Halloween decorations, affordable Halloween costumes

The holiday season signals a time of thankfulness, family, and good-spirited fun. It also signals the time period where major retailers and remaining department stores go from being in the financial red in their books to the financial black (where the term “Black Friday” originates). This means the mark-ups on decorations and holiday goods will increase the first week after Halloween.

If you are reading this in October, congratulations! These will likely be the most cost-effective ideas for decorating, and you can rest easier knowing you found bargains just in time for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For this blog, we’ll focus on bargain Halloween decoration ideas for those celebrating on a budget.

When Should You Start Decorating for Halloween?

Believe it or not, there is actually some loose social science to this! Most publications (like Shutterfly) suggest that it is socially acceptable to start decorating for Halloween in the last week of September. You can maximize the visibility of your exterior (yard) decorations by setting them up 2 weeks prior to Halloween. Many communities and suburbs actually host contests for best Halloween decorations. If you are in this category, there is no shame in setting up as September turns over to October on the calendar.

It is also recommended that you take advantage of Earlybird online sales that begin in late September. Many retailers will blowout their remaining stock from last year with massive sales. Since most Halloween decorations don’t have years marked on them or trends like fashion, these decorations can complete your collection and actually come in with price tags significantly cheaper than this year’s stock.

Where Can You Find Affordable DIY Costume Ideas?

Late September is also the best time to buy costumes. Even better, buy supplies to make your own! Ideas for cost-effective costumes are all over the internet. Some of our favorites are from Cosmopolitan. Mummies, Morticia Addams, and Beer Pong are some of the best low-cost Halloween costume ideas we’ve ever seen.

DIY juggernaut PopSugar has over 100 ideas, with the caption: “Cheap and easy DIY costumes are all that matter this Halloween, and we are here to tell you that you can consider your 2019 costume complete thanks to these genius ideas. This year, make things easier than ever with Halloween costumes for adults that can be made at the very last minute. Complete with costume ideas that include pop culture references and punny twists, we found the best costumes that can be made in no time. Check out the best homemade costume ideas ahead, and get ready to get crafty!”

Other sites to check out for Halloween costume ideas include Reader’s Digest and BuzzFeed

How Do You Have a Fun Halloween Party?

You won’t please everyone, all the time. This is a cliche phrase for a reason. However, we can breakdown party-goers into two main categories to consider: 

  1. The Disney/Nightmare Before Christmas crowd. These are the types that are going to be into the themes of Halloween without wanting to be genuinely scared to their core. For these guys and gals, have some light-hearted decorations with mildly creative phrases and themes on them. The punch with floating eyeballs in it is probably the decoration at the edge of their safe-word territory.
  2. The die-hards with strong stomachs that are a bit twisted on the inside. Upstanding citizens, but with buried morbid curiosity. Don’t let them snatch the TV remote while you aren’t looking, but make sure some of your more subtle decorations are a little darker than meets the eye and be prepared for them to show up in full cosPLAY, not just a store-bought costume.

Straddling the imaginary line between the two is vital for a successful, fun Halloween party at home or in your neighborhood’s rec room. Organizing your decorations and costume ideas with these two groups in mind will be the secret formula you are looking for, without needing to conjure up a forgetfulness potion.

(Images courtesy of Reader’s Digest here)

What Do You Need for a Halloween Party?

Here are the key elements to any poppin’ Halloween party, in no particular order:

  • Spooky themed foods and drinks (Boo bottles, cobweb coasters, eyeball ice cubes)
  • Indoor and outdoor decorations
  • A way to play spooky music throughout the house with a Bluetooth device
  • Costume themes
  • Halloween and scary movie marathon on the TV
  • A way to get your friends home safely
  • Proper disposal of trash and recycle
  • Properly securing pets in a place they feel safe

Last-Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

Into Halloween enough to want to dress up, but procrastinated while focusing on work and your social life? No problem! Good Housekeeping provided over 50 affordable, last-minute Halloween costume ideas here. Here are some of our favorites:

Dog Face Filter

last minute halloween costumes

Smarty Pants

last minute halloween costumes

Green with Envy

Green With Envy - Halloween Costume Ideas

Just try to avoid being an “athlete” of some kind. If this is your main last-minute strategy, goes as Jonathan Byers from Stranger Things instead, since his costume was something like, “Guy who doesn’t dress up for costume parties.”

Is October Too Early to Decorate for Christmas?

Yes, you monster! (Pun intended). The holiday “experts” say decorating for Christmas should begin the day after Thanksgiving, or the day after that if you plan on Black Friday shopping. If you are Black Friday shopping for deals that fit in your budget, it does make perfect sense that you may want to skip spending on decorations for holidays you don’t get fully into. But you don’t want to be the only people on the block with a full Santa and reindeer set on your roof while others are in Halloween costumes and expecting candy bars. If you are on a budget and only want to buy decorations for one holiday, here are some subtle ways from Pinterest to still participate without actually really participating.

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