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Halloween on a Budget

Autumn has begun and with that come thoughts of beautiful shades of leaves, pumpkins, apple picking and more.  Many families begin to decorate their home with the season's decor.  It is so much fun to walk the aisles of our local Target or eXchange to see the latest Halloween decorations; lighted jack-o'-lanterns,  black cats, funny graveyard markers, skeleton-bones and zombies everywhere.  It is fun to look at but a family on a budget needs to do more looking then putting in their cart!

How do you save this time of year?  I have a few suggestions.  To start with, I love the change of season.  I love to decorate the house as we begin to spend more and more time indoors because of the change in weather.  We can accomplish some of our decorating needs by purchasing multi-use items. Stick with colors (oranges, greens, yellows, browns) and items (pumpkins, fall foliage, etc.) that will work well into the Thanksgiving holiday.  I have some beautiful glass pumpkins that I can bring out this time of year and use until it is time to pack up my autumn decorations and transition to Christmas and winter.


Budget and Invest

My boys light up as we pull out a couple of bins from the attic full of fun things.  Yes, I do have a skeleton, we call him "Bones".  I bought him right after I was out of college, so he is about 15 years old.  A well spent $19? - for me, probably.  If you want to decorate in Halloween themed items purchase a quality plastic bin that you can protect your fun decor in.  The more years you can pull out of your decorations the better the investment.  Give yourself a small budget.  $20 might only give you one thing but if you buy one thing a year in just a few years you can have a fun little bin to pull from too!

Wait for it
If you see something that you really would like that is more then your budget think about next year and on November 1st head to the store to find it at 25% to 75% off.  I do this every year for 'spider webs' for my boys to spread out over our bushes outside.  We can buy a $2 bag of this 'batting' for about 25 cents that first week in November.  I store them in our orange-autumn bin and the next year we are ready to go!  We live in a society that says "You have to have it now."  Just think of the savings if you wait.  (Then you have the added bonus of the anticipation of opening up your autumn bin next year and using it for the first time!)

Display the kids' art work
My boys have given me quite a collection of  Halloween art work.  We have bats, cats, ghosts and jack o'-lanterns.  Some of them made in preschool, some in early grade school, all of them treasured.  I love keeping these pieces of art (in my handy dandy autumn container) and pulling them all out each October.  Some of them are now placed proudly in inexpensive picture frames, other pieces placed on shelves around the house.  All a reminder to me of the fun that Halloween should be as I watch my children grow up before my very eyes.

Do you have additional suggestions?  It is easy to blow the budget during this change in season with impulse buys and "gotta-have-its" but with a little planning, a bit of saving, and taking the time to treasure what we have we can save money for future needs. Wouldn't you rather be scared by the little ghosts and goblins at your door this Halloween then by next month's credit card bill?

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

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