Don’t let a fear of overspending keep you from embracing the spooky season. From do-it-yourself costumes to fearsome food ideas, it’s easy to throw an eerie Halloween party without throwing off your budget.
Costumes. Our favorite budget-friendly costumes can be created entirely with things you already own or can find at a local thrift store and reuse after Halloween.
Lumberjack (Cost: Free - $30) This simple, yet effective costume is easy to pull together. You’ll need:
- Blue jeans
- Red flannel shirt
- Hiking boots
If you’ll be outside for your Halloween party, you can easily add a warm hat or thermal base layer beneath the shirt to enhance your costume. Lumberjacks also usually have beards. If you don’t have a beard of your own, you can draw one on your face using an eyeliner pencil.
Rosie the Riveter (Cost: Free - $30) This costume is immediately recognizable and won’t leave you freezing if your Halloween party happens to be outside. The essential pieces of this costume are:
- Denim coveralls or blue jeans
- Denim shirt
- Red bandana
You can enhance this costume with a few accessories: brown or black belt and shoes and a white button to wear on your collar. Roll the sleeves up and tie your hair up with the bandana.
Food. Getting into the Halloween spirit with your party food is a fun and tasty way to celebrate the season. Fall flavors, like pumpkin, apple, and warm spices are perfect for a Halloween party.
Stuffed Pumpkin Peppers (Cost: $20 for 12 servings) Give this family favorite a Halloween makeover inside and out. Our recipe makes a dozen peppers, you can adjust as needed.
Ingredients12 orange bell peppers
2 lbs ground meat (blend of ground beef, pork, and veal)
3 cups, cooked rice
2 15 oz cans, pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups, mild shredded cheese
1 cup water Olive oil
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Carve two small triangles in the side for eyes and a smiling mouth. Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil, inside and out. Sprinkle a little salt inside the peppers. Brown the meatloaf mix on the stovetop in a skillet. In a large bowl, combine the cooked meatloaf mix, cooked rice, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When fully combined, spoon the mix gently into each pepper and top with shredded cheese. Place peppers in a 9x13 casserole dish. Add 1 cup of water to the dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted. If you are looking for an easy and festive dessert, try adding peanut butter candies to a recipe for rice cereal treats, after melting the marshmallows and removing it from the heat.
Decorations. These do it yourself Halloween decorations are frighteningly simple to make at home.
Haunted Living Room (Cost: Free - $15). Draping white or cream colored sheets over your furniture is an easy way to give your living room an eerie ambiance. Sheer window panels over any mirrors can give reflections an uncanny twist. Turn up the creepy factor by turning down the lights and illuminating the room using only candlelight with real or flameless candles from the dollar store.
Unnerving Entrance (Cost: $5 - $10). Set the mood from the moment guests arrive with a spine-tingling entrance. Give your front porch a spooky makeover with a colored light bulb. Purple, orange, or even blacklight are great options that can be picked up at any hardware store. Ragged strips of cheesecloth can be hung from the porch ceiling and the doorframe or used to wrap the door and porch posts like mummies.
Entertainment. A party isn’t a party without games and music. One of our favorite party games comes from combining them together, in a game of Name That Monster Music. Participants try to guess the name and artist of Halloween themed music. Players can listen to a short clip and write down their ideas, or you can play a more casual version where players listen to the whole song and shout out their answers. Select a Halloween playlist through free music streaming services on your phone or website.
Throwing a Halloween Party doesn’t have to terrorize your wallet. When you spend a little time planning, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. This Halloween, scare your friends and family not your budget, with a do it yourself Halloween party.