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Cheap Ways to Decorate for Halloween

Updated on October 1, 2013

Halloween Decor Budgets

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Halloween Spending

For this upcoming Halloween of 2013, it is expected that Americans will spend $6.9 billion to participate in all the spooky festivities. When it comes to decorations alone, each American will likely spend an average of roughly $75 this year.

Despite these financial expectations drafted by the National Retail Federation, there are ways to keep money in your wallet when it comes to decorating for Halloween. Of course those who are creative can easily walk into an arts & crafts store and find the perfect merchandise to produce homemade Halloween decorations, but for others who don't have the time and/or the skill, there are other ways to craft a frightening home without a scary budget. The key is to plan ahead, but also be patient and wait for those last minute deals.

Smart Shopping In-Store

Not all major retailers will necessarily put a big price tag on Halloween merchandise. It’s important to know where to look in order to get the most decorations for the littlest amount of money.

Target is an excellent place to seek out good deals. In most Target stores, there is a section where all the items are around $1.00. About a month before Halloween, this section is filled with cheap Halloween decorations from glittered “BOO!” signs to pumpkin cutouts and ghostly candle holders. I try to visit this section every year and slowly stock up on cheap items that make a big statement.

With spending only a dollar per item, another obvious retailer choice for Halloween shopping is the Dollar Tree and similar stores. Dollar stores and 99 cent stores tend to have a wide selection of decorations around the Halloween season like blow-up bats and spiders.

For retailers that have pricier items, wait out the season for good deals on those special pieces like a well-crafted, life-size witch or something else you find really spectacular. The week before and after Halloween, stores with expensive items will drastically mark down their Halloween merchandise making these cool and creepy decorations a great steal.

Online Halloween Shopping

Online shopping has its benefits for finding deals, too. Enjoy browsing and purchasing crafts made by others by checking out Etsy.com. You may even find some very unique items that would be difficult to locate in most big box stores and likely avoid paying too much.

Online party stores are also hubs for great deals. For example, orientaltrading.com carries a vast amount of thrilling items that will create the perfect Halloween scene in and outside your home.

Amazon.com also has an enormous selection of Halloween decorations. For example, a creepy shroud or cloth such as this item shown below makes a great backdrop against a window, door or even draped over a shrubs in the front yard. Placing hanging bats in front of it or finding some large colorful spiders to the shroud will be delightfully scary.


Fun Halloween Decor

A $5 scarecrow I found in the clearance section at an arts and crafts store makes a great addition to my Halloween decor.
A $5 scarecrow I found in the clearance section at an arts and crafts store makes a great addition to my Halloween decor. | Source

More Shopping Tips

No matter what retailer you decide to choose for Halloween shopping, choose items wisely when on a budget. Some highly priced items don’t do much for your front yard. For example, a $7 bag of fake spider webs and spiders covers a lot more of your yard than a $30 skeleton to hang on the door. Similarly, buying items that come in multiples per pack at reasonable prices like tombstones and bats will quickly transform your decorating area from quant to creepy.

Versatile Pieces

This multi-functional candle holder from Target works great for any occasion including Halloween!
This multi-functional candle holder from Target works great for any occasion including Halloween! | Source

Make It What You Will

Versatile items are another easy way to decorate your place for Halloween without using up too much cash. Similarly to those who practice “Use What You Have” decorating, the same can be applied for Halloween. There are certain pieces that when they stand alone in a room, it’s just a simple accent piece, but when mixed in what other themed items, suddenly that item blends to match the theme around it.

For Halloween, items like candles, black or red lights, lamps in jewel tones and other similar accent pieces that fit into the Halloween color scheme can be used for decorations. Using what you have can be a lot of fun and spark creativity you never knew you had. With this decorating philosophy, think big and don’t limit yourself. Colors for Halloween go beyond just black and orange. Consider using dark purple and green, all grays and definitely red for all the blood.

You can also plan ahead for decorating for Halloween by checking out garage stores for both unwanted Halloween-themed items and multi-functional items that can easily fit in with your existing Halloween decorations. So next time you see a sign up in your neighborhood about a garage sale, don’t pass it up. There’s a chance you’ll spend less money in the long run purchasing miscellaneous items at a garage sale for future decorating.

Colorful Halloween Ideas

A combination of pretty and scary add to this Halloween scene with an entrance adorned in bows and spider webs.
A combination of pretty and scary add to this Halloween scene with an entrance adorned in bows and spider webs. | Source
Adding a splash of dark purple to the traditional black and orange creates a colorful, fun Halloween feel.
Adding a splash of dark purple to the traditional black and orange creates a colorful, fun Halloween feel. | Source
Skeleton flamingos add a whimsical touch to the Halloween decor.
Skeleton flamingos add a whimsical touch to the Halloween decor. | Source

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