Save a little cash this Halloween by buying smarter and getting creative with what you already have at home. At each aspect of Halloween festivities there are ways you can spend wisely and reuse.
1. At-Home Decorations. Deck out windows with your child's old wooden blocks, having your child help you spell words like BOO! or SPOOKY. Black or orange soy candles, which burn slower than paraffin ones, add a long-lasting highlight to the scary lettering.
Buy solar-powered lights and holiday decorations to save on outdoor extension cords and wasted electricity.
Keep your leaves around. Piles of them in your front yard are nature's own (free!) decoration.
2. Trick-or-Treating. Use reusable grocery bags for collecting your child's goodies; strong enough for a gallon of milk, they'll easily survive the night and beyond. Stores often sell them in multiple colors, and orange or black ones can be had for as little as 99 cents each.
Save gas and stay close to home, walking door to door with your preschooler.
Buy a costume that holds up to some wear and tear, so you can make sure it lasts through the school party, friends' get-togethers, and trick-or-treating.
3. Food. Carve pumpkins as close to the big day as possible. You can use the pulp to make cookies and roast the seeds for tasty holiday treats. And if the pumpkin hasn't sat outside too long, you can still use the flesh to make a yummy pie or bread the day after.
When buying candy, make sure to check the price per unit to see which bag of goodies is really the best deal for you.
Purchase treats that aren't covered in ghouls and goblins. Leftover un-themed sweets can be used for birthday goody bags or the Thanksgiving Day party at preschool.
4. Parties. Instead of buying disposable silverware and dinnerware for your kids' holiday parties, use your own flatware or purchase orange dinnerware made of recycled plastics that you can reuse for fall picnics or backyard barbecues at home.
Use electronic invites to organize the party and save a bundle on paper cards and postage.
Reuse old newspapers or magazines--along with water, flour, and balloons--to make homemade piñatas in skull or jack-o'-lantern shapes.
Remember, saving money this Halloween doesn't have to be scary, and every little bit helps!