By Cyndi Roberts
For children (and the young at heart!) Halloween seems to be
even more fun than Christmas. Maybe it's because they get to dress up and
pretend to be the character of their dreams--or maybe it's just all the treats!
However, all those treats, decorations and costumes can be a
drain on the budget. So here are a few ideas to get you started thinking
creatively about ways to save this Halloween season.
If you need a favor to take to the whole class at school, here's
a quick, easy idea that won't hurt your pocketbook too much: Take a round
lollipop, such as a Tootsie Roll Pop, and drape a white Kleenex over it. Tie it
on with orange or black yarn, ribbon, raffia, or if you like, use a twist tie.
Then dot 2 eyes with a black magic marker and you have a ghost!
If you live in an area where you get lots of trick-or-treaters,
it's easy to go broke buying candy. The stores really encourage us to buy the
individually wrapped sugary stuff, but why not do something different this year?
A box of sandwich bags costs about $1.00 for 150 or so, and
these can be filled with all kinds of things. I like to buy the foldover kind
because they are cheaper and I tie them closed with yarn.
Try filling the bags with peanuts in the shell; sugarless gum;
small rings, pencils or other toys you can buy at your local $ Store.
If you are making treats for children you know, homemade treats
are the best! Make rice krispies treats, using store brand krispies, of course,
and add a little orange food coloring. Then decorate with candy corn, red hots,
And don't forget those gummy worms! Put them in pudding, or on
top of frosted cupcakes--they're always a hit!
Are your kids begging for a costume every time you visit the
local discount store? While these costumes are pretty cheap sometimes, why not
make your own? Your daughter can be a gypsy, just by wearing a full skirt and a
frilly blouse with loads of jewelry. Tie a scarf around her head and she's
thrilled! Girls love to have a chance to wear Mom's makeup and jewelry!
Or make her a cardboard crown, with gold paint and glitter, and
she's a fairy princess. Dress up your son in boots, jeans, cowboy hat and
bandanna and he's a Western cowhand! Sew some patches on those jeans, hang some
raffia out his shirt sleeves and pants legs, add a straw hat, and he's a
One year I made a black cape, because my son wanted to be
Dracula. The next year, the same black cape was a witch's cape for my daughter.
Another year it was a cape for a magician, still another time it was Zorro's
You get the idea--use your imagination and you and your family
can have the best Halloween ever!
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter "1 Frugal Friend 2
Another", bringing you practical, money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit
her online at http://www.cynroberts.com
to subscribe and receive the Free e-course, "Taming the Monster Grocery Bill".