Americans….we as a population are over eager to spend every hard-earned dollar we earn on some useless, over-advertised, faux holiday celebration (especially if said celebration is fueled by candy and sugar). This Halloween we are projected to break spending records with a projected spending of 9.1 billion dollars.
I’m going to say that again for those in the back. 9.1 BILLION DOLLARS
That breaks down to over $85 per buyer. If every single man, woman, child, infant, forgotten relative left in the nursing home, homeless person that hangs out under the bridge down the street, and prisoner in the USA went and bought something, it works out to over $28 spent per person. Am I the only one whose mind is blown right now?
Don’t fret though, I’m here to be the voice of reason. Below I’ve pointed out 10 ways that you can still celebrate without breaking the bank.
- Get candy throughout the year for free. My gym has a small bowl of tootsie rolls, and jolly ranchers sitting out there every day of the year. Swipe 2-3 of those every day that you exercise (which should be 5 days a week) and you are looking at a decent haul of 521-780 pieces of candy that you can hand out. And that’s only if you don’t plunder the bowls left out at the bank, dentist, or doctor’s office.
- Go pilfer the neighborhood early. If you are an idiot and didn’t have the foresight to gather your candy earlier in the year, get dressed up, and go around the neighborhood before the other trick-or-treaters get there and scrounge up some candy for your own use. It helps if you have a child of your own to go around with you, but borrowing someone else’s for a few minutes would hurt either.
- Move to a rural area. With a typical closing period of at least 30 days, this one won’t work this year, but you can keep it in your back pocket for next year. If you move to a rural area, no one will come trick-or-treat at your house, therefore saving you dozens of dollars every year. An alternative that my wife and I have utilized similar to this is move into an upscale condo building. Ours had a keycode access door so to keep out undesirables….and children. Sure, we spent thousands a year in HOA fees, but think of all the money we saved by not having to give out candy at a make-up holiday. You’re welcome.
- Only Trick. Every kid knows that you say trick-OR-treat. Teach them that they shouldn’t give you options if they don’t want you to select one. It’ll not only be a good way to save money, but it’ll be a lifelong lesson learned at an early age while they are still impressionable and drinking up knowledge up like a frat-boy funneling on spring break. Spend a few minutes on YouTube learning how to do crappy card tricks, and when they come up and say trick-or-treat, let them know that you’ll be going with the trick choice, and then demonstrate your newfound affinity for card tricks.
- Put an empty bucket on the porch and leave your lights off. The children and families that come by will be convinced that it was full of candy and that some little shits came through and took all the candy, leaving none for their children. Not only exonerating you from any guilt, but also reminding the neighborhood how little they can trust the mean and ruthless children growing up around them. You could always sell it a little more by putting some empty wrappers around the bucket, but who are we kidding? These people aren’t Sherlock Holmes. Hell, Frank next door can’t even light charcoal without getting the gas can out.
- Become known as the creepy people in the neighborhood. There are many ways you could do this, including: staring at people as they walk or drive by without waving, smiling, or blinking; randomly yell obscenities while you’re outside; fill a beer can with water and drink out of it morning and night in the yard. I’m sure the families in the neighborhood would avoid your residence like the plague.
- Dress up as something super easy. I’ve dressed up as Clark Kent two of the last three years, and the year in-between I went as Don Draper. Surely you can pass as some pop-culture character. Just take a peek in your closet and see what you can’t find.
- Steal the kids candy. Not all of it of course, you can leave them the crappy candy like Nerds, SweeTarts, and those terrible gelatin Dots. First off, they don’t need that much sugar for health reasons. Second, you need more calories than your children do, its scientific. You are doing them a favor. Again, helps if you have your own kids to steal from, but not a requirement.
- Buy candy after Halloween. If you just can’t help yourself and insist on spending money on a holiday based on consumerism and fueled by poor marketing, then at least wait and buy the candy after Halloween. Have you looked at the shelf life for most of the candy? With all the chemicals they pump in this junk, your children could probably use it for their kids when they have them.
- Dress your kids as the most popular character that year. Preferably with a mask, that way they can go down the same street all night continuously getting candy from the same people, saving you money on gas driving around to all the rich neighborhoods. Hit up one neighborhood and milk them for all they’re worth. Bonus: buy a size or two bigger and plan on using it again the next year. It’ll take some vision, but Iron-Man has been popular for 10 years now, so there are some safe bets. You might think you can just make their costume, but let’s be real. Your little spoiled brats will balk at anything you make them. I remember going as a ninja for like 4 years in a row. My ninja pants eventually turned into ninja leggings, and this was long before those were a thing.
Well, there you have it. 10 easy, simple ways to save a few bucks this year. Remember to think about me while you are implementing these things in your life and watching that bank account grow. If you play your cards right, you could live off the candy for the month of November while you save up for some over-done, extravagant spread to out-do your relatives for Thanksgiving.