With Halloween just around the corner, it can be a worrying time for parents on a budget; you want to give your kids a brilliant Halloween full of activities, but it’s all looking a bit expensive.

When you add up the price of costumes, decorating your house, playing games, parties and trick-or-treating, it can feel like an expensive holiday.

In 2019, people in the UK spent an estimated £474 million on this popular holiday, making it one of the costliest celebrations of the calendar year.[1]

But it doesn’t have to be this way; you can spend a lot less. Read these top tips about celebrating Halloween on a budget, without compromising any of the fun…

Halloween decorations

Everyone wants a spooky, creepy house for Halloween, but not everyone wants to break the bank to do so! Instead of spending lots of money on brand new decorations every year, here’s what you can do with supplies you may already have gathering dust around the house…

  • Paper Cup Ghosts use a black marker to draw ghost faces on upside-down white paper cups to make little ghosts, just place them all around the house! Not only is this a great way to create decorations, but paper cups are also much more sustainable than plastic.
  • Big Balloon Spiders all you need is two black balloons and some black pipe cleaners to make some creepy crawly spiders. Just blow up both balloons (one bigger than the other) to make up the head and body, attach the pipe cleaners to create the hairy legs and you’re done!
  • Bedsheet Ghosts If you want some ghosts outside your Halloweeny house as well as inside, just hang some old bedsheets on trees outside! Try drawing a ghost face on the bedsheets to add to your decoration.
  • DIY Halloween Garlands – Cut coloured paper up into Halloween-themed shapes and use string to attach all the shapes together; your very own at-home garland!
  • Pumpkins – The most important decoration. If you want to make your house super Halloweeny, think pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins! Whilst pumpkin prices don’t particularly vary, buying from local farmers is a great way to go. It’s sustainable and helps smaller businesses! However, if you want to save your coins, grow your own! The kids will love it.
  • Most of all… REUSE – The key to saving money on decorations for Halloween, or any holiday for that matter, is to reuse decorations every year. If you do this, you only buy everything once!

Halloween costumes

Dressing up in a spooky costume is a big part of the fun – particularly for the little ones! Costumes can be pricey – especially when only worn for one day a year! But it wouldn’t be so exciting without the costume, would it?

Here are a few costume ideas that will cost little to nothing:

  • Ghosts – Just like the ghost decoration, but, this time, instead of sticking an old bedsheet on a tree, put it over your head! Cut out eye and mouth holes and you’re set for trick or treating
  • Bats – A bat costume consists of plain, black clothing and either binbags or an old/broken umbrella cut in half as the wings… it’s as easy as that.
  • Animals – If you want to dress up as practically any animal, a bit of face paint will do the trick! It’s usually cheap to buy and available in many shops at Halloween time!
  • Mummies – Now that we can finally get toilet roll in stores, why not go and buy some to make a quick and easy mummy outfit! Just attach one end of the toilet roll to an item of clothing and let your kids spin in circles until they’re wrapped in loo roll like an ancient mummy!

Halloween treats

There are lots of parties going on around Halloween, and if you end up being the host of one, you’ll definitely want to supply some food. 

You can find many Halloween snack ideas online, but have a try at some of our favourite cheap and cheerful ones:

  • Scary jellies – make a jelly with worm and teeth sweets inside
  • Satsuma pumpkins – draw some pumpkin faces on your satsumas to make eating fruit fun!
  • Halloween iced biscuits
  • Toffee apples (a must have!)
  • Pumpkin flavoured treats – cupcakes, cookies, blondies etc
  • Apple nachos – cover sliced apples in caramel, pretzels, white chocolate, mini marshmallows and any Halloween candy of your choice!

These money saving ideas could really help you give your kids an amazing Halloween they’ll love at a low cost – with some ideas costing nothing at all!

If you’re looking to reduce other areas of your monthly budget, or want to get on top of your debts, we’re here to help! Check out our Financial Wellbeing hub for some further resources: Financial Wellbeing Hub | PayPlan

[1] Fact taken from Finder https://www.finder.com/uk/halloween-statistics