Can you feel the crisp chill in the air? It’s Fall, Ya’ll! Time for Halloween Trick r’ Treating, Trunk r’ Treat, Fall festivals, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, and crafts galore! I can hardly wait. This year we are throwing a Halloween “block party” of sorts for the spooky night. I’m also my youngest daughter’s classroom coordinator. Both of those things have me creating quite the list! My family carves pumpkins every year as a tradition and so those are on the list, too!
This Fall, the average American is spending $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, reports the National Retail Federation. If your list is like mine, well, the cost can be pretty scary!
Here are a few tips to help you save on your fall activities:
Saving on Pumpkins
• Avoid the pumpkin patch. This can easily double the cost of your pumpkin shopping, simply because you will be distracted by the other attractions (food, rides, etc.) that are available.
• Purchase pumpkins by the pound. Grocery stores tend to sell pumpkins this way. By the pound means you can easily purchase a pumpkin in your budget because you can weigh before you buy! A good rule of thumb is .25 cents per pound.
• Fake it! Hit up your local craft and hobby store and make a one-time purchase of those plastic pumpkins. You can then use them every year.
• Hit the Farmer’s Market. Farmers sell excess pumpkins and gourds at roadside stands and farmer’s markets, sometimes for pennies on the dollar.
Saving on Apples
• Visit the farmer’s market (while you’re picking up your pumpkin) and see what you may find. Typically when purchased by the bushel, apples are inexpensive at these markets.
• Search for a local organic co-op. Our neighborhood has one that is a significant savings over the grocery store.
• Watch sales flyers for apple sales during prime “apple” season.
• Pick your own! For a list of places visit: http://www.pickyourown.org/applepicking.htm
Saving on Candy
• Buy in bulk. Warehouse club bulk candy bags can be about 25% cheaper than regular retail. If you don’t need that much candy, share the cost (and the candy) with a friend or neighbor.
• Search for and use manufacturer’s coupons. Many online bloggers list the hot candy pick of the week with store’s sale prices during the month of October.
• Buy late. Not only do stores tend to put candy on sale closer to the holiday, you can factor in all sorts of things from weather on Halloween night to changes in personal plans that may affect your purchasing needs.
Saving on Crafts
• Search Pinterest! From Thrifty Living’s Kid’s Fall and Halloween board to Sign Up Genius’s fall festival planning board, Pinterest is full of wonderful handmade and inexpensive craft ideas!
• My old standby? Oriental Trading. I know it can be a bit overwhelming with so many choices. In my opinion, when it comes to classroom parties, you cannot find cheaper craft supplies (be sure to check for online coupon codes!).
Saving on Decor
• Nature, nature, nature. Remember, it’s Fall! Mother Nature provides you with the perfect backdrop for your fall activities. You can pick out leaves, pinecones, sticks, or acorns. You can add your pumpkins, corn, or gourds.
• Borrow! If you are in an agricultural neighborhood like ours, borrow items like straw/hay bales, and stalks of corn. Around here we might even be able to borrow a donkey! Of course, then he may want payment in apples (see above).
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