I'm a money-saving mum – six tried and tested ways to save £90 on Halloween whilst keeping the kids happy | The Sun

I'm a money-saving mum – six tried and tested ways to save £90 on Halloween whilst keeping the kids happy | The Sun

October 29, 2023

NOT only is Halloween 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 mum-of-two Emma Stretton, who has shared her tried and tested tips to keep the kids happy on the cheap during the spooky season. 

And the savvy saver, who lives in Manchester, has revealed six waysparents can save around £90 on Halloween festivities. 

1. Pre-loved or DIY costumes

The money-saving whizz explains that if she's buying costumes for her kids, whether it’s for trick-or-treating or to wear to a party, she'll always shop on second-hand websites or make her own.

"One year we did Mike and Sully from ‘Monsters, Inc’ using costumes I bought on eBay," she says.



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"My favourite was using some old dungarees and face paint to turn my toddler into Chucky!”

She goes on to recall that another year she 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," Emma explains. "Then I drew on eyes and a mouth; it was as easy as that!” 

She adds: “Last year, I bought second-hand Ghostbusters costumes for £6 off eBay, whereas the new version cost around £27.

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"Try to second-hand-shop as early as possible before the demand starts to rise.”

Estimated savings: £20.99

2. Homemade decorations

Emma says that every year she reuses the same homemade ‘Happy Halloween’ banner that she 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," she explains.

"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.”

She adds: “They definitely look handmade, but they’ve become something of a tradition now and the kids still love them!”

Cotton wool, card, paint and string cost £8.15 at Tesco, whereas a set of new decorations costs roughly £12.99 on Amazon.  

Estimated savings: £4.84

3. Stock up

The money-saving guru explains that she tries not to leave any shopping until the last minute.

"That’s when things can get expensive," she points out. "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.” 

She notes that she doesn't really notice £1 each time and says that if she does that from mid-September, she'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," Emma explains.

"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

4. Pumpkins

Emma explains how her kids love pumpkin picking but recalls how one year they 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," she says.

"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.” 

She urges: “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

5. Spooky activities

The mum-of-two explains that rather than going to organised Halloween events that can cost a fortune, they'll make their own fun at home.

"Every year, we make a night of carving up the pumpkin which the kids love helping with," she says.

"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.” 

She adds: “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)!”

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

Estimated savings: £57

6. Parties

Emma says: “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."

She notes that one year she dressed up as Morticia Addams for one of her parties and it’s one of her best memories.

"Kids always remember the simple stuff and how you made it fun for them," Emma concludes.

Estimated savings: N/A

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Commenting on the tips, CashLady.com’s Personal Finance Expert, Dan Whittaker, said: “We know that the effect of the cost-of-living crisis has made festive holidays a lot more stressful for the majority of the UK. 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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