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Frightfully Frugal: Halloween on a Budget

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Here are some great ways to save cash this Halloween weekend.

Mom holding dollar bills

Ashlee Holland: We all know thatHalloween is supposed to be one of the most fun times of the year! We are free to be and do almost anything we can imagine. As adults, we learn that NOTHING is ever free, though. With record numbers of Americans losing their jobs and homes, this year has been scary enough! To ease the terrified minds of all of my money-saving moms, I have come up with a few ways to keep a little more cash in your pockets.

Bring Out Your Inner Martha Stewart -- Scary, but Rewarding!

I genuinely hate store-made costumes. They tend to be cheaply made and are usually way overpriced. There always seems to be 50 kids walking down the street all looking like clones. BUT if you're going to get that Transformers or princess costume, you might as well save on it. Don't be afraid to purchase gently used costumes from Craigslist or eBay. Children just don't seem to ever want to be the same character two years in a row, so don't waste your hard-earned dollars on brand-new costumes if you can help it.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm, but Not the SALE.

Another great way to save is to wait until the last minute. I know -- we moms hate to procrastinate, but it could save you in the end. Most stores slash prices a day or two before holidays. Befriending a manager is a GREAT way to save money and know the timeline of stores' future sales and clearance items.

Go Green: Recycle, Reuse and Re-Invent!

My favorite thing to do with my son on Halloween is to actually make his costume. He loves it, we bond, I feel like a better mother ... it's perfect. If you think about it, you probably have most of the items needed to make almost ANY costume right at home. If you don't have items lying around that you want to use, make a trip to your local Goodwill or consignment shop. Venture out to yard sales when you have time. You can find plenty of items and come up with tons of great costume ideas that will save you money! Here are a few:

  • Simple mummy: Classic! A sweat suit, an old white sheet (the older, the better) and a hot glue gun. Cut strips and glue! EASY BREEZY!
  • Washer/dryer:one or two moving boxes, tape, scissors, spray paint. Use bottle tops for knobs, and some clothes. You can find most of these items around the house.
  • Rock star: jewelry, glittery clothes ... add whatever you wish!

We all want the best for our children. Just remember that "fun and festive" does not equal you going broke!

Happy Halloween -- and HAPPY SAVINGS!

next: This Week: Top 10 Stories Moms Are Talking About
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