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Save money next Halloween

By on November 2, 2011

Halloween can get expensive, but you can save money by making your own costumes. Visit for some ideas. Shop Halloween clearance sales this year to plan ahead for next year, too. Not everything on sale is orange and black. A lot of autumn merchandise will be cleared out, too. Don’t forget to find ways to use up leftover Halloween candy. Visit for suggestions.
The first two reader tips share more Halloween ideas to plan-ahead for next year:



Rather than spending $20-30 on a one-time wear costume for our littlest ones, the mommy group that I am in is holding a ‘costume swap.’ We’re all posting our various gently-used costumes and accessories on our message board, where other moms in the group can pick them up at no cost. My daughter is going to be a fabulous little owl, the perfect costume to keep her warm on a very chilly Halloween night. Even better, it’s free! — Nichole, forums


Tie string to several small prizes, then hide the items in the yard (or living room). Weave the strings over, under and around obstacles until you’ve created a makeshift ‘spider web.’ Give the kids the free end of the string and let them follow it to their prize. For very young kids, use a different color of yarn for each prize; for older kids, use all the same color of yarn and make the webs increasingly difficult. — Denise, Illinois


Smoosh citrus zest into segments of an ice cube tray and top off with water. Transfer the frozen cubes to a baggie in the freezer. Orange zest is fantastic in chocolate chip muffins of cupcakes. Lime zest spices up my fajitas. Lemon zest makes the best frosting for tea cakes. — Constance, New Jersey


I bought a two-pack of microfiber “scrub cloths” (with a scrub mesh on one side) at the dollar store for $1. I cut them in half horizontally and they fit perfectly on my Swiffer mop. Reusable, and they work. — Arnie, Georgia


Put on a rubber cleaning glove to open difficult jars. — Cricket, New Hampshire


Use up leftover hamburger buns by turning them inside out and making grilled cheese sandwiches. — LuLu, email


Heat a couple of inches of water almost to boiling, then remove from heat. Using a potholder, put the cap end of the bottle in the water for about 30 seconds, then try to remove the cap. If the cap doesn’t budge, put the bottle back in for 10 more seconds. The cap will pop off, and you’ll be able to put it back on with no issues. I’ve been refilling the same bottle with my own solution for about a year. I also crocheted a top for my Swiffer. I rinse it off in the sink or throw it in the wash as needed. — Christina, New York

photo by PaulSwansen

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