Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Save Money on Halloween

Fairies Ready for Halloween ©Katrena
Halloween is a fun time of year for us. We just enjoy seeing old friends, making new ones, and the girls might enjoy a little bit of candy too! It can cost a LOT though. We have found ways to enjoy Halloween fun without breaking the bank.

Inexpensive and Free Halloween Costumes

The most inexpensive costumes are those recycled from items around the house. I have done a fair amount of sewing over the years, so my kids have assumed a wide variety of fun identities with fun themes like: Hershey's kisses, Oompa Loompa, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Tink, Wendy, and Tiger Lilly from Peter Pan, Fairies (Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather) from Sleeping Beauty, and this year they are going to be Dorothy, Glenda, and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Handmade costumes can bring a whole new dimension to the idea of costumes because your choices are wide open – you don't have to pick something that is popular that year. I've been trying to talk my kids into being the French Fry Guys from McDonalds, but so far no luck with that one. I even told them I'd be Grimace for a laugh. No dice. They did consider the Smurfs but decided it wouldn't be true since there was only one Smurfette, and they did seriously consider the Chipettes from Alvin and the Chipmunks. We'll just settle with playing some of their fun and silly songs instead!

If you want to go with storebought costumes, there are some cheaper options than running to the huge one-stop shops and unloading the pocketbook for a premade costume full price. Many consignment shops and places like Goodwill have costumes for much lower prices. You might also find large clothing items that you can use for material at places like this. That is what I did with the blue costume above. Places like Dollar Tree and Dollar General may have inexpensive costumes and accessories. They might not be super high quality, but items like the wings would have cost more to make than the dollar I paid for each.

You might also think about next year's costumes right after the season. Most Halloween items go on sale right after the holiday. You always run the risk of the kids changing their minds about what they would like to be, but it might be something to consider.

Enjoy Family Time Together at Halloween ©Katrena
How to Save on Halloween Candy

I used to live in an area where loads of Trick-or-Treaters visited. We would usually see around 100 ghosts, goblins, and other kids looking for candy at our doorstep. I feel your pain if you have lots of candy to buy. It helps to wait until just before the date. I usually ate the candy if I bought it a week or two before Halloween. That's another blog.

It helps to set a candy budget and stick with it. Buy a set amount and then turn off the light when you run out. Make sure to save a few treats for the kids that you know best or family members.

Save Money on Halloween Activities

Many communities, churches, and gyms offer fun Halloween activities that may be free. Some businesses also offer treats for the kids this time of year. These are great options that can offer safe activities for the kids without going door to door. I always liked going door to door as a child, but we don't know as many people in the communities like we did when I was little. These festivals are certainly worth considering. My kids absolutely loved the games and activities at our local Y last year and want to go back again this year.

Halloween Fun for Free ©Katrena

Have a fun and safe Halloween 2011!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Welcome to Wildflower Bouquets!

Welcome to Wildflower Bouquets - Enjoy Family Fun & Simple Pleasures ©Katrena
Some of my favorite flowers are those that nature provides as volunteers. My children delight in picking the most beautiful bouquets of dandelions, violets, or other wildflowers and presenting them to me with excitement and joy. They are perfectly content shaking the pink blossoms out of my ornamental cherry trees while jumping and playing in the pink snow!

How to Enjoy Life Despite a Tight Budget

Although living on a tight budget means sacrifice in many monetary ways, I have found that unexpected blessings greet me through wildflower bouquets and many other simple pleasures that we can so often take for granted. So what if my car has over 300,000 miles on it? The back seat is full of love and wonderful memories as my three daughters have traveled with me all around these parts as I have tried to share my heritage, instill a sense of family, and develop character traits that may serve them well throughout their lives.

I would like to share some of those amazing times and fun activities with you. Perhaps readers will find some great ways to enjoy life together without spending lots of money. Discover ways to have fun and enjoy a wealth of opportunities right outside the door.

And now....on to share some wildflower bouquets!

Photo of dandelion from CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikimedia Commons