The harvest moon waxes full, the nights start to take on an eerie chill, and the outdoor colors quickly mutate into the vibrant shades of autumn foretell the approach of a single ominous day which many increasingly dread. Halloween is quickly becoming the most celebrated holiday around the world, in one way or another, and as such, the amount of money that people are spending is approaching Christmas-like proportions. Well…okay…maybe not that much, but people spend a lot of money for Halloween. For those of us who would like to keep the expenses buried underground (where they belong) it seems we’re torn between transforming into Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
The fear builds and we agonize over the possible outcome, will the full moon of Halloween transform our budget into a ravenous monster ready, willing, and able to devour our hard earned money? Not necessarily. Here are a few tricks that will treat your budget to a bit of relief and keep the little monsters in your life happy as well.
1. PRIUS INTENTO (Prior Planning) – Holidays like Halloween don’t have to break the bank. Simply make a list of things you think you might need ahead of time. A full year ahead of time, and wait for things to go on sale after the holiday. Then go the specialty stores and buy the things you want or need at a greatly discounted price. From decorations you can store and then resurrect again next year to sweet treats you can intern until the ghost of Halloween future calls them out of their frozen tomb (the deep freeze).
2. REDIGO SUMPTUS (Make the Costume) – If you just can’t bring yourself to buy a costume, even the year before, then simply be creative and make your own out of second hand or used items. There are plenty of ideas from mummies, to hobos, punk rockers, zombies, and more you can do yourself. Here are a couple of things that will whet your appetite for the younger guys and ghouls.
Mummy—Old white bed sheet cut into strips then wrapped around the arms and legs. Attached more of this onto an old white t-shirt for the body and then either paint the face white or attach more of the sheet strips to a white ski cap for the head dress. Make sure you leave a couple of ‘tails’ because mummies always have tails. Sell the outfit by learning to walk slowly, moan, and drag one leg behind. Don’t worry…even if the mummy is slow, they always catch up in the end.
Zombies—This is easy to do. Buy some face paint and paint the faces and hands to make them look dead…well…undead. Old tattered clothing simply needs to be roughed up a bit more. Tears and stains of blood (red food coloring) are easy and quick additions for this fright filled costume.
Hobos—Just like the zombies but minus the blood and gore with the addition of a 5 o’clock shadow, not hard at all.
3. DOMOUS NO ORNAMENTUM (Homemade Decorations)—You can have a night filled with ghosts, spider webs, and scare crows without spending a dime. Hang old sheets around the doorway with painted faces on them. Hang them loose enough to allow the wind to blow them around a bit. Use fishing line to make them appear to be floating. Cotton balls taken from the packing of medication and vitamin bottles can be used as a great thin spider web when you pull it thin and try to stretch it across windows and around doors. Scare crows are easy too, just stuff some old clothes with newspaper and then put the torso on the legs by using a belt and tucking the shirt inside the pants. Place the scare crow on a chair and sit him near the door but still in the dark. Use some skewers or chopsticks to prop up a hat and some bread ties to fix a couple of small white or red Christmas lights to make for eyes and you have an eerie ghostly scare crow to guard your doorway.
4. COMMODO CANDIDE (Hand out the Candy) – Don’t let the little monsters grab your grub for themselves. Instead hand out pre-measured amounts to each child. To make things a bit less expensive on the treat front, add filler items like mints, gumballs, and/or homemade bloody popcorn balls (small caramel corn balls dyed with red food coloring).
If you use these Halloween spells, you can help put a stake through the heart of expensive holiday fare for good. Take the time to enjoy yourself, but don’t sacrifice your frugality on the altar of the almighty dollar.