Do you want to hear something really scary?
That sure sounds like a lot, especially if you're struggling with higher gas prices and worried about the higher home heating oil prices we can expect this winter.
Fortunately, we've got a great tip from Adelaide Buskirk in Pen Argyl, who's making sure her son Brian, 3, has an awesome costume without spending a ton of money.
"Make your own costumes," Adelaide said. "My son is going to be the green pig from Angry Birds. Cost to me? Just the spray paint. I am doing paper mache and I didn't even pay for the flour and newspaper thanks to my mom."
We love homemade costumes.
Adelaide started with flour, newspaper and water and sculpted the pig's head around a big rubber ball. She's painting it green and cut a hole for Brian to stick his head through.
We made a video of the costume you can see at http://www.mcall.com/onthecheap. Adelaide isn't done, but it's coming along nicely. You might find inspiration to make your own costume, too. Where's the fun in buying a costume?
Brian's cousin Isaac Snyder, 6, is going to be the TNT to go along with the pig. He's making his costume out of a cardboard box. For those of you without young kids, Angry Birds is a popular video game in which players use a sling shot to launch birds at pigs, who are protected by various structures. It sounds silly, but it's pretty easy to get hooked.
Adelaide said the costume will cost her about $5, only because she inadvertently popped the big rubber ball she used to shape the pig head. She was hoping to reuse it. If you want to buy an Angry Birds costume, it would run you about $35. Ouch.
We did some number-crunching in the On The Cheap lab and figure you'd save $1,199.60 over 20 years by making your own Halloween costumes, assuming you have to make two each year. That would buy a lot of clearance sale candy after Halloween.
If you need an idea to save money on shopping for trick-or-treaters, here's one we shared four years ago that still works. It came from Bonnie Wilson in Wescosville, who was worried about all of the candy her daughters were eating at Halloween. She got school supplies for trick-or-treaters instead, and found that most kids enjoyed getting a colorful pencil or eraser more than a piece of candy.
You can get pretty good deals on pencils and erasers at the dollar store, and can probably get enough for your trick-or-treaters for $10 or less.
Please don't think we've forgotten about all those soap sliver tips. They're still coming in and we'll share them in a future column. So don't give away your unused soap slivers to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, even though we're sure that would make you the talk of the neighborhood.
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Make a costume
Cheapster: Adelaide Buskirk
Tip: Make your own Halloween costume
Estimated savings: $1,199.60 over 20 years