We are days away from the Halloween Holidays, one of the most exciting times of the year for young people and the perfect time for them to don fancy dress, throw a Halloween party and go ‘trick or treating’. Door bells will start ringing as young people make their way around the houses collecting their Halloween goodies.
However this all costs money and in the run up to Christmas when money is tight careful budgeting and money saving tips can make all the difference.
You really don’t have to break the bank to have a ‘spooktacular’ Halloween – why not check out some the ideas below – you will save yourself some money, make your Halloween unique and hopefully have some fun in the process!!
‘Scare’ yourself up for Halloween with the right costume
Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to get dressed up but fancy dress costumes can be pricey especially if you have to buy more than one. There are however ways of cutting down on the costs and making costumes more individual – what about trying some of the following
· Check out local charity shops for second hand costumes or if you are feeling creative you could buy some old clothes and fashion your own creation
· Supermarkets usually sell affordable costumes for kids and some even offer them for adults if you are getting dressed up too
· Have a look on the Internet – there are lots of sites that offer very affordable options for all age groups
· If you have a ‘buy and sell’ site in your local area why not join it and sell your old costumes to make money to buy new ones
· Host a Halloween costume swapping party – get everyone to bring along their old costumes and encourage them to swap with someone else – it’s a great way of saving money, recycling and having some fun
· Buy some face paints – you can get these in most discount stores and instead of wearing costumes get the young people to create a character by painting their faces
If you are having a Halloween party costs can mount up – you will have to decorate your home, feed your guests and think of exciting ways to entertain them. You can do all of this relatively cheaply by shopping around and trying out new ideas.
Freak out your home with some ‘haunted house’ decorations
Decorations don’t have to cost the earth, you just have to think smart and do things a little bit differently
· Visit your local ‘pound’ store and check out some of their budget decorations, they have a great variety on offer from skeletons to ghostly ghouls
· Use turnips instead of pumpkins to make your lanterns, they are much cheaper and a lot easier to find
· Encourage your kids to be creative and make their own spider’s webs, you can do this by cutting up old newspapers – the addition of some plastic spiders will make them even more realistic
Whip up a ‘Frightening’ Feast
If you are throwing a Halloween party you will no doubt want to have some themed food to serve your guests – buying readymade food can be very expensive so why not create your own
· Cupcakes are very fashionable and a can be produced relatively cheaply. Bake a batch and decorate with some plastic bugs, spiders or scary eyeballs
· Buy some plastic cups and make up some individual green jellies – once set put a jelly snake on the top – much cheaper than buying ready to eat jellies and much more ghoulish!
· Instead of serving plain old white bread sandwiches buy some food colouring and dye the bread green or red
· Buy multipacks of mini chocolate bars in the local supermarket for the Trick or Treaters calling at your house and if you have any left you can use them at your Halloween party
Entertain your guests with some ‘Freakishly Fun’ Halloween Games
Halloween games don’t have to cost the earth – using household items and a bit of imagination can be just as much fun
· Split the young people into pairs and give each of them a toilet roll – one from each pair should use the toilet roll to mummify their partner
· Use some of the left over sweets from the Trick or Treating to create a Halloween Treasure Hunt – hide them around the house and garden and draw up a set of clues to the Treasure
· Buy a bag of cheap apples, make up some toffee and allow the kids to make their own toffee apples – give them some decorations such as hundreds and thousands to add and then award a prize for the best creation
· Fill some bowls with food such as pasta, custard, cold soup, margarine, jelly or any other slimey substances you can find it your cupboard and cover each bowl with a cloth – cut a slit in the top so that the young people can slip their hands inside and let them feel around and guess what is in the bowl
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Budgeting tips for a ‘Freaking Fabulous’ Halloween
By Jill Smyth, head of MoneySense
Jill Smyth is Head of MoneySense, a free and impartial financial education programme run by Ulster Bank that is used by almost 70% of post-primary schools in Northern Ireland and has a new online offering for families called MoneySense at Home www.moneysense.ulsterbank.co.uk