Fab Frugal Halloween 101

Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year. To me, it’s like a condensed version of Christmas without the extensive shopping and preparation. And, despite most people thinking it’s for kids, I think it’s really for adults. Ponder this – who spends time obsessing over our kids’ costumes, carving pumpkins, decorating our homes and making the treats we send to school? We may say that we’re doing it for them (and we are), but I believe there’s a part of us that revels in the pure joy of being silly, eating lots of candy and reliving our childhood, if only for one night.

As evidenced by the vast internet resources on the topic, Halloween is a pretty popular day! It offers many wonderful opportunities to do fun activities with our kids and share traditions we enjoyed when we were young. It’s easy to get carried away, though… and before you know it, you’ve spent a fortune.

There are lots of ways to make Halloween fabulous without losing your sanity or bank account balance. Here are some of my top picks for making memories and having fun!

1. Throw a pumpkin-carving party

Everyone loves carving pumpkins at Halloween, so why not throw a party?  For the cost of a few pumpkins, inexpensive snacks like carrot sticks, chips and dip, you can host your kids and their friends for a low-cost party that’s big on fun! There are lots of websites with cool printable stencils suitable for all ages, too, so get your creative juices flowing and start carving!
Some good websites to try:

2. Enjoy a traditional treat

Sometimes the simplest things are the most memorable. One of my favourite traditions from my childhood is roasting pumpkin seeds. Instead of throwing out the seeds from your newly-carved pumpkin, why not make them into a delicious and healthy treat for the whole family? It’s something that the kids can help with, too. Simply rinse out the seeds and pat them dry; then, toss them in salt and 2 teaspoons of melted butter; place them in a single layer on a baking tray and bake at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

3. Make your own costumes (no sewing required!)

Yes, you read it right – and it’s a lot easier than you’d think!  After spending way too much money and time on my daughter’s costumes the first two years, I decided last year to make it. If you’re creatively inclined, you can find no-sew options, ranging from remarkably simple to elaborate. Or, you can repurpose used items to make a costume. My daughter told me she wanted to be a pirate princess, so I spent 20 minutes scouring my local Value Village and found a costume that fit the bill perfectly – for under $8! To give it some personality, we added a bandana around her hair and some fun pirate jewelry and a pair of leggings she already had (to keep the chill away). She was the cutest pirate princess ever! And the best part? Despite only needing the costume for one day, she continues to wear it as a dress-up!

Some good websites to try:

4. Decorate on the cheap (without looking like you did!)

Any kid will tell you that spooky decorations are what make Halloween great. So, instead of the usual bed sheet ghosts and cardboard tombstones, try something new. Below you’ll find eerie glow-in-the-dark decorations, pickled brains, shrunken heads and black lacquer cats. Your kids will think you’re the coolest Mom in town!! (Another standout: a chic jewel-encrusted pumpkin for you!)

Some good websites to try:

I hope this list inspires you to think outside the box and enjoy creating something fun with your kids. Wishing your family a safe and spook-tacular Halloween!


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