Where to Save and Where to Splurge on Halloween Stuff

By Rubina Ahmed-Haq on October 19, 2016 No Comments

Halloween has become big business in Canada. What was once a holiday exclusively for kids has now reached into offices, adult costume parties and themed events at night clubs. A survey conducted in 2015 by digital couponing site found that 68 per cent of Canadians adults now celebrate Halloween. It also found 33 per cent expected to attend a Halloween party.

The average Canadian adult can spend $169 on hosting a spooky party. But the spending doesn’t end there. Here are some more budget-gobbling expenses, according to the survey done by

  • Attending a party: $77
  • Alcohol: $55
  • Costumes: $52
  • Entertainment (performers, music, bar cover, etc.): $48
  • Decorations: $43
  • Candy: $42

Part of this is due to social media and the Instagram craze to get the best shot on Halloween. Whatever the reason Canadians are spending more on this one day a year event. Although not as expensive as the Holidays it does come right before this most expensive time of the year.

If you’re looking for ways to have a fabulous Halloween without breaking the budget here’s where to save and where to splurge on this spooky time of year.

SAVE – Costumes

When looking for a costume start at the second hand stores. Not just for creative ideas of what you can make into a costume but for used costumes as well. The thrift stores are full of costumes worn only once that have been donated. They’re selling them at a fraction of what they would cost new.

SPEND – Makeup

To make your costume really pop applying ghoulish make up can be all the difference. Not all of us have fake blood and vampire teeth lying around. Spend the extra money on the small accessories and makeup to bring your costume to a new level.

SAVE – Candy

Kids get a lot of candy during Halloween and no child eats all of it.  In fact from a health perspective they shouldn’t. Don’t go overboard on the candy’s you expect to hand out. The mini sizes chocolates and candy are perfect. If you’re handing out full size pieces you will blow your budget quickly.

SPEND – Entertainment

If you’re throwing a Halloween party spend on entertainment. It could be hiring a D.J. for the night, or maybe a magician to come in to do some scary tricks. A good entertainer can add value to any party.

SAVE – Decorations

The decoration in front some of the homes can be really over the top and so are the cost of those. This is another place where you can save by checking the second hand market. Try sites like kijji and craigslist to see what Halloween decorations people are selling. Also inquire about rental costs, this can save you a lot of money.

However you spend Halloween with your kids or at a late night party. Don’t let your spending get frighteningly out of control.

Image Credit: Marie’s Shots

Rubina Ahmed-Haq

Money Expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq's passion is making money matters easy to understand for everyone. Currently she’s the third party spokesperson for President’s Choice Financial. In addition to this she also hosts two weekly columns on CBC Radio on money matters and workplace issues. For the last four years she has been the finance editor at HOMES Publishing Group and has a weekly blog on She is also proud to have her own blog on Yummy Mummy Club, Canada’s largest online resource for moms. Her blog is called “Parenting by the numbers.” She often joins hosts on NEWSTALK 1010 to weigh in on the financial matter of the day. She also appears regularly on Global News Toronto to comment on personal finance matters. Her own website is


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