(StatePoint) Halloween may be the spookiest night of the year, but it’s the prices for costumes and decorations that are scarier than any vampire (and they’ll drain your wallet even faster).
This year, Americans plan to spend $3.2 billion on Halloween costumes and $2.7 billion on decorations, with the average person spending nearly $87 on their costume alone, according the National Retail Federation.
There are easy ways to save money and still enjoy this season’s favorite holiday. And you can even use Halloween as an opportunity to put some extra cash in your pocket. Consider the following tips:
• Haunt your house for less. If you’re planning a Halloween party, the cost of tables, chairs, decorations and music can really put your monthly budget in the grave. Instead of scraping together décor from a party store, use a local marketplace app to seek out better deals and more interesting finds. For example, OfferUp, the nation’s largest mobile marketplace, connects buyers and sellers securely. Use the app to score eclectic dinnerware and serving dishes to make your home feel like a haunted mansion. Plus, there’s plenty of gently used spooky decorations to be found.
• Potluck your party. From candied apples to mummified cake pops, there’s no shortage of great Halloween recipe ideas out there. If you’re hosting, save yourself the cost of feeding everybody by having your guests bring their favorite spooky dish.
• Clean out the ghosts of closets past. If your closet or garage is packed with boxes full of items from years gone by, Halloween may be the perfect time to sell stuff locally to creative costume hunters near you -- either by having a garage sale or by using a local marketplace app. Your pastel windbreaker from 1985 could just be the missing piece for someone’s jazzercise costume, and those old white ski pants could help outfit a Marshmallow Man.
• DIY costumes. You can skip the full-priced Halloween stores and get creative with the items you or your neighbors already have around the house. Search your closets and listings of nearby sellers to put together some fun, spooky costumes and give yourself the opportunity to let your imagination run wild.
With a little bit of planning and some crafty buying and selling in your neighborhood, you can go all out this Halloween without over-spending. Or, take all that extra cash you saved to buy the king-size candy bars for your trick-or-treaters and be the envy of the block.