From candy to giant yard inflatables and Barbie costumes, Halloween spending can get scary, especially if you don't have everything yet. But there are ways to save on your last-minute spending for the holiday.
The good news: From decor to candy, shopping expert Trae Bodge says the final days of October are a great time to make your Halloween purchases.
Save on candy
"The closer you are to Halloween," she said, "retailers are going to be looking to clear that merchandise out, and they will price it to sell."
So look for costume and candy sales starting late this weekend, accelerating on Monday and Tuesday.
For the biggest savings, Bodge says, think about buying in bulk. If you have a Sam's or Costco membership, now is the time to use it. And if your local grocery store is out of the candy or treats you need for a party, consider a local specialty shop.
You might pay a little more, but Kelly Schneider Morgan of Schneider's Sweets Shop says it's worth every penny.
"When you're spending money at local places like this, the money is going directly to the local businesses and straight to the community, which is awesome," she said.
Save on costumes
When it comes to costumes, think outside the box... literally. Otherwise, those remaining costumes could cost $50 or more. Matt Schulz with LendingTree says there are always ways to save with homemade costumes so you don't get in over your head with last-minute spending.
"We've all been to Halloween parties where somebody got creative with a simple costume and was the talk of the party," he said.
Amanda Reinfelder, a manager of a Michaels store, agrees.
"The nice thing about a DIY costume is that it's unique to you," she said.
She estimates you can save 50% on your costume costs by upcycling something you already have in your closet. You can do the same with decor, saving money and making memories simultaneously.
"Making your own costume," she said, "is just something that is fun. It's a lot of laughter and smiles."
And if you do go into debt to make all your Halloween dreams come true, LendingTree says you can often negotiate your credit card interest rates.
"It's funny picking up the phone and asking for help works more often than you might think," Schulz said.
Finally, you will find the best sales on November 1, when you can grab costumes and decorations for next year at 50% to 75% off.
That way you don't waste your money this Halloween.
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