How to Save On Halloween Costumes, Candy and Fun

Halloween is now reported to be the 2nd most expensive holiday of the year! Even though we don’t exchange expensive gifts on Halloween, it is easy to rack up big bills on costumes and candy. The good news is that there are many easy ways to save money on Halloween expenses without compromising on the fun.

crayons

Be creative. It can cost $35 to $50 for many popular children’s costumes at party stores, which adds up quickly if you have more than one child. With a little creativity, you and your children can make easy costumes with items you have around the house. You can also shop at a local thrift store to buy vintage clothing to use as costumes.

Research ideas on-line. My favorite costume idea resource is FamilyFun.com, which lists 100 easy and inexpensive costumes you can create at home — whether you have a few hours or only a few minutes to put an outfit together.

Don’t overbuy. If you live in a neighborhood, you will most likely be buying candy to give out on Halloween night. The challenge is to avoid overbuying — who wants bags of leftover candy when the kids come home with far more than they need?  If you are nervous your stash won’t last, consider buying Hershey’s Kisses or similar chocolate candy that you can use later for holiday baking.

Look for coupons. You can also save money on candy and costumes by watching for store sales and coupons in the Sunday coupon circulars or in your mailbox. Find coupons in the Sunday newspaper ads throughout October.

Carve a pumpkin. The easiest decoration that is also fun for kids is carving a pumpkin together. For just a few dollars, you can create a memorable annual tradition with your child and decorate your front porch or window at the same time. Save the seeds and find a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, as well.

Get crafty. You can find plenty of inexpensive Halloween decorating projects from books in the library, local family magazines distributed free at libraries and schools.  Easier projects include making ghosts to hang in the window made out of string, glue and waxed paper. Doing a project with your children will be much less expensive and far more memorable than shelling out $100 for decorations at the local party store.

Save on admission. This is the time of year for pumpkin festivals, Halloween fairs, hayrides, haunted house tours and more. Many schools and churches offer free festivals and fairs as family-friendly alternatives on Halloween.Prices for these family events vary widely, from free to as much as $20 a head. Check the local event websites or the calendar section in community newspapers and magazines to find inexpensive events.  Be on the lookout for admission coupons in your local paper and check the web sites of Festival sponsoring organizations to find printable coupons for reduced admissions.  Your local grocery store may sell discounted tickets for these events either on their Web site or at their customer service counter in the store.

Stephanie Nelson, The Coupon MomStephanie Nelson is the Coupon Mom. Her web site,www.CouponMom.com, has 7 million members, and she is established as the nation’s top expert in couponing across the country. Stephanie has been on every major national television talk show and taught millions how to save money for the past 14 years. She has been called ‘”the rock star of the recession” by the Washington Post and her book, The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is a New York Times best seller.

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The Teal Pumpkin Project for an Allergy-Friendly Halloween

Teal pumpkin

image via Brave Girl’s Club.

For 1 in 13 kids in the U.S. who have food allergies, Halloween isn’t the carefree, candy-laden free-for-all that most kids eagerly await. That’s because many traditional treats have the potential to cause an allergic reaction – which can be life-threatening – for children managing allergies to nuts, milk, wheat, soy and many other foods.

But this Halloween, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is working to help make October 31 a fun and safe day for every trick-or-treater by launching the Teal Pumpkin Project nationwide. Inspired by families in East Tennessee, the Teal Pumpkin Project allows children with food allergies to enjoy Halloween without fear.

FARE is encouraging families to paint a pumpkin teal and place it – and a free, downloadable sign – in front of their house to indicate they will have non-food treats available on Halloween. Handing out inexpensive non-food treats (e.g., glow bracelets, stickers, pencils) is a great way to include all children in trick-or-treating. More details about the project, and a free sign, can be found on FARE’s blog.

halloweensignthumbTips for Managing Food Allergies on Halloween

1. Enforce a “no eating while trick-or-treating” rule, so that you have time to review all food labels.
2. Avoid candy and treats that do not have an ingredient label.
3. Always have an epinephrine auto-injector available, if prescribed.
4. Keep in mind that the mini-size, fun-size, or bite-size version of candy may contain different ingredients than their full-size counterparts. Make no assumptions, and read all labels carefully.
5. Keep the emphasis on the fun, rather than the candy.
6. Remember that a candy that has been safe for your child in the past may now have different ingredients. Read the label, every time.

