I’ve loved Halloween for as long as I can remember. I remember being everything from a bunny to Strawberry Shortcake, and a punk to Punky Brewster. This year, Halloween falls on Tuesday, October 31 and I’ve compiled a guide to help get you ready!
You’ll find Halloween savings tips, but in addition I’m going to share some of the best pumpkin stencil sites, favorite candy, haunted houses and much more.
5 HALLOWEEN SAVINGS TIPS
Halloween can expensive after you total up costs for costumes, halloween decorations, parties, and candy. With a little planning, here are some ways you can save money this Halloween and still have a great time!
1. Order your costumes early
While you may not be able to convince your kids to settle on what they want to be for Halloween, chances are you have a good idea of what you want to dress up as. Stores like Spirit Halloween run early bird online sales starting in September, and you can get a great deal (and find a better selection) when you start early.
2. Buy discounted gift cards, and combine those with coupons
Shelley Hunter, the GiftCards.com Gift Card Girlfriend, is a big fan of Halloween and has a great tip to save money on candy, costumes, etc. Cardpool is a gift card exchange site which means they buy unused gift cards from folks who didn’t need them, selling them at discount to those who do. In other words, someone may have a gift card for a party supply store, department store or even costume shop that they don’t need and you can get a deal on that card.
On Cardpool.com, shoppers can find gift cards discounted up to 35%. Since gift cards are a form of payment and not a coupon, you can still apply the coupons you find on our website with a discounted gift card and double up on the savings. It’s one of the only ways to stack discounts!
3. Try DIY Halloween Costumes
“For those that think that creating a DIY costume is a daunting task, or that you aren’t crafty enough, don’t be afraid to make your own costume. The internet has a ton of ingenious, cost effective and easy DIY Halloween costumes ideas. It can be so cheap to make a costume and it is a sure fire way to set you apart from everyone else.” says Felicia Ramos-Peters of Get Holiday Happy (Twitter: @getholidayhappy). You can pick up supplies at stores like Michael’s and other craft shops. If you need some inspiration, take a look at Pinterest or Instagram and you’re sure to find a ton of ideas.
4. Take advantage of free halloween meals for kids
“Many restaurants offer free kids meals on Halloween. The deals are yet to be released this year, but you could save on the cost of dinner and have a fun time as a family.” says Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free. Cherie also offers free pumpkin stencils and patterns on her site, as well as other tips for saving at Halloween time.
5. Make sure to compare the total cost of costume prices, including shipping
Mario Serna of Wondercostumes.com says , “If shopping online, shipping costs can make all the difference. Sometimes the product cost appears low until you reach checkout and find a high mark-up on freight, which is where stores make up for what they “sacrifice” in listed retail prices. It is best to research shipping costs before completing an online order for Halloween costumes, and remember that shipping is part of your out-of-pocket cost. Frees shipping coupon offers are ideal.” You can use tools like Google shopping to find the retailer with the lowest total cost for the costume you want, and then come back to find a coupon code for that retailer and buy directly from them.
TOP HALLOWEEN STENCIL SITES
We love carving pumpkins. Past years have included Snoopy, Spongebob and other characters. Whether you love cute pumpkins or spooky ones, a pumpkin stencil can make your project much easier. You’ll need good tools if you’re carving, and I’ll admit to owning a set from Williams Sonoma. That might be overkill for most, but I take my pumpkin carving pretty seriously and have broken too many flimsy tools!
There are 376 patterns in 16 categories. Each pattern is carefully designed to ensure that even complex looking images are easy to carve and will remain stable. In addition to patterns, you will find merchandise and a great forum for even more ideas.
The Pumpkin Lady has been designing original pumpkin carving patterns to help carvers of all ages create the perfect Halloween / Harvest masterpiece. This site has well over 700 pumpkin carving patterns in 13 categories for you to choose from. Each pattern comes with its own set of step-by-step, easy to follow pumpkin carving instructions to help you start carving your pumpkin like a pro!
Stoney has several different levels of carvings, and you can find cut-through patterns on this site too. In order to download the patterns on Stoney’s site, you need to purchase pattern credits and then you can choose which ones you want to get. The most impressive patterns involve intricate shading and people always love the results.
If you still haven’t found what you like, you can also run a search on Google for jack-o-lanterns and pick out your favorite eyes, nose and mouth to create a one-of-a-kind pumpkin masterpiece!
