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The Ultimate Money-Saving Guide To Frugal Halloween Fun

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October holds a soft spot in my heart for my all-time most favorite month ever! The leaves are changing color, cooler nights, bonfires, hoodies, scary movies, hot chocolate, Halloween, pumpkin-flavored everything, etc. The list could go on and on!

Halloween will be here before we know it. Save your money for the giant-sized candy bars you’ll be giving out to trick-or-treaters by skipping the exorbitant store-bought costumes and the over-priced decorations. We’ll show you some awesome Halloween costumes that you can make yourself that will help you stick to your budget. We’ll also share some stylish and scary, but cost-effective, Halloween décor!

Ghastly Ghosts –

Ghosts are some of the easiest costumes for Halloween, but you can also use a ghost decor theme to adorn your home for Halloween. Use old white sheets and black paint or marker to add a mouth and eyes to the ghost. You can hang these decorations from your ceiling or from your light fixtures to make your room extra spooky. If you’re putting the “ghosts” outside, fill white garbage bags with crumpled newspaper and tie a string around it to make the head. Then, paint the mouth and eyes on the ghosts using black paint or a marker. You can also hang the ghosts from the trees in your front yard. To make sure the ghosts sway eerily in the wind cut the bottom of the trash bag into strips.

Spooky Scarecrows –

If you want to go with a scarecrow theme this Halloween, you can use some of your old clothes to create a scarecrow. Plaid shirts, ripped old jeans, and old work boots should do the trick. Stuff the clothing with wadded paper and tape or tie the clothing to a broomstick to create a scarecrow. You can post the scarecrow at the front of your home, or use it as a centerpiece in the main room of your home if you’re having a party. The head of the scarecrow can be made out of muslin, and you can draw the face of the scarecrow with markers. If you want to hang the scarecrow from a tree, you can accompany it with a toy crow for a spooky effect.

Perfect Pumpkins –

For this decorative theme, the pumpkins will likely be the most expensive part. You can find the pumpkins on sale at your local grocery store, or you can get them from the nearest pumpkin patch. Buy pumpkins of various sizes, and if you want to carve a few, you can put a candle inside and place them on your front porch. For a more glamorous Halloween look, paint glue on the pumpkins and roll them in orange, silver or black glitter. You can also spray paint the pumpkins in these colors, and use stencils of the mouth and eyes of the pumpkin or you can use stencils of your family initials. Check out these 95+ new ways to decorate your pumpkins this year: http://www.countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g1350/pumpkin-decorating-1009/

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Ghoul Graveyards –

Headstones for the graveyard can be cut out of cardboard. You can spray paint the cardboard black or silver, and attach a garden stake to the cardboard so you can stick the gravestone into the ground. You can also use a white marker or paint to add a ghost or spider web to the gravestones or some words. If you want to use the graveyard decor in your home, tape the grave markers to the wall and cut holes in cheesecloth to resemble a spider web that you can hang on the cheesecloth.

Jar Decorations –

If you already have a few mason jars lying around, it won’t cost much for these great DIY decorations. Spray paint the inside of the jars with a thin coat of white paint and add a piece of tape to a long string. On the other end of the string, attach a plastic spider. Place the string in the mason jar, and it will look like a spider in a web. You can also spray paint the inside of the jar with black or dark red paint, and add small plastic skeletons or bats to the ends of strings before attaching the string to the base of the jar. Add a little battery operated tea light and display the jars as a fun Halloween centerpiece or up on a mantle.

DIY Costume Ideas –

Bag of Jelly Beans:

Get a clear trash bag, cut holes for the arms and legs to fit through. Print the nutritional facts on the back of the costume with a black Sharpie marker, just like what you see on the backs of candy bags. Fill up the bag with colored balloons for the jellybeans, and tie up the trash bag near the neck with a ribbon. That’s all it takes to create this fun and colorful costume. Click here for more precise instructions.

Flower Pot:

You can find everything you need for this costume at your local Dollar Store. You’ll need a headband with a fake flower glued on it, plastic artificial flowers to fill the pot, a large plastic tub with duct tape straps to keep it up, pink shirt and matching leggings. You’ll have the cutest flower pot on the block!

