Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cheap trick-or-treats

Handing out candy for mobs of ghosts and goblins can really be a hit to the wallet. Even the off-brand stuff is expensive in quantity.

Here are some unconventional things I've done to save at Halloween:

1. Bake cookies. I know. I know. This is so taboo nowadays. The world is a creepy place and parents don't know if they can trust baked goods from some random house. But give me a chance to explain...

What I did was make sugar cookie pumpkins with piped-on decorator icing. I placed one sugar cookie in a Halloween plastic treat baggie (the kind at school parties), tied the baggie shut and attached a tag with my name and address.

The parents knew where the cookie came from and, honestly, I didn't even care if they pitched the whole thing, because the cost to me was so incredibly low. The whole project was probably less than $5--and we get LOTS of Halloweeners here.

2. Crafts/games. One year I ordered some ghost crafts from Oriental Trading. I think these are intended as school projects, so you get 20+ individually-wrapped pieces for one price. I can't remember how much these were, but when I did the math comparing these to candy, the crafts were cheaper by a landslide. Plus, they offered something bulky, intriguing and non-sugary.

3. Tootsie Pop ghosts. Just drape a Kleenex around a Tootsie Pop and tie at the neck with yarn or ribbon. Add eyes with a Sharpie if you want...or not. These aren't that big of a deal, but at least show some effort and look festive in your treat bowl at the front door. 

4. Pretzel bags. I'm sure you've seen the small bags of pretzels in the candy aisle at the store. The bags are decorated for Halloween. I bought a big tub of these one year thinking the parents would appreciate something without sugar and the kids would like something BIG in their bags. 

Eh...I was kinda wrong. Kids don't want pretzels. At least that was my experience. However, when you compare these prices with candy prices, I do believe the pretzel bags are less expensive. Proceed at your own risk. :)

Here's hoping we all don't break the bank this year!!

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