Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: Somehow Halloween has become one of those expensive holidays. Americans are about to pony up nearly $6 billion on costumes, candy and parties this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That comes to roughly $66 a person. But there are ways to keep the price tag down -- after all, Halloween shouldn't break the bank!
"People are looking at how we can more with our children, how we can make the moments that we have together really special," says Stephanie Martin, a spokesperson for Avery Denison, which sells Halloween decals.
Momlogic has come up with some ways to make Halloween special without dipping into the kids' college fund:
Kids outgrow their costumes long before they wear them out, so find out if there's a costume swap going on in your neighborhood, and work out a trade. If a swap isn't already planned, organize one yourself through your local parents' board, daycare, neighborhood association, church or school.
Transform a regular brown paper bag into an awesome Halloween trick-or-treat bag with spooky decals. If the kids are too little to carve their own pumpkins, they can decorate a few with sticker decals. If you're planning a party, you can turn regular magnets into Halloween party favors with a spiffy decal. Avery.com has a whole section dedicated to fabulous -- and truly affordable -- Halloween decals that you can affix to anything from pumpkins and gourds to a baby's onesie.
Get creative with decorations, both indoors and out. Alison Deyette, a shopping expert for TheFind.com, suggests making bats out of mini pumpkins. First, paint eyes on the pumpkins with black and white paint. Then use craft foam to design wings and ears. For outdoor decorations, choose a theme, like spiders, and stick to it. Stage small and medium plastic spiders around the front door, along the outdoor stair railings and around any columns or beams. "For an added touch, have the path of creepy crawlers lead to one large inflatable spider and stretch gauzy 'spiderwebs' from a craft store over bushes," she suggests.
Above all, have fun. Halloween should be spooky, but not for your pocketbook!