Harry Potter:

What kid doesn’t love Harry Potter? This costume is super easy to make and cheap too! You’ll need an over-sized black t-shirt, a large black button, black thread, scissors, pins, and an iron-on Hogwarts patch (find it here). Go here for full instructions on how to make this super cute costume!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle:

This is a favorite costume among little boys. It starts with spray painting a large roasting pan green to create the turtle shell. Grab some felt fabric in either red, blue, orange, or purple (depending on which character your child wants to be) and cut out holes for the eyes to make the mask. Take some more felt fabric and make a belt around the “shell” and you’ll also need it to make elbow and knee pads. Find a green sweatshirt and sweatpants or a green sleeper/footed pj’s will work too. Voila! Your kid is now a superhero!


With the new movie that was recently released, there will be a million kids wanting to be a Minion for Halloween. Luckily, you can make this costume in little time and for little money. You can make Minion glasses with protective goggles from the dollar store and mason canning jar rings. Find a yellow beanie hat and stick black pipe cleaners through the top for the hair or just spike your kid’s own hair with hairspray and use black temporary hair color spray. Get a yellow sweatshirt or hoodies and a pair of jean overalls to complete the look.

Crazy Cat Lady:

This one is super easy, cheap, and adorable all rolled into one! All you need is a comfy warm robe, a pair of slippers, a pair of fake eyeglasses, some rollers for the hair, and a few stuffed kittens. Your child can carry a kitten or two and then tape or glue the other kittens onto the robe. It’s so cute and fun!

Lego Man:

You can make this costume for under $15. You need two cardboard boxes, one large and rectangle-shaped for the body and the other smaller and more square for the head. Then get 7 plastic Tupperware type bowls from the Dollar Store and some red, blue, green, etc. spray paint, as well as yellow spray paint for the head. Glue 6 bowls to the large rectangle box and 1 bowl on the top of the square-shaped box. Spray paint and then use black Sharpie marker to make eyes, eyebrows, and mouth. Cut out the mouth part so you can see out of it. It’s that easy!

Bat Costume:

This one is the easiest to make. Get a black sweatshirt, black sweatpants, and a black t-shirt. Cut the black t-shirt to make the wings and then either sew or glue them under the arms of the black sweatshirt. You can use face paint to make it even more realistic and cut out two small bat ears from felt fabric and glue them onto a headband. It’s simple, cute, and warm for those cold October nights!


Some kids like to dress up like princesses or superheroes. But for others, it’s more fun to dress up as something scary. This cool zombie costume is perfect for any girl or boy who prefers “spooky” to “normal”. This would be a great costume if your family is planning to do a group zombie theme. You need some old clothes that you can rip and get dirty. Fake blood (lots of it) and some white and black colored face makeup. That’s it! Get creative with the face makeup and put that fake blood everywhere. It’s fast, easy, cheap, and super scary fun!

Conclusion –

Halloween is only once a year so there’s no reason to over-spend on a costume that you’ll most likely only wear once. There are so many great DIY ideas out there on Pinterest and all across the Internet. It takes a little more time and patience, but you can find great deals and make your own incredible costume for next to nothing.

You don’t have to buy those expensive Halloween store decorations either. There are super easy, affordable, and even free ways to decorate for the season. Don’t let this one holiday ruin your budget or cause you to go into debt. It’s a fun holiday, but it’s not worth all that!

If you find that your personal finances are a bit scary to look at and you are frightened about being in debt, have no fear! The certified credit counselors at Advantage CCS are here to help. They are highly-trained, professional, friendly, and non-judgmental. They give you a clear picture of your current financial situation and possible ways to help you get out of debt. So, don’t be a scaredy-cat and give us a call today at 1-866-699-2227!

Author: Lauralynn Mangis
Lauralynn is the Online Marketing Specialist for AdvantageCCS. She is married and has two young daughters. She enjoys writing, reading, hiking, cooking, video games, sewing, and gardening. Lauralynn has a degree in Multimedia Technologies from Pittsburgh Technical College.