That title makes me sound like I am trying to horn in on Squawkfox’s territory. No I will not be posting a photo of my refrigerator, you don’t want to see what is in there. Is there such a thing as a Frugal Halloween?
Halloween is a special day in my house, because it is the day my youngest daughter was born. From that started a tradition that lasted about 16 years. The tradition was me, Michael James and a group of other parents would wander around MJ’s neighbourhood. They live in the ritzier part of town, and we ended up drinking wine and collecting candy, but that has very little to do with the title of this post either (but you would be surprised to see how much candy a pillow case can hold).
As Hallowe’en is approaching, here are a few helpful hints to help your celebration be as frugal as a Witch’s Elbow:
- Don’t buy candy in September for Halloween. I don’t care how good a planner you are. You will end up eating it, have a shame fit, buy some more. You then start a violent shame cycle that will eventually cause you to spend $300 on Candy and gain 10 kg by All Saint’s Day (November 1).
- Don’t buy a pumpkin, yes they are cheap, but it’s a waste of money given our master plan.
- Don’t buy any candy. You won’t need it (and you don’t end up with the problems from (1) as well).
- Put out a bowl that says, “We are not home. Please take as much as you want”, but don’t put any candy in it. Better still leave a single empty wrapper. This was suggested by my daughter, and an astoundingly sneaky piece of advice.
- Go out on Hallowe’en evening and don’t come back until 8:30 PM, and when any teenagers show up wearing a hockey sweater, tell them to, “… get lost, that isn’t a costume, shouldn’t you be out fighting a war or something ?” (make sure you have a front door camera to get their pictures in case of retribution on their part).
You can either hide in your basement and ignore the doorbell (my in-laws did that for many years) or be more brazen and sit in your living room and not answer the doorbell all night.
No money is spent, no time wasted decorating, and you can celebrate All Saint’s Day with a clear conscience that you didn’t take part in some pagan/wicken/druid festival of the dead.
The worst offenders are the ones whose own kids got to TorT all around the neighbourhood but who don’t shell out now for the next generation of kids. You can buy 50-100 very small pieces of candy for $1.13 in Ontario to give out. Almost all kids don’t care WHAT they get, they just want to run from door to door getting free stuff. Or if the “candy” part bothers them, they can get way over 100 stickers for $1.13. Some of them are even the really nice glittery foil stickers.
As far as teenagers, it’s easy: keep a basket of apples at the door. They get an apple. Less retribution but also less incentive. (My brother used to give out foil-wrapped rocks when he was a teen himself and was in charge of shelling out. Luckily none of those came back through a window!)
The scariest thing about Hallowe’en is how cheap some adults are at the expense of children.
That’s OK buddy, you can send your kids over to my place where we’re not so thrifty *cough*cheap*cough* :). We have two rules that we live by:
1) We have a bigger pumpkin than my neighbours (and they know it).
2) We have the best candy in the neighbourhood. Find some specials on full sized candy bars or somekind of unique candy that no one else has.
And my wife makes up a special basket for the younger kids that we know personally.
I gotta say though, I miss the door to door walk now that our kids are too old. We still make jack-o-lanterns though, and then bake the seeds – you can do that at any age.