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You know its October when carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps and monster mania takes over every little kid you know. To a child, Halloween comes in at a very close second, only to Christmas. The promise of a never-ending sugar high and being able to transform into their favorite nightmarish creature, is a favorite for every child (and most adults). But in this economy that we’ve grown to detest, it’s not unthinkable to spend close to a month’s rent on Halloween decorations, food, costumes for the whole family and of course fun. But it doesn’t have to be that way my fellow ghouls and gals. You can have just as much fun, decorate your house to look like any haunted dwelling and have a costume that takes first place in every contest from here to the moon, without spending your life savings…
Making your front yard look like a scene ripped from the cemetery where the Grim Reaper resides is as much fun as it is scary. Gravestones are a cheap an easy decoration that never gets old. The limited supplies you need are easy to find and its something the whole family can make together. Heres a tutorial you can follow, DIY Tombstones, but get creative. Ask your kids to come up with funny last words to put on the stone. Like :
Another fun decoration is the spider web that’s infested with spiders and creepy crawly things. The web along with the creepy crawlers can be found at your local dollar store ( cause we all know their as popular as Dunkin’ Donuts now ) for a buck each. While your there, take a peek at all the other spooky decorations they stock. You’d be surprised at all the ideas you can come up with, for both the inside & outside of your coven. The best part of the material the web is made of is that it stretches and wraps and sticks an extreme amount, making it perfect for covering large spaces. Another Recession Smart Halloween favorite is the Jack-O-Lantern. According to the legend, a man named Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.” Pumpkins are inexpensive and make the perfect canvas for an eerie face. Find family friendly pumpkin carving templates Here.
Halloween food can be so much fun! From worms in blood to spider cider and monster cupcakes, you can pretty much make any gruesome body part edible if you put your brains to it. Make it an All Hallows Eve tradition to cook a super spooky dinner with the Trick-Or-Treat haul for dessert. Here’s one of our favorite recipes that costs under $10 to make :
Mummy Face Pizzas
WHAT YOU NEED
HEAT oven to 400ºF.
SPREAD bagel halves with sauce. Pull cheese into thin strips; place in random criss-cross fashion on tops of bagels to resemble mummy bandages. Trim ends with kitchen shears. Add olives for the eyes.
PLACE on baking sheet.
BAKE 10 min. or until bagels are crisp and cheese is melted.
Prepare using a split English muffin
Some of the kid costumes today can be totally ridiculous. Both price & style wise. This child’s shark costume from halloweencostumes.com cost $58.99 !!!
Under no circumstances should a costume for a child cost $58.99. Never mind one imitating marine life. If you HAVE to buy a costume from a retailer, whether it be for an infant, a teen or yourself, plan on walking out at least $50 lighter. And that’s just considering your buying for 1 child. If you have multiple children, we suggest signing up for a Halloween club like you do for Christmas and vacations. The Recession Smart way ? Do it yourself of course. When you create a costume on your own your only limited to how many ideas you can come up with. The goodwill/salvation army/thrift stores are fantastic places to find costume clothes. Theres no point in paying big bucks for something you’re gonna rip & tear and smear with blood. If you hit Wal-Mart, who’s prices drop drastically the closer to Halloween it gets, you’ll pay close to nothing for face makeup and accessories. Here are some of the cutest DIY kid costumes we found. Their all super easy and with a little time come out a costume to remember.
However you choose to dress up your little goblin, make sure their costume is comfortable and above all else, warm!
Young or old, there’s no denying the excitement and nostalgia associated with this night. Trick or Treat is a time for fun and some of the best memories your child will grow up with. Be smart, stay safe and save money. Theres no excuse for handing out pencils & raisins.