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Halloween Treats On A Budget

hallowwen on a budgetAs the horde of gremlins and ghouls descends upon your home on Hallows’ Eve, you better have a plan in place to keep them happy with a treat, or who knows what tricks they might play! This doesn’t have to be an expensive venture and by all indications that in any way can impact your credit card debt, and your budget. 

Tips to Find Halloween Treats on a Budget

Of course, the cheapest way is to be elsewhere. Out for the night, leave the light off, and a sign on the door. And be at the peril of the tricksters. However, if you are at home,  you should be ready at the door with some of these “cheap treats” that fits your budget.

Choosing Candy on a Budget

Generally, hard candy and individually wrapped bubble gum are your cheapest options. – Peppermints, butterscotch, anything sour – kids love ’em.  And lollipops. Lollipops are always popular, and cheap enough to drop a few in those bags and can easily be accommodated into your budget.

Keep a big bowl of them ready, and reach in and grab a few for each gremlin. Do NOT let them grab their own – you will find that those little hands can grab a lot more candy than you think!

The most expensive bulk candies are usually the small wrapped chocolate candy bars. Sure they are less than the giant candy bars you find at the checkout, but pound for pound they are much more expensive than the hard candies. There are exceptions, but this is a good rule of thumb for you wanting to pay off debts and stick with your budget.

Boxes of raisins are a healthy snack , and you can get them fairly cheaply. Don’t bag up your own – that just looks cheap. Save that kind of frugality for your own family.

Candy Alternatives on a Budget

Shop at your local dollar store or party good store, and get a big bag of party favors like rings, little games and toys, and bracelets. It’s not candy, but it can be pretty inexpensive. On my last trip to the dollar store, I found a card of 10 little fashion rings for $1.00 , or 10 magic wands for the fairy princesses. 10 Cents per gremlin is not bad.

How about Stickers? Kids love stickers of all kinds, and they can be had pretty cheaply. Little sheets of stickers or fake tattoos can be a lot of fun without adding to tooth decay, or denting your budget. If there are no small sheets available, carefully cut out a few strips, or squares so everyone can have some.

Just a note: Be careful about giving anything TOO good…   I made that mistake several years ago (I mean a few decades, but bear with me). I worked for a toy company and got a hold of a few cases of “seconds” of a small but popular item. Well, usually we saw between 30 and 50 kids a night on Halloween.  Those kids must have one heck of a communications system! The night we gave out the “good stuff” we saw almost 200 kids! And the following year, we saw over 300 – they had all passed the word, and we were swamped with kids expecting the same or better than the year before!

Avoid the temptation to make popcorn!  Lots of people try and do this, and it hardly ever goes well. Many parents won’t allow kids to eat home-made goods anymore out of fear. Times have changed. And apples. There are always horror stories about apples. You’ve heard them, don’t go there.

Put a little thought to it, and keep those kids happy and have some fun. You could even dress up in your own costume to answer the door to really get into the spirit and stay within your budget limitations.  (But I know from experience – don’t go “spooky” . The last thing you want is the youngest kids screaming in fear. That kind of ruins it for them, and their parents think you are a jerk for a long time.)

ABOUT AUTHOR / Andi

Andi is a Marketing Assistant at ACCC. He is passionate about supporting financial literacy efforts and helping to educate people on the Talking Cents blog!

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