I'm a mum and my six tips will help you save £100 this Halloween – your kids won’t notice the difference | The Sun

HALLOWEEN is fast approaching.

Not only is it an exciting time for kids when they can dress up and chow down on sweets, but there are tonnes of ways families can enjoy the season together, from pumpkin picking to film marathons.  


However, with costumes, parties and trick-or-treating on the agenda for most parents in October, costs can quickly add up. 

To help parents save money on all things ‘Halloween’,  CashLady.com has partnered with ‘Instagram Mum’, Emma Stretton, who has shared her tried and tested tips to keep the kids happy on the cheap during the spooky season.  
 
“I really love Halloween but it can get expensive," she says.

"It seems to become a bigger celebration every year. I start planning ahead of time so I’m prepared and can keep costs down as much as possible whilst making sure the kids have lots of fun.” 

on Halloween

Can you spot the differences in these images – over a third give up, will you?

Stacey Solomon & Gemma Collins show off their terrifying Halloween decor

Emma, a mum-of-two living in Manchester, says her six tips will help to save parents an estimated £87.85 on Halloween festivities.

Pre-loved or DIY costumes

“If I’m buying costumes for my kids, whether it’s for trick-or-treating or to wear to a party, I’ll always shop on second-hand websites or make my own.

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"One year we did Mike and Sully from ‘Monsters, Inc’ using costumes I bought on eBay. My favourite was using some old dungarees and face paint to turn my toddler into Chucky!”

“Another year we did homemade pumpkins using a sheet of felt; I folded it in half, cut a hole for the head, sewed either side down and then threaded some elastic around the bottom to create a pumpkin shape. Then I drew on eyes and a mouth; it was as easy as that!”  

“This year, I’ve bought second-hand Ghostbusters costumes for £6 each off eBay, whereas the new version costs around £17. Try to second-hand-shop as early as possible before the demand starts to rise.”

Estimated savings: £22
Emma spent £6 each on second-hand costumes for her kids, whereas a new version of the costume is being sold at Sainsbury’s for £17 each. Homemade decorations 

Homemade decorations

“Every year I pull out the same homemade ‘Happy Halloween’ banner that we made years ago from old cardboard boxes, paint and string. We also have spiders, ghosts and pumpkins that we made from A4 sheets of felt and attached yarn to hang them with.

"You can also use inexpensive black sheets to drape in the window or white sheets to create ghostly figures. Cotton wool is great for recreating spider webs and you can paint glass jars in red or orange and put tea lights in for a spooky effect.” 
 
“They definitely look handmade, but they’ve become something of a tradition now and the kids still love them!” 

Estimated savings: £5.85
Cotton wool, card, paint and string cost £6.15 at Wilko, whereas a set of new decorations costs roughly £12 on Amazon.  

Stock up 

“I try not to leave any shopping until the last minute, as that’s when things can get expensive. So when it comes to Halloween sweets for trick-or-treaters, I’ll buy whatever is on offer for about £1 each time I do the food shop.”  
 
“I don’t really notice £1 each time but if I do that from mid-September I’ll have enough sweets come Halloween without forking out for them all in one go. Our local school is right on our doorstep so trick-or-treating is a big deal near us. I could save myself money by not buying sweets at all but it’s a community thing for us and I like to join in.”

Estimated savings: N/A
This tip is designed to avoid paying for sweets all at once, just before Halloween. 

Pumpkins 

“My kids love pumpkin picking. One year we bought a supermarket pumpkin which was cheaper but it wasn’t quite as magical. So now, we go to the pumpkin patch as close to Halloween as possible, which is when they want to get rid of what’s left. It’s only getting carved up so I don’t see the point of being precious about it and you can still get some good ones even at the last minute.”  
 
“Don’t be afraid to haggle when you’re looking for a last minute pumpkin – it’s another bonus of opting for a pumpkin patch over a supermarket! Usually, they’ll cost around £5 during peak times, but last year I got one right before Halloween for just £2.”

Estimated savings: £3
Emma saved an estimated £3 by getting a last-minute pumpkin.  

Spooky activities

“Rather than going to organised Halloween events that can cost a fortune, we’ll make our own fun at home. Every year, we make a night of carving up the pumpkin which the kids love helping with.

"We’ll also put some spooky songs on and make ‘Halloween Rocky Road', basically just white chocolate rocky road with green food colouring and dried ‘blood’ (or cherries) – all of which can be found in the food cupboard.”  
 
“An afternoon watching some classic Halloween films like Hocus Pocus is my absolute favourite, and my eldest likes telling his own ghost stories (spoiler, they aren’t very scary)!”

Estimated savings: £57
Emma’s local Halloween Festival costs £12 per adult and £16.50 per child; that’s £57 for her whole family. 

Parties 

“My eldest son’s birthday is six days before Halloween, so I know one day I will end up having a Halloween party. If so, I’d get everyone to bring some Halloween-inspired food, and would use my DIY decorations, pre-loved costumes and spooky playlist to make it fun.

"I dressed up as Morticia Addams for one of my parties and it’s one of my best memories; kids always remember the simple stuff and how you made it fun for them.” 
 
Estimated savings: N/A 

Commenting on the tips, CashLady.com’s Personal Finance Expert, Dan Whittaker, said:  “We know that the cost-of-living crisis is making spending a lot more stressful for the majority of the UK at the moment.

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"But this doesn’t mean that we have to put all celebrations to a halt; especially when it comes to festivities that the little ones love!” 
 
“Emma’s tips are a great reminder that you can keep your kids happy during seasonal events like Halloween without breaking the bank.

"Not only will Emma’s tips help to save around £90, but they also encourage parents and kids alike to get crafty and think outside the box to make their own Halloween fun.” 


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