Halloween: Make it Cheap & Cheerful :)

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Pumpkin Carving, Maggie Read Photography

As everyone knows, its almost time for “All Hallow’s Eve” or as some today call it Halloween. This is an annual fun event for kids & adults alike. This year, its a Recessionista’s Delight Halloween with “cheap & cheapful” treats. So what it exactly will that be? Well, in my new lexicon of recessionary held down spending, this is essentially halloween for less. Last year I spent quite a bit on a Halloween party at a big hotel with a live band. I also splurged on buying a costume and some make-up to play the part of a 1920’s flapper (which I must admit, was pretty cool.) Everything at this party was “ala carte” aka “pricey.” This means, I paid $ 75.00 for a ticket to a big party in the Marina, about $35.00 for a costume & makeup, plus extras for drinks and food at the party. The party itself was not that great. Some very drunk adults flailing about to eardrum shattering 80s & 90s cover music, trying to act cool in over the top outfits. Its wasn’t that much fun and it cost over $100.00 bucks. I must confess at the end of the night I felt a bit cheated. It was such a let down. And there’s nothing worse that experiencing a costly let down.
This year’s Halloween is already much better and much more cost-effective. Last night my friend Maggie treated us all to an old fashioned pumpkin carving. Everybody bought their own pumpkin ( average price well under $10.00) and did some carving. It was a great old fashioned good time. Check out the “smile pumpkin” photo above. Everyone who came contributed something, whether it was cheap & cheerful vino, corny old jokes or some fabulous spaghetti squash. It cost alot less than last year’s “extravaganza” ( and I use that term loosely), but it was, quite simply alot more fun. I could actually hear what people were saying, enjoy some conversations and engage in carving a pumpkin…which I haven’t done in well, at least 20 yrs ( and that’s all I will admit to!!!).

So the message dear reader is that sometimes simple past times can really be the most fun. Like a Halloween that is cheap & cheerful.

Also, if you’re looking for a costume, I did see that all the Target and Cost Plus Halloween supplies have now hit the sale racks. So go out and have some fun, but remember your fun doesn’t have to break the bank.

Now I’m off to go buy some sale candy to give out to all the little trick or treaters! 🙂


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.