10 Simple Ways to Have a Budget-Friendly Halloween

by Kaitlyn Ranze |

Let’s talk budget-friendly ways to still celebrate the spooky season.

(For recommendations about holiday gatherings, check out what the CDC says here.)

1) Lockdown and Enjoy a Film

Turn down the lights and enjoy a festive film and some popcorn. Extra time on your hands? Make Halloween weekend a movie marathon.

Our top Halloween movie recommendations:

For nostalgia, Hocus Pocus.

For the kids, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or The Haunted Mansion with Eddie Murphy.

To freak yourself out and not sleep at night:

  1. The Exorcist
  2. The Conjuring
  3. The Shining
  4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  5. Werewolves Within

For a Netflix marathon session, check out Squid Game with its hidden money lessons.

Bonus points if you have a projector to picnic outside and enjoy fall’s crisp weather. Already too chilly out? Create a pillow fort.

2) Getting Festive with the Kids

Have little ones at home? Stage a Ghost Busters style scavenger hunt candy hunt in your backyard or around the house. Consider what mindful mom and financial coach Jasmine Johnson recommends from LiveHappiGirl, “Create a fun environment indoors by having a  Halloween egg hunt/party for the little ones. Throw in a little strobe light for effects. Invite other close friends over to contribute to the fun night. Safe and doesn’t cost much. Kids just wanna have fun. They will always remember the giggles and Halloween “egg hunt” they had that one Halloween.”

3) Treats and Savings

If your town or state isn’t under lockdown orders and you plan on treating costumed superheroes, witches, and wizards, scope out sales for candy before investing in your faves. Remember, your grocery budget , clip coupons, use rebates, and shop sales. The festivity landscape has changed so make sure you invest in candies you don’t mind eating (unless you bake them into Christmas cookies).

Looking for a safer way to hand out candy? Check out this candy chute.

4) All tricks and no treats,

Practical jokes are an easy way to celebrate the day. What better time to use fake bugs? Take Sharpie to your toilet paper and draw in some spiders. Hide behind a corner for a boo! Just remember to keep it harmless and know your audience.

Need some inspiration?

Here are three really easy, budget friendly Halloween pranks to do at home.

1)Swap toothpaste out for wasabi or spread transparent Orajel to their toothbrush

2)Cover a bar of soap water resistant with clear nail polish. They won’t be able to get a lather, and you’ll get a laugh.

3) Swap orange juice out for the cheese powder from a Mac & Cheese.

5) Costume Contest

Make your costume contest more challenging by adding time limits or color restrictions or only use objects found in your garage, pantry, or closet.

While we’re big fans of up-cycling your old bed sheet into togas and ghosts, we think you could get a little more creative with your costume this year.

Budget Costume Ideas

  1. Ted Lasso – Track suit and a sticky mustache
  2. Steve from Blue’s Clues – Grab your handy dandy notebook and don your khakis
  3. Squid Games – Blue track suit
  4. Run DMC – Black track suit and gold chains
  5. Jaguar – scarlet trench coat and a button up
  6. Among Us – Motorcycle helmet and matching body suit in a single color
  7. Carole Baskin – Tie Dye top and a blonde wig
  8. Cassius Green – red tie, grey sport coat and a white headband
  9. Daphne Bridgerton – Empire waist dress and gloves (don’t forget to pin that hair up)
  10. Kim Kardashian’s Met gala look – wear black on black and make sure to sport a train
  11. Cruella – you’ll need to spring for the wig, but we loved Emma stone
  12. Olivia Rodrigo – head to the Dollar Store and put those stickies on your face to match her album cover
  13. Bob Ross – Get your painter’s pallet and make some “happy little accidents”
  14. For couples- Bennifer – pull out your fanciest outfit and get dolled up for a night on the red carpet

6) Headed out? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Have a friend with a history of hoarding? Ask to recycle previous costumes. They are likely not going to be a sexy witch two years in a row, so you can sneak that one and save yourself.

7) Pumpkin Carving Contest

Whether it’s between you or other people in your household, or friends across the country, get creative and have a pumpkin carving contest. Post pictures online and have the internet vote for their favorite. Give out superlatives for the “Funniest”, “Creepiest”, or “Most Creative.”

Don’t forget to toast the pumpkin seeds for a snack.

8) Take Decorating a Step Further.

It’s a great time to DIY and get creative, making fall decorations you can use all season long. Look outside your window for fall foliage and free decoupage material and scope out Pinterest for kid friendly activities to get them involved.

9) Boos and brunch.

So maybe traditional brunch is out of the question but you can still muster up some orange and green food dye for festive pancakes and waffles.

10) Treat yourself.

Even if Halloween isn’t your thing, find budget-friendly ways to treat yourself.

Related Reads:

Three Ways to Save This Halloween

Money Lessons from Squid Games


We’re changing the narrative around money but change can’t happen with a one-sided conversation. That’s why we’re excited to bring different voices and experts to share their wisdom inside the Community. Send us an email and let us know what you think. And remember the nav.it money app offers you free tools for automating savings, budgeting, account aggregation so you can make confident money moves.

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