Halloween shopping may be a hair-raising experience, but the latest Money Matters Report has tips on how you can save money. Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
Want to hear something really scary? The National Retail Federation is predicting Americans will spend $7.4 billion on Halloween this year. That's about $77 per person.
If that thought makes you white as a ghost, keep in mind that there are ways to scare up some savings. For one thing, wait.
"What we typically see is that prices will go down deeper and deeper and deeper as we get closer to the Halloween holiday," says Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor with retailmenot.com.
Of course, you also run the risk of retailers running out of the costume you want, something that's especially true with children's costumes.
"So if your kid has their heart set on a specific character that they must be, you might have to bite the bullet and take them to the store and buy the full-price costume simply because you don’t know if it's going to sell out," Bodge said.
That's certainly possible with this year's hot costume: Elsa from "Frozen."
One way to do it on the cheap: re-purpose clothing your child already has and then accessorize.
"You can get the slippers and get the wand," says Richard Parrot, president of Ricky's NYC. "The slippers are maybe $9, $10, $12. The wand is $5."
In fact, Parrot says for his money, it's the accessories that matter, so if you have limited dollars, put them there.
"With a costume like, say, somebody from Game of Thrones, and you take the dragon shoulder, put that on there, put your crown around, that's what becomes the conversation piece, not just the dress," he says.
Of course, the ultimate accessory may by your four-legged friend. Retailmenot.com estimates that people will spend more than $330 million on costumes for their pets alone.
Candy is dandy, but it's also expensive. Buy in bulk, search circulars for sales or again, according to Bodge, "Wait until the last minute, maybe the day of, the day before, and go to your local drug store. All of that Halloween candy will be 50 percent off, so you can buy to your heart's content."
With the holiday falling on a Friday this year, festivities, and spending, will likely be more intense than usual. So why are people willing to buy into it?
"I think Halloween in particular is the one chance a year where people can express themselves and try to maybe even be somebody different," Parrot says. "Plus, it's just fun, and everybody, all you need is an excuse to have fun."