big money saver. We found Halloween favorites, like M&M’s Fun Size and Twizzlers, on, a fee-free online wholesale club, priced between 10 to 50 percent off. Or, use your Sams Club, BJ’s, or Costco memberships to save a bundle on Halloween candy. Check out some surprising facts about Halloween candy you never knew.

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halloweenRena Schild/Shutterstock

Décor sales

If you plan to deck out your home in gory glory, décor is discounted up to 60 percent off at Oriental Trading and up to 80 percent off plus an extra 10 percent off at Rose Wholesale. If you like to make things yourself, check out 30 cheap DIY Halloween decorations that instantly make your house more festive.

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Save even more

To maximize your savings, check coupon sites, like, for Halloween-related deals; earn cash back while you shop online by installing a browser extension, like the Swagbucks Swagbutton; and shop with discounted gift cards from a site like Happy haunting! Next, you don’t want to miss these secrets Halloween costume designers want you to know.