BRIGHAM COLUMN: Hauntingly great tips to save this Halloween

Seven in 10 Americans (71.5 percent) will get into the haunting Halloween mood this year, according to the National Retail Federation's 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight.

This number is up from 68.6 percent last year and the most in the federation's 10-year survey history.

Consumers are expecting to spend more, too; the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8 billion.

Here are some tips to save on everything from costumes to candy and decorations.

It can be fun and easy to make your own Halloween costumes. When your kids are little, it's especially easy to go the do-it-yourself route since they're usually pretty easy to please, says Maisie Knowles, co-founder of Kinoli, Inc.

Those buying or making costumes will spend on average $28.65 for costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011, according to the federation.

Check out Slap, Dash, Mom at slapdashmom.com for 50 creative DIY costume ideas. Many people also are getting their ideas from social networking sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.

When your child's wishes exceed your budget and/or creativity level, rent one from a local costume store like Theatrics Unlimited. In fact, the store will give you an exclusive 15 percent discount on a costume rental if you tell them that “Moxie Rocks.”

Don't spend boatloads of money on seasonal embellishments. Since Halloween is a kid favorite, Knowles suggests we get creative with a free crafts book from MrFreeStuff.comand make decorating your house a family affair.

Triangle eyes and one-tooth grins are a classic look for carved pumpkins, but you can get more creative without purchasing a kit.

Instead, print out a free pumpkin carving template from PumpkinMasters.com and make your jack-o-lanterns the talk of the neighborhood.

If the DIY route just isn't doing it for you, stock up on cheap Halloween decorating supplies from your local dollar store.

It's amazing how festive you can appear for less than $15, plus, you can pick up treat bags and party supplies while you're there, Knowles says.

Costco and Sam's Club represent great places to find popular candy, but they're not the only resource for inexpensive candy.

You can also buy from Oriental Trading, where you'll find spooky items such as witchy warts and gummy mummy candies. If you purchase online, you'll get 75 percent off many items.

For more savings on Halloween tricks and tips, check the Charleston Savvy Shopper blog at postandcourier.com/section/savvyshopper; it's updated through the week with cool deals.

You can sign up for Daily Deals at www.charleston savvyshopper.com. Email Shannon Brigham at charlestonsavvyshopper@postandcourier.com.

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