Halloween decorated house.

It's October and you know what that means... you've been waiting all year for this! The time has finally arrived: Halloween is just around the corner. If you're like me, then your mind is racing with ideas on how to spend as little money as possible and still have a great night of tricks or treats (or maybe both!).

Halloween is a blast! But it can also be very expensive, and if you are on a limited budget, there are still ways to have an awesome Halloween without breaking the bank. I know it can be hard to save money when times are tough, but with a little creativity, you can make Halloween on a budget go a long way!

Here are 11 spooktacular ideas for saving money this Halloween:

Make your own costumes by using old clothes, scarves, and masks

Kid in homemade costume.

So many people spend a ton of money on retail-made costumes, but it can be just as simple to put together something from your closet. A scarf and some old clothes from the bottom of your closet can create a great costume that will make you a hit at a party or with trick or treaters on Halloween night.

You don't need to spend a lot on masks either - use everyday objects like cereal boxes, paper mâché, and cardboard tubes. And let's be honest, we all have giant stacks of Amazon boxes stored in our garage that we recycle each week. Get creative and try to think of fun things that you can make at home.

If you're lucky, your friends may have some old clothes they were just about to throw away that would make great costumes. You can cut up t-shirts and pants into pieces or use them as is. Ghouls, goblins, zombies, vampires, or any monster you choose can be made with a little creativity and your basic household supplies!

Make your own costumes by going to a thrift store like Salvation Army or Goodwill

Thrift store clothes.

Don't forget to check out the thrift store! Thrift stores are a great place for cheap costumes. The Halloween section at a thrift store will be picked over pretty well by October 31st, so don't wait too long! Another option might be to ask your friends, family, or neighbors if anyone has any spare Halloween costumes from last year's big night.

Many people put their costumes up on Facebook, Next Door, and Craigslist, so get creative and see what people are selling! Check these out after Halloween or during Spring Cleaning season when people want to declutter and get rid of them.

Find free or low-cost Halloween events to attend (in-person or virtual!)

Pumpkin patch.

There are plenty of ways to get into the Halloween spirit without breaking your bank! Check out your city's events calendar or local newspaper. Some great options include haunted hayrides, ghost tours and trips to amusement parks, which all may come with an admission fee. Old, abandoned ghost towns are always fun, with over 200 in Oregon alone to explore!

Don't forget about virtual events either - there are plenty to choose from online! Virtual Halloween events are a perfect way to get together with friends and family, especially when living apart long-distance. Try playing Jackbox Games and use your phone to play on Zoom, Google, Skype, etc.

Buy Halloween candy in bulk from a grocery store, wholesale club, or online

Trick or treating candy.

The best way to purchase Halloween candy on a budget is to buy in bulk from a wholesale club like Costco, WinCo, or Sam's Club, but with work and life, it can be difficult to find the time and transportation to get there. But if you're willing to go visit your local stores, they usually have plenty of candy selections to choose from. And best of all, you get to support the local community and local businesses!

Don't worry though - you can also buy Halloween candy online too! Amazon is offering free shipping on bulk candies right now, and many other smaller online stores are doing the same. Search around to find the right deal for you!

Host a Halloween party where everyone brings their favorite dish

Halloween treats.

Halloween parties are the perfect way to get together with the ones you care about and have some fun! Have your friends and family bring their favorite homemade dishes, including Halloween themed baked treats and finger food.

Ask everyone to pitch in on other items (like paper plates and cups), and don't forget about fun drinks - ask people to come up with interesting beverage recipes using different types of juices, sodas, etc. You could even have a costume contest at this party by having each guest show off their costume and have fun, creative winner categories.

End the night with the big movie marathon or play a fun Halloween themed game all together. Whether you play Halloween Truth or Scare, have a Zombie Scavenger Hunt, or play Monster Bingo, you'll be sure to entertain guests of all ages!

Use an old-school Kodak camera to take fun photos for trick or treaters or Halloween party guests to have

Polaroid Halloween photos.

Have an old Kodak camera that takes instant photos? Why not dust it off and use it to take fun photos for the trick or treaters that you can give to them. It would add such a fun, creative way to make their night memorable and the parents would love a fun keepsake! Always ask permission from the parents. And if you've dressed up yourself, why not take a Kodak selfie?

