MoneyMagpie

Oct 23

Tips and tricks for sneaky Halloween bargains

Have a fantastic Halloween with these exciting Halloween bargains and top value days out. We’ve thrown in some deliciously disgusting recipes guaranteed to impress your little ones, plus a scattering of Halloween events aimed towards adults. Why should the kids have all the fun, eh?

 

cheaper halloween Costumes

Adults in Halloween costumes

use what you’ve got

Frankly the cheapest way to do Halloween costumes is to use what you have already.

  • For women…take a black dress, get creative with very pale make-up and very dark lips and eyes, add a black lace scarf and you’re the Black Widow
  • For men…get your best suit, borrow some very pale make up, draw a red gash somewhere about your face and neck, put dark eye make-up on and you’re an undead dinner guest.
  • Or be different. Do what I’ve done and go as a pink fairy or a white queen or even Father Christmas to lighten the mood! Dig out whatever costumes you already have, give them a back story and spend the party explaining why you’re different to everyone else (always a good way to be I think). It will give you a conversation starter at least 🙂

buy costumers from…

Angels Fancy Dress – these are not the cheapest but they do have an amazing range. Worth a look and then compare with cheaper places (see below) to see if you still want to pay the price. Often it is worth it. They look well-made and, depending on the outfit, generally come with all the accessories (hat, belt, tights) included so you won’t need to fork out on extra bits. At the moment they have a whole range of Halloween costumes for both adults and children. Prices start from around £10 – not bad for something you can reuse year after year.

ASDA has a wide selection of fancy dress items. for all ages and even a few aimed at your pets! Items for their fancy dress range start from just £4.

Marks & Spencer have also come up trumps this year with a spooky kids and baby selection too.

Got any old Halloween costumes cluttering up the loft? Then why not advertise them on eBay and make yourself some extra cash. Alternatively, swap last years costumes with friends who have kids around the same age and size.

Hire costumes from….

In our opinion there’s no real need to hire your child’s Halloween costume. It’s expensive (generally between the £20 to £40 mark) and in most cases you’ll have to fork out on delivery charges, plus a returns fee if you need to send it back.

We’ve had a good look through costume hire sites and can honestly say that most of them were no more impressive than the ones you can buy in-store, so what’s the point? Why not invest in a decent Halloween costume that your child can use on more than occasion. If it’s really nice you could either keep it for next year or sell it on eBay next October and make some money back.

Make costumes from….

get your creative juices flowing by making your own Halloween costumes this year. It’s not as difficult as it sounds and there are plenty of websites to help.

For character inspiration check out Pinterest pages for Halloween costumes. There are so many ideas you will be spoilt for choice.

 

The pumpkin

Pumpkins are like the Christmas trees of Halloween – every household has one. Fortunately for our wallets they tend to be pretty cheap, but that’s no excuse not to use them to their full potential. Use the flesh of the pumpkin to make a delicious Halloween meal and save yourself the cost of buying dinner.

Our favourite cheap and easy pumpkin recipes are

grow your own pumpkin

Are you a bit of a gardener? Then why not plan to grow your own pumpkins next year?

The BBC gardening section  has some great tips on how to grow the perfect pumpkin, and if you plant a few you could sell them to friends and neighbours for a profit.

If growing plants and vegetables for cash appeals to you, check out our article on 13 ways to make money from your garden.

decorate your pumpkin

There are some great ideas for DIY decoration with pumpkins here (I’ve just realised I can make my own toasted pumpkin seeds from them too – yum!)

 

cheaper halloween Sweets and treats

Children having fun at halloween

When it comes to buying sweets for little trick-or-treaters KEEP IT CHEAP. Kids don’t care how much their chocolate costs, they just want lots of them!

All of the major high street supermarkets will have cracking offers going on Halloween treats right now, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding some very sweet deals. Check out the pound shops and street markets particularly as they often have the best deals.

make your own sweet treats

The cheapest, though, is to make your own Halloween treats.

Sarah Lockett has a great recipe for spider cookies here which you can either serve at a Halloween party or wrap in cellophane and give to demanding kids who knock on your door.

Sarah Lockett also has some lovely Halloween recipes here including ‘spider cake’ (!), coconut and pumpkin soup and spiced cider.

halloween recipes for kids

Let your kids get messy with these cheap ‘n’ cheerful Halloween ideas, We have searched the net and these are some great Halloween recipe ideas that you can do with the kids over half-term…

Also, this is a fabulous and easy recipe for ‘dracula’s teeth’ jelly. So easy to do and looks hilarious. The kids and your guests will love it. I’ve made it and would do it again!

Halloween recipes for adults

Not all recipes are safe for little helpers. Make these Halloween treats yourself and keep the kiddies out the way:

 

Decorations

Halloween decorations

So you’ve got the food, the pumpkin and the costumes; now it’s time to vamp up your house.

