How to get through Halloween with money left for Christmas

If you’re like most Americans, spending picks up toward the end of the year. With carnivals, fairs, fall festivals, apple picking and Halloween, October can be quite draining on the family finances.

Before you spend a grave amount on a costume, stock up on candy at full-price or purchase (another) jack-o-lantern, find some tips below that will save you money this Halloween from Rebecca Gramuglia, Shopping Expert at TopCashback.com:

Make your own. A haunting costume doesn’t need to burn a hole in your wallet. See where you can cut costs by creating your costume with DIY tricks. Whether you use clothes you already have and sew something together, play with lipstick to create a bloody vampire effect instead of buying nasty fake blood or have a crafty relative who can help, a homemade costume cost you next to nothing (and it also makes an impression). Plus, your kids can join in on the fun by adding glitter, drawing on t-shirts and making rips in clothes for the costumes. 

Host a costume swap. Let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of purchasing a costume with the intention of only wearing it once and then retiring it to a big bin with all the other forgotten Halloween costumes. This year consider trading with a friend. As long as you weren’t partying it up together last year, no one will notice. And even if you were, make a joke about it and have fun!

Re-use decorations. Halloween decorations can be cute, scary or both! But don’t feel pressured to buy another pumpkin tablecloth or fall wreath for your door every year. Instead, store all of your decorations in a dedicated “Halloween” bin/container so you can re-use them for the following years.

However, if your decorations have seen better days, try searching sale sections of home goods and craft stores at the end of October or early November to score a scary-good discount for next year. 

Stack the savings. So you found the perfect accessory for your Halloween costume, but it’s full price. Look for ways to save and bundle coupons and cashback by using a rebates site like TopCashback.com, where you can earn cashback from qualifying purchases at stores like Party City, Target, Dollar Tree and more. 

Shop at thrift/discount stores. Why pay more than you have to? Whether it’s candy, Halloween baskets for trick-or-treating or even costume accessories, don’t rule out your favorite places to save!

Thrift shops, for example, are full of costumes and decorations for little to nothing for all your DIY needs at rock-bottom prices. If you’re in the need of some spooky goodies, stop by Target, Walmart, local grocery store and dollar stores to find seasonal bargains on all your holiday necessities.

Pro tip: Decorations, Halloween costumes, candy and treats will be marked down close to the end or after the holiday. Keep in mind that the longer you wait to buy something, the less of a selection you may have. 


Here are some fun stats related to Halloween and Halloween spending from a survey conducted by TopCashback.com.

The survey polled a cross-section of 3,099 adults, aged 18 and over, on their Halloween spending habits.

Ghoulish Expectations

39 percent of respondents expect to spend the same amount of money this Halloween as five years ago. 

Biggest expenses of Halloween:

  • Costumes (38 percent)
  • Sweets for trick-or-treating (31 percent)
  • Decorations (21 percent)

With costumes being the biggest expense, nearly three out of four respondents (72 percent) re-wear costumes to save money (48 percent) or because they loved it too much (33 percent).

Cost per costume: 

  • $50 or less (66 percent)
  • $51 to $100 (27 percent)

The overall cost of Halloween (i.e. candy, decorations, costume):

  • $51 to $100 (31 percent)
  • $101 to $200 (28 percent)
  • Less than $50 (21 percent)
  • $201 to $500 (18 percent)


Beware children: 78 percent of parents admit they steal candy from their kid’s Halloween haul with 28 percent eating more candy than their own kids. 

On average, how much of your child’s candy haul do you keep for yourself?

  • 10 percent (58 percent)
  • 25 percent (24 percent)
  • 50 percent (12 percent)

Favorite Halloween candy:

  • Reese’s (62 percent)
  • Kit Kats (56 percent)
  • Milky Way (32 percent)
  • Three Musketeers (24 percent)
  • Candy Corn (21 percent)

Spooky Savings

As most holidays tend to be costly Americans are constantly looking for ways to save money, with most (82 percent) shopping sales and deals.

Tops ways to save money on Halloween:

  • I shop sales and deals (82 percent)
  • I reuse items from last Halloween (52 percent)
  • I use coupons (40 percent)
  • I use a cashback site (38 percent)


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