How to Celebrate Halloween on Any Budget

By Gemma Hartley
October 14, 2017

Halloween has long been one of my favorite holidays. Even now that I’m too old for trick-or-treating, I still enjoy getting dressed up, making fun treats, carving pumpkins, and going to costume parties.

Luckily, it doesn’t take a whole lot of cash to have a fun-filled Halloween. Whether you’re pinching every last penny or ready to go all out throwing a monstrously good bash, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Halloween on a budget. Here are a few ideas for a scary good time:

Free ($0)

Costumes: If you’re looking for a Halloween costume, but don’t have the cash, freecycle is a great way to find what you’re looking for. The site allows people to post stuff to give away or find good stuff for nothing. If that’s a bust, go into your own closet and get creative. Here’s a list of costumes you may already have on hand.

Party: Just because you’re strapped for cash doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a party. Put on your party pants or a free costume, and head to a friend’s celebration or a community Halloween event. If you don’t know of anything going on in town, just google “free Halloween events near me” and get to it!

Decor: If you want that Halloween feeling with your home decor, you can still get crafty without spending any money. For starters, switch out some picture frames with free Halloween printables and gather some pinecones. Use your imagination and some old clothes to make a scarecrow and see what else you can scare up!

Super Cheap (up to $20)

Costumes: Makeup is your best friend when it comes to creating a stunning costume on the cheap. You can usually find a decent makeup kit at a discount store or online for under ten bucks. You can also use everyday makeup to create a stunning Halloween look. Here’s another idea: a cheap animal headband or devil horns paired with a face full of makeup can get you ready in a flash.

Party: If you want to have some friends over for a good time, try hosting a pumpkin carving party. Have everyone bring their own pumpkin, set out some old newspaper and carving sets, and roast up some pumpkin seeds to eat while everyone is getting creative.

Decor: Dollar stores are the way to go if you want to maximize your Halloween decoration budget. These stores usually sell leaf garland, craft paper for DIY projects, and of course, holiday swag. Check out Pinterest for some great Halloween crafts, like these gorey bleeding candles.

Cheap ($20-50)

Costume: Thrift stores are the best for creating awesome Halloween costumes for a low price-tag. For example, you can make a killer costume with an old wedding dress and a good zombie bride makeup tutorial. You can also usually find actual Halloween costumes right up until October 31.

Party: If you’ve got a small budget but still want to throw a great Halloween party, go for a potluck option, where everyone brings their own favorite fall dish. Good food, good costumes, and a good playlist and you’re all set.

Decor: Spray paint is the ultimate way to transform cheap plastic decorations into high-style Halloween decor. Whether you’re spray painting pumpkins and pinecones with a golden sheen or going for a gothic black aesthetic, a can of paint will go a long way in giving you the haunted look you desire.

Moderate Budget ($50-100)

Costume: If you’ve got a little wiggle room in your budget, you can buy a costume, or try a DIY option and jazz it up with a wig and accessories. Browse Pinterest for the best halloween costumes and let your imagination and budget come together to create something marvelous.

Party: Get into the Halloween spirit with themed party games. Bobbing for apples and eating doughnuts on a string without using your hands are hilarious games for all ages. The setup won’t cost you much and you may even have left-overs for party snacks.

Decor: Your favorite craft or discount store is likely to have everything you need to decorate your home without busting your budget. The Dollar Spot at Target is always a favorite of mine to stock up on inexpensive, streamlined decor. And, if you can’t find sales, try using a coupon online.

Where to splurge and where to save

If you’re willing to get creative, your Halloween budget can stretch in impressive ways. Dollar stores, online yard sales, thrift shops, and even Target may have just what you’re looking for – on the cheap. Happy Halloween!

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