  • A simple, easy and cheap way to do this is to pull long pieces of cotton wool apart and place them in corners of rooms and over ornaments etc. to look like cobwebs. Sounds cheap (well, it is cheap) but looks great. Go a step further by weaving in some plastic spiders which you can usually get from the pound shop.
  • Light the room with tea light candles for extra spookiness, but make sure that they’re kept well away from youngsters. Invest in some tea light candles, or for something more colourful check out the various offers at Amazon here.
  • If you have time on your hands be crafty and try making your own decorations. Do it yourself with some felt, sequins, glitter and a glue gun and get the children to help. You can even get some creative inspiration from DIY sites like Etsy and Tumblr.
  • Also take a look at Moneymagpie’s halloween Pinterest board for some DIY spooky ideas.
  • If you really want to push the boat out and create a really eerie setting, fill a ‘cauldron’ (a plastic bucket) with hot water and drop in some dry ice (using tongs or insulated gloves as its super cold!) which will cause chilling fog to rise up and around the room – but make sure the room has ventilation. Place a glow stick in the cauldron or bucket to make the fog glow.

 

Jasmine says...

Quote 1

If you have time on your hands be crafty and try making your own decorations. Do it yourself with some felt, sequins, glitter and a glue gun and get the children to help. Take a look at Moneymagpie’s DIY spooky ideas Pinterest board for some creative inspiration.

Quote 2

 

Party games – cheap and fun

Children playing halloween ring toss game

Traditional Halloween games

The old ones are always the best and these traditional Halloween games are no exception. All you’ll need is a bag of apples and a handful of hazelnuts.

  • Hazelnut popping – traditionally, young girls believed their future husband could be revealed to them on Halloween. Four hazelnuts that each symbolised a suitor would be placed in front of the fire while the girl chanted ‘If you love me, pop and fly; if you hate me, burn and die’. Alternatively, you could use popcorn in the microwave! A good game for teenagers!
  • Pass the apple – as Halloween was traditionally linked to the harvest, fruit and vegetables played a big part in the celebrations, particularly apples. Line the children up in two separate rows and get them to pass an apple to the person behind them using only their chins. The first line to successfully pass the apple down without dropping it wins.
  • Apple peeling – another one for the girls. Peel the skin of an apple in one long strand and then throw it over their shoulder. The letter that the skin represented will be, as legend has it, the first letter of your future husband’s name.
  • Apple bobbing – Quite a fun Halloween game to play! Fill a large bowl with water, add a few drops of red food colouring to give the gory effect of blood, and drop in some apples. The aim is to use just your mouth to get the apples out. Make sure you have plenty of towels on the floor and spare ones for people’s faces!

Modern Halloween games

  • Pumpkin competition – if you’re having a party, invite all your guests to bring their own carved pumpkin and give a prize for the best one. Not only will it get everyone involved but it’ll enhance the spooky Halloween feel in your house without the extra cost.
  • Halloween pictionary – split the party into two teams and take it in turns to draw something connected with Halloween on a white board if you have one, or pieces of paper stuck on the wall. Set a time limit for the drawing to be completed. The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins a prize. Alternatively, the team that loses gets a ghoulish forfeit!
  • Halloween hunt – hide treats like chocolate and sweets around the house and garden and send the kids off to hunt for them. Make it more interesting by assigning points to different items and the child with the most points wins.
  • Build a monster – draw a monster (like Frankenstein or a vampire) onto a large piece of cardboard and cut out all the body parts. The object of the game is to put the parts back together on the floor or a table in the correct places while blindfolded.

 

Halloween events for kids

Boo at the zoo banner

There’s plenty going on this Halloween so round up your brood and make the most of these exciting days out:

  • London Eye Witch Academy – The London Eye gets mysteriously transformed into the set of a spooky witch story, featuring the High Witch Priscilla and the evil Grimly Grim (voiced by Harry Enfield). Storytelling, participation and fancy dress are combined for oodles of fun as you get panoramic views across the city.
  • Boo at the Zoo – There are spooky events all through the day at London Zoo. Events included; Halloween versions of the popular regular feeding sessions to storytelling and batmask-making. You can trespass into Mr Darkmire’s Curiosity Shop of Horrors, while owls fly over your head, or see creepy creatures up close in the Amphitheatre for an Animals in Action show.
  • English HeritageFind out what’s happening near you here. – the charity that owns properties and land across the UK has LOADS of Halloween events this year.

 

Halloween for adults

Adults at a Halloween party

For something a little scarier….

Again, English Heritage is worth checking out for cultural Halloween events near you;

Also Skidaddle has a great Halloween guide here

Need a bit of extra cash to fund your Halloween shenanigans? We’ve got exactly what you need – 10 easy ways to make quick cash.

Finally, don’t forget to stock up on reduced Halloween goodies after Halloween is over – put them in storage and Halloween next year will be sorted.

 

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