Tips to Save on Halloween Costumes, Candy and Party Decorations

09/20/2012. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Disclosure Policy.

Here is your annual Halloween stock up price list post.  Now this is just my best guess based off what we have seen for prior years- so it is only a guideline.

It is impossible to know for sure what will happen but I wanted to get this posted now for those of you that like to shop early.


My rule of thumb is about $1.00 per bag for a good quality candy- like Twix.  This is for the bags that are fun size and typically about 11oz.    That works out to roughly $.09 per oz for candy- so that is an easy way to calculate the value of larger sized bags.

Now two years ago that was about as good as it got for candy and that was using coupons and with drugstore promotions.

Last year on the other hand, the prices got much better as we got into mid to late October.  We saw bags of candy for $.50 or less with coupons and promotions.

This year I am already seeing candy at $.99 per bag (next week Rite Aid has bags of Blow Pops for $.99 after +Up).  So I am thinking we will likely see the fun size bags for less then $1.00 again.

It seems to me that the prices are the best in mid-late October so I usually suggest waiting to buy candy.  Most of us (okay me..) tend to eat it anyway if we buy early.

One other tip on the subject of candy, is that this tends to be the lowest prices we see all year.  I always find amazing deals on bags of candy after Halloween at the drugstores and Target so the after Halloween clearance can be a great time to buy a little extra for Christmas stockings.


I like to shop early for Halloween decorations.  In my experience, the really cute stuff seems to sell out a few weeks before the holiday and most stores typically won’t get more stuff in stock.

I noticed my Home Goods store had mountains and mountains of Halloween decor at the beginning of September and now it is all nearly gone.  The larger retailers (like Target) should start featuring Halloween decorations in the sales ads starting next week and I have found the weekly sales are usually about the best price things will get.

Now I remember last year Target in particular had A LOT of Halloween clearance.  Things were picked over but I know I got a door mat, placemats for the children, candy bowls, garland and more for 75% off.  I actually found quite a few things for 90% off (see photo below).

So honestly the very best time to shop is usually after the holiday or as the stores feature various items in the weekly ads.

There are lots of cute decorations you can make yourself too for a little less! The girls and I are hoping to finish a few things this weekend and start posting craft ideas next week for those that are inclined to DIY.

I do have a Halloween pinterest board as well with some fun ideas to try.


Now this is something you need to prioritize.  If you have your heart set on something specific or the kiddos really want to be xyz this year, I find it best to shop early.

I know my girls have very clear and very specific opinions on what they want so I tend to start thinking about costumes early on.   If you are willing to make your own or you are flexible about a costume, well you might want to hold out and see.

I remember my Target and Costco were wiped out last year by about mid- October.

Now here are a few ideas for finding deals on costumes:

Make your own!  There are tons of cute ideas on pinterest for costumes.  I do tend to look at the overall value of making your own.  I saw an idea on pinterest for a homemade bumble bee dress and the person said they spent $10 on materials and about 3 hours of time.  To me that doesn’t seem like a great deal considering a costume can be purchased for probably $20 or $25- so unless it is a fun experience it isn’t always the best deal to make your own.

Thrift Stores/ Consignment Stores/ Craigslist.  These resources can all be great places to get deals on costumes.  Again I encourage people to shop early.  When my oldest had her first Halloween, I followed some frugal advice I received and was told to wait until just before and hit the consignment shops for great deals.  Well I did that and would up paying $25 for a used Pooh bear costume that was missing one piece.  It was literally the last costume they had in the place.  So you might find a deal or you might not but I do suggest starting to look now.

Thred Up. You can also start keeping an eye on Thred Up.  They are still offering a free $10 credit when you sign up however it looks like the credit is not working toward shipping anymore.  You still might find a great deal!

Mass Clothing Retailers.  Like Carter’s and Old Navy, already have costumes out and in my area they have them for 25% off right now.  You can often find coupons to make the deal even better.  One thing I like about shopping at mass retailers is that I can keep my receipt and return the item if I find something else that I love.

Last year on October 28th Old Navy put all Halloween costumes down to $5.00.  Believe it or not they had a 25% off coupon available at the time so the costumes were $3.75!  Again you roll the dice on that one and you will be limited in choices and sizes but that was by far the cheapest I saw.

Last but not least, I wanted to mention Pottery Barn costumes went as low as $19.99 the week before Halloween.   I know the selection in store once they hit that price was really low and online they had more available (however getting them in time for Halloween was really cutting it close.)


And finally, here is my trip of Halloween clearance from last year- I got super lucky around 11/8 and Target hit 90% off and they still had good stuff.  I got a princess dress up dress for $3, a 2pk of Carter’s jammies for $1.69, a Halloween Barbie for $1.19 and an adorable little Bumble Bee bear for $.69.  So that was a major score and I am hopeful this year is the same!

Does anyone else have great ideas for getting good deals on Halloween items?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ameena September 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I hit the Target dollar spot last week and they had some cute halloween stuff for 1-2.50, I got a witch hat for a dollar.

Amy September 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

For Halloween costumes, my frugal tip is swap! Most kids only wear the costumes once or twice, so they’re hardly worn:

Kick off your costume search with Green Halloween on October 13th during National Costume Swap Day! Bring in an old costume — kids, adults & even pets — and walk away with a new one, for FREE!
Reduce waste? Save money? Have fun? Check. Check. And CHECK! Find an event near you to participate. http://www.greenhalloween.org/CostumeSwap

Julianne September 20, 2012 at 4:02 PM

There are lots of decorations and costume accessories at the 99 cent only stores also.

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