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DOs and DON’Ts of Halloween

October is a scary time of year, not just because of Halloween, but that it means your bank account may be taking a heavy hit. If you’re like me and LOOOOVE this spooky season you can sometimes get carried away. I’ve ended up spending waaaay too much on a costume that I only wear once and immediately regret my purchase on November 1st.

So for those of you Halloween uber fans I wanted to share some of the DOs and DON’Ts of this magical season to save you some moolah.

DON’T: Buy your costumes online
It may seem like a cheaper option, but after taxes and shipping fees it costs about the same as one of those pop-up Halloween stores. Plus, when you buy your costume online there is always that risk that it will look nothing like its picture.

Take it from me. I wanted to be Pikachu and dropped $50.00 on a costume because I thought I would wear it more than once. I ended up with a mutant version of the Pokemon and looked so shady I felt like I ruined some people’s childhoods.

DON’T: Buy your costume from the pop-up Halloween stores
These are the stores that magically appear in the darkest corner of the mall. They are filled to the rafters with super-expensive costumes that end up being made from the cheapest material. You usually find a lot of last-minute shoppers here who are willing to pay more for a cruddy costume because they waited until the last-minute.

For those of you who plan ahead I suggest steering clear from these shops. Their costumes are a one-time wear and sometimes not even that. I’ve had friends who’ve had their costume tear or fall apart before the night has even begun. The only reason you should be perusing the racks is to maybe get some inspiration for your own costume.

DON’T: Buy all the alcohol
If you are planning to have a party the majority of your budget usually will go to buying alcohol. this year to save some of your hard-earned cash, make it a BYOB. This way you won’t have to break the bank to have people get sloshed at your place. Instead of buying the alcohol buy stuff to mix the drinks. It’s not as expensive as booze, but it’ll be a nice touch for the people who are bringing their own.

DO: DIY (Do It Yourself)
Making your own costume or decorations will be waaay cheaper than buying them. Plus, when you make things yourself you get a great sense of accomplishment once you’ve finished. If you don’t have super creative tendencies, but you have a wonderful friend who is a costume wiz see if you can employ their services.

For some DIY costume ideas check these out: http://bit.ly/1NTJeOd, http://bit.ly/1OSxEBz
And for DIY decorations give this a gander: http://bit.ly/YX3QNz

DO: Go to thrift stores
Thrift stores are beyond awesome. You can find some amazing stuff for costumes and decorations that are cheaper than cheap. The only thing about thrift stores is that it can be a tad overwhelming if you go in without a theme or a general idea in mind. Make sure you have a plan and possibly a posse of people to help you sift through the mountains of clothes and cool knick knacks that will be everywhere.

DO: Dollar Store it up!
I am a HUUUGE fan of dollar stores, especially during Halloween. You can get some great candy for parties on the cheap and find some finishing touches to your costume as well as single-use decorations. The only problem is that EVERYONE loves the dollar store too. Make sure you are prepared to wait in line, because it will be looooong. Also, just like the thrift store, make sure you have a plan of attack when going to the dollar store. Some of them can be pretty big and you don’t want to start your Halloween off overwhelmed.

DO: BYOC (Bring Your Own Candy)
It’s not a Halloween party without candy, but ‘tis the season for crazy high snack prices, so your choice of goodies may be limited. Instead of paying for all of the candy have a kind of potluck party where you get your guests to bring their own. This could mean people bring home-made noms or go to the store and buy a value pack of candy bars. Definitely suggest to your friends to head over to bulk food stores. This way they can avoid the expensive boxes of candy and can pick and choose their faves. Having people bring their own goodies will mean your party will have a greater variety and your wallet won’t die of fright once your credit card bill comes in.

DO: Buy decorations that will last
If you are a person who loves to decorate for Halloween each year I would suggest spending a little more on decorations that will last longer. Some of us only decorate if we are hosting a party, so buying single-use decorations make sense. If you are a person that goes all out each year, buying stuff that can handle wear and tear and can be reused year after year is something you should invest in. Sure, it may be a bit costly now, but this means you won’t have to spend money on decorations next year. Plus if you shop for your Halloween goodies once it’s over you can save mega bucks on clearance sales!

DO: Group Costumes/Costume Swap
Have some fun with your friends and do a group costume. Pool your resources and find out if you can create a costume with stuff that you all already have at home. If you need to supplement your sweet ‘stume have everyone chip in $5.00 and head over to the thrift store or the dollar store. Whatever money you have left over can go towards candy or drinks.

If you can’t create a group costume try swapping your old Halloween outfits with your friends. Trade your Supergirl costume for someone else’s Harry Potter uniform. This way you don’t have to buy a costume, and you have oodles of things to choose from.

DO: Skip the costumes and have a scary movie night
If you don’t want to go out and get dressed up, but still want to keep with the Halloween spirit, get your friends together and have a scary movie night. Have everyone bring their fave horror movie and some popcorn or candy, turn off the lights, and have a super fun fright night! This way you don’t have to spend oodles on a costume or the insane entry-fee for a club (seriously, don’t go clubbing on Halloween unless you want your wallet to cry).

I hope you all have a happy Halloween!

Trick or treat!
-Karyn

 

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