MOST POPULAR HALLOWEEN CANDY
Although my favorite is Almond Joy, the tried-and-true favorites for trick or treating will always be the chocolate candy bars, with Kit Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Snickers bars at the top of the heap,” says Cybele May, editor of CandyBlog.net
Favorite candy, State by State
Alabama – AirHeads
Alaska – Snickers
Arizona – Toblerone
Arkansas – Skittles
California – Lifesavers
Colorado – Milky Way
Connecticut – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Delaware – 3 Musketeers
Florida – Nestlé Crunch Bar
Georgia – Pixy Stix
Hawaii – 100 Grand Bar
Idaho – Butterfinger
Illinois – Snickers
Indiana – Reese’s Pieces
Iowa – Twix
Kansas – Twizzlers
Kentucky – Whoppers
Louisiana – Swedish Fish
Maine – Starburst
Maryland – Almond Joy
Massachusetts – Starburst
Michigan – M&M’s
Minnesota – 100 Grand Bar
Mississippi – Hershey’s Kisses
Missouri – Hershey’s Kisses
Montana – Kit Kat Bar
Nebraska – Skittles
Nevada – Jolly Ranchers
New Hampshire – Tootsie Rolls
New Jersey – Sour Patch Kids
New Mexico – 3 Musketeers
New York – Sweet Tarts
North Carolina – Butterfinger
North Dakota – Sour Patch Kids
Ohio – Milky Way
Oklahoma – M&M’s
Oregon – Candy corn
Pennsylvania – Swedish Fish
Rhode Island – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
South Carolina – Candy corn
South Dakota – Laffy Taffy
Tennessee – Candy corn
Texas – Candy corn
Utah – Nerds
Vermont – Almond Joy
Virginia – Reese’s Pieces
Washington – AirHeads
West Virginia – Oreos
Wisconsin – Laffy Taffy
Wyoming – Candy corn
District of Columbia – Twix
We expect to see a lot of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Harley Quinn costumes out there this year, but the folks at Popsugar think that there will be many Simone Biles, Pokemon Go, Game of Thrones and female Ghostbuster costumes on the street and at parties this Halloween.
The National Retail Federation ran a Halloween Costume survey and here’s what their results were on the top costumes for this year:
- Animal (Cat, Dog, Lion, Monkey, etc.)
- Batman Character
- Star Wars Character
- Tie: Witch AND DC Superhero (excl. Batman)
- Frozen Character (Anna, Elsa, Olaf)
- Marvel Superhero (excl. Spiderman)
- Batman Character (Batman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, etc.)
- Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
- Tie: Marvel Superhero (Deadpool, Spiderman, etc.) AND DC Superhero (Wonder Woman, Superman, excl. Batman)
- Video Game Character
- Slasher Movie Villain (Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, etc.)
- Star Wars Character
- Political (Trump, Clinton, etc.)
- Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, etc.)
- Animal (Cat, Dog, Bunny, etc.)
- Tie: DC Superhero (Superman, Wonder Woman, excl. Batman) and Star Wars Character
- Tie: Ghost and Zombie
- Scary Costume/Mask
- Marvel Superhero (Iron Man, Hulk, Spiderman, etc.)
- Hot Dog
- Bumble Bee
- Tie: Lion and Star Wars Character
- Batman Character
TOP HAUNTED HOUSES IN THE USA
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Adults 18+ Only
The Basement at ScareHouse is an intense, immersive, and interactive experience inside a nearly 100-year-old historic and haunted building. The Basement is a collaborative immersive theater experience peppered with elements of extreme horror. This haunted house contains high voltage effects, exposure to electricity, sexual content, very low lighting, tight spaces, strong scents, profanity, and moments of complete darkness, water, physical contact, violent situations and high impact scares.
Las Vegas, Nevada Adults 18+ Only
The Victim Experience is an incredibly intense haunted house. Participants will experience extreme physical contact, light torture, simulated drowning, among other things. You must be willing to go through the experience with ZERO RESISTANCE. If you fight back, there will be a risk of serious injury to you or their actors.
Blackout Haunted House
New York & California Adults 18+ Only
If you prefer rubber bats and cobwebs over genuine fear-inducers like confinement and sensory deprivation, don’t go to this one. Blackout is seriously one of the scariest haunted houses you’ll ever enter. It is an extreme haunted attraction that messes with your mind & violates your personal space.
Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres
The atmosphere outside is amazing! As soon as you pull into the parking lot you could hear the music, gunfire, and screams! While you wait in line characters are out interacting with the crowd. This is a very intense haunted house.
Nestled in the hollow of a forgotten bog, is an outdoor attraction that is the final home of a host of monstrous creatures that never rest in peace. They have a Clown Asylum Maze which is is an outdoor attraction where prowling evil clowns use disorienting strobe lights and meandering corridors to their advantage as they systematically hunt you down.
Halloween decorations to create your own spooky or sweet house
Ready to disguise your house with halloween decorations? Check our halloween section for everything you need to get started including spider webs, fake gravestones, fog machines and more. You’ll want the usual suspects like skeletons and ghosts, but you can also consider changing out lightbulbs on your front porch with orange bulbs or blacklights (you can get them at Lowe’s or Home Depot). Fog machines can be found at party stores, retailers like Target, as well music stores like Musician’s Friend (who knew?).
15 POPULAR HALLOWEEN MOVIES
- Halloween, the movie
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Young Frankenstein
- Drag Me to Hell
- Halloween III
- The Monster Squad
- The Haunting
- Night of the Living Dead
- Horror of Dracula
- The Adams Family
- Edward Scissorhands
- The Nightmare before Christmas
- Practical Magic
And if you need a bit more inspiration, check out IMDB’s list of 1000 great halloween movies. It’s a few years old, but you’re sure to find something you like!
Hope you have a happy, spooky, safe and fun filled Halloween this year!