And if you host a fun Halloween party, give your guests a fun, memorable keepsake at the end of the night! Because who wouldn't want to remember an awesome party thrown by you?!

Drive around neighborhoods (slowly!) and enjoy the Halloween decorations of all the festive houses

Halloween decorated house.

Driving around the neighborhood looking at all the creative, imaginative decorations that your neighbors have put out can be so much fun! With all the new technology available, people have gotten so creative with their designs! Just drive around slowly - watch out for pedestrians! Plus, you don't want to miss anything!

Take pictures of your favorite Halloween decorations and share them on social media with the hashtag #HalloweenDecorations. Not only can you give credit where it is due, but this gives people a chance to see how creative others are too!

If your neighborhood doesn't have a lot of decorations, don't worry! Search online and look for "neighborhoods with the best Halloween decorations near me." You can usually find the best local neighborhoods that get so imaginative and creative. So, put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and see what's out there!

Shop at Dollar Stores for Halloween Decorations

Pumpkin light decorations.

If you're looking for creative and inexpensive Halloween decorations, try shopping at Dollar Stores to get the best deal! You may be able to find decorative items like fake spider webs, flashing lights, masks and hats, black and orange streamers and confetti, black and orange tablecloths, plastic pumpkins and skeletons, fake blood, and black, red, and green icing for cake decorating.

Make your own bloody candles using dollar candles with fake blood; create pinecone spiders and monsters with dollar store pipe cleaners, silly stick-on eyes, and candy cane teeth; put glowsticks in red or black balloons and hang them outside or in windows; find scary or creepy wall decals, window decals and cardboard signs to put out in the yard; the possibilities are endless with a little imagination!

Make your own Halloween Decorations

Witches cauldron.

Pumpkins are the go-to Halloween decoration for DIYers, so why not get creative with your designs. Don't just carve and make Jack-O-Lanterns; try stacking them or covering them with fun festive decorations. Add some bittersweet vine and glue or pin to the pumpkin to stay. Or try painting them with fun effects that could enhance the look and feel of the carved pumpkins.

Try spray-painting old wine or beverage bottles matte-black and place white, red, or black candles in the top to create eerie Halloween candles that your guests will surely find fun and unique! You could even paint white spiders, spider webs or other ghoulishly fun things on the bottles.

And for that Halloween party, or to enhance your outdoor spookiness, you can use a cast-iron Dutch oven without the lid and make a "cauldron" with creepy fog billowing out. Just add dry ice to the bottom and regularly add more throughout the night!

And if you want a sweet-er idea, try building a candy wreath out of your favorite bite-size candies! Pick fun, festive, and colorfully wrapped treats, and hot glue them together carefully to create a silly yet satisfying wreath that would make Hansel and Gretel nervous!

Roast the pumpkin seeds after you carve your pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds.

Now that you've carved all your pumpkins for Halloween, it's time to throw away all the goop into the... Wait! Don't do that! Instead of wasting the pumpkin seeds, try this amazing, budget friendly recipe that not only is delicious, but incredibly simple to make!

Perfectly Prepared Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe:

Start by cleaning all the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin pulp. Get most of it separated from the seeds (sorry, it’s a bit messy!) and place seeds in colander. Once you have the seeds separated, then run the seeds in the colander under running water to clean thoroughly. Lay out on a paper towel and pat them dry.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toss seeds in a bowl with melted butter (olive or avocado oil can be substituted or added, too), ground Himalayan salt (or fine sea salt), garlic powder, paprika, and lemon pepper and thoroughly mix. Evenly spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes (or until golden brown) Make sure you stir and flip the seeds in the pan every 7-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Enjoy yourself and have fun on Halloween!


This Halloween don’t let the budget keep you from having a great time! With these 11 simple ways to save money for your holiday festivities, it will be easier than ever before. Whether you want to have an in-person gathering or enjoy virtual events with friends and family around the world, there are plenty of affordable options available this year.

Whatever kind of celebration you decide on - whether it's hosting a party at home or going out trick or treating with your kids - take advantage of all that is free and affordable! From finding fun costumes and decorations at thrift stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill, to trying new roasted pumpkin seed recipes, there are so many ways to spend less while still enjoying one of our favorite holidays.

At Rivermark Community Credit Union, we wish you and your family a Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Image.

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