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Dogs and Our Health: The Benefits of our Furry Friends

yellow lab

For thousands of years, dogs have been domesticated and bred to have qualities humans deemed suitable–a literal transformation from wild animal to man’s best friend. They are our companions, friends, family, and service dogs. That feeling we get when we see our furry friend jump with joy, give us a kiss (and accidentally hit us […]

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Trick or Treating Safety

bags

“Trick or Treat!” Your children are counting the days until they can walk around the neighborhood hunting for candy! With the big night approaching, some kids are probably thinking that they’re too cool to walk around with their parents and want to venture out alone with their friends. That is not a problem as long […]

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Coping With Things That Go Bump in the Night

nightmares

Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC & Dr. Kara Beair-Butler, DO Inspiring Strategies for Success by Friends and Experts You Can Trust As a parent, are you afraid of the dark? Things that go bump in the night for your child can leave you stressed, strained and exhausted before your day ever begins. You may not […]

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The Perfect Pumpkin for Cooking or Carving

dawn-and-zoe

Pumpkins are to Fall as Santa Claus is to Christmas. Pumpkin production, a whopping 1.5 billion pounds, reaches its peak in October as Americans prepare to celebrate Halloween. As pumpkins have become ingrained into our Halloween and Thanksgiving cultures, the number of creative ways to use and enjoy them has increased. Grow Pumpkins: A seasonal, […]

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Tips & Tricks for Cold and Flu Season

cold kit

The leaves are falling, the air is chilly and the season has changed. That can only mean one thing… cold and flu season is here! Instead of just waiting for the initial sickness to affect your kiddos, start preventing sicknesses! Here are a few tips to save you and your kids the headache (no pun […]

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Dating After Divorce: Be Careful About How You Tell Your Kids!

Two boys

We all know divorce creates havoc in any family’s life, especially when children are involved. Moving on after divorce can also be challenging. It’s a time to be very gentle, both with yourself as well as with your children. Chances are, you made a considerable emotional investment in your marriage. Having seen that relationship fail […]

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SEPTEMBER IS BABY SAFETY MONTH

mom and baby

September is Baby Safety Month and is also an especially busy time for parents if toddlers and older children head back to school or daycare. Therefore, now is a good time to do a thorough walk through the home to ensure all rooms are baby-proofed and child-friendly so parents and caregivers can feel more at […]

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Merging Families: Keeping It Simple

black couple

With a background as an engineer in Corporate America, my job required that I solve complex problems. One tool that I used to fulfill my responsibilities was facilitating group meetings. As the team facilitator, I managed teams through the stages of development, resolved personal conflicts and/or hindrances to progress and expedited the team to achieve […]

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Benefits of Family Councils

Christie Monson

Family Councils, either formal or informal, are a great way to keep communication in families open. They are also a good way to solve problems. The following situation could have turned into a crisis, but because this mom and her kids had been talking to each other often and in an open and honest way, […]

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Raising Children with Pets

cute puppy

Raising children with pets is beneficial to your child as it teaches responsibility in caring for the needs of a living creature. Having pets also plays a part in teaching children about compassion, empathy, and kindness while simultaneously teaching them to respect animals and nature. Whether you are an expectant parent or a parent of […]

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His Number One Girl

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The family had just finished Sunday dinner. I clanked dishes in the soapy water, while everyone else sat around the fireplace enjoying reruns of The Cosby Show. Ten minutes later, I joined the group in the family room. “Daddy, aren’t I your number one girl?” The hairs on my neck stood at attention. Our blended […]

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LaDene

It’s no secret that children thrive on praise. It is an immediate boost to self-confidence and praise is a great motivator. The highest reward for good grades is praise. When a child does well in school praise is a way of encouraging them to “keep up the great work” and it helps assure them that […]

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5 Ways to Minimize the Impact of Divorce on Your Children

girl on beach

Communication with our children is always important, but never as essential as when they are impacted by separation or divorce. Children are vulnerable and easily frightened by changes in their routines. The more you talk to and comfort them, the less stress and anxiety they’ll experience. This is the time to reassure your children that […]

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Bullying Isn’t Cool!

Bullying definition

With school starting up, there is a pretty uncomfortable topic parents don’t want to think about as their child heads to school: Bullying. Some children are unfortunately faced with bullies as they enter into school, or they my experience this issue throughout their school years. Not only is bullying just at school, but it now […]

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Parents: Be the Leaders of Team Happiness

family

The marital relationship is the most important factor in raising children well.  When the marriage is working, parents can lead Team Happiness. My wife and I failed to achieve a great marriage, so we were mediocre parents most of the time and often worse than mediocre. Married at 17 and 18, we didn’t know much […]

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Having a Good Day (Even When It Isn’t)

dreaming

Anyone who is breathing and maintaining operational body temperature has a bad day now and then. How we manage those bad day does matter, doesn’t it. And it matters especially when our children are watching, and, of course, they are always watching! Against the Wall I’m proud to be a member of the National Speakers […]

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