Ideas for Having a Halloween Party on a Budget

halloween party on a budget

Several holidays are lurking just around the corner, and the economy is making it tough for people to figure out they are going to afford celebrating them all. This has many thinking that they must skip giving a Halloween party in order to save money for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. There’s no need to miss out on the festivities though – the trick is to find less expensive ways to provide party guests with Halloween fun. The following ideas fit into most budgets, and guests will never know that the party was planned with the economy in mind.

Halloween Party on a Budget

Places to Shop for a Halloween Party

Working parents often have trouble finding the time to make Halloween decorations themselves, even if they would like to do so. The following sources can provide cheaper Halloween treasures very quickly:

• Check local thrift stores for costumes at a fraction of the original cost.

• Post a need for Halloween decorations on the neighborhood FreeCycle website.

• Go to a U-pick-it farm for pumpkins and decorative squashes.

• Compare the prices of Halloween decorations at online retailers and check for clearance items.

• Shop for Halloween decorative items in the week following Halloween to use for the next year’s party.

Items to Make at Home for a Halloween Party

If you have the time and energy, it is wise to save money by creating some of the party decorations yourself. These items are easily made and can result in significant savings:

• Use leftover Styrofoam packaging to create tombstones. With a charcoal pencil, write funny epitaphs on each one; these can be found online. Add a few drops of fake blood for effect.

• Make a bat cave wall by cutting out hundreds of black bat silhouettes from construction paper.

• Hang ghosts made from tissues, handkerchiefs, or old sheets in the trees or from the ceiling.

• Make a scarecrow or dead body out of old pillows, discarded clothing, and a frightening Halloween mask with some pine straw or hay, hat and old gloves.

Things to Do to Create a Halloween Atmosphere

The perfect Halloween ambiance can be created without a budget meltdown. The following ideas should be helpful:

• Use small pieces of dry ice to create smoke around the punch bowl, in corners of the room, and in the toilet.

• Buy a CD of haunting music and strange sounds at a dollar store.

• Create some unusual food choices with a Halloween theme. Cut boiled eggs into two pieces and stain the yolks green in the center to make eyeballs. Use black licorice to make spiders and red licorice to create webs on cupcakes

• Use black plastic to cover walls or windows and replace the bulbs in lamps with inexpensive red or green ones.

• Tint the punch blood red or use cranberry juice for color.

Ghoulish fun does not have to leave the bank account empty. With a bit of planning, anyone can hold a frighteningly great party.


written by: Emily Wilcox


Image courtesy of: Salvatore Vuono /

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Caren with a "C"
12 years ago

We always love to get dry ice and set it in the bottom of a black caldron. We then place a brick inside and put the candy bowl on top of the brick. It really makes it spooky to get your candy out of the caldron with the smoke.

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