Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Tricks to Dress Up Your Lawn for Less this Halloween

Retailers seem to push Halloween merchandise earlier every year. Why? Because the longer such items are on display, the more opportunities they have at driving sales. This is clearly working as various surveys show consumer spending on Halloween is expected to be up this year, with over $2 billion going to decor alone.

Before you get wrapped up in the festivities, consider these seven simple tricks to save on Halloween decor and beware of your spending!

1. Pillage Your Storage Closet
Old sheets, blankets and fabric scraps go a long way when it comes to Halloween decor. A white sheet draped from the branches of your front yard tree makes for the perfect ghost while a chair with a sheet covering it instantly creates a feeling of abandonment, especially when you attach a few plastic spiders here and there.

2. Hunt for Online Deals
With Halloween still a few weeks away, now is the time to start researching decor online. Pinterest is a great place to save your favorite items, since it will send you an email when the item drops in price. When you're ready to click "purchase," search for Halloween coupon codes from sites like CouponSherpa.com, where you can find such deals as free shipping on all Halloween items from Home Depot.

3. Haunt the Dollar Store
From hanging skeletons to door covers to severed limbs, the dollar store is the place for all things cheap Halloween. They even have these creepy bloody gel stickers that are sure to send the kiddos screaming. Head to your local dollar store soon to take advantage of inventory levels, and also pick up some cheap costume accessories and party supplies while you're there.

4. Go Crazy with Creativity
Halloween is one of the few holidays where heavily beaten, soiled and otherwise used items are perfectly appropriate in their wretched state. A broken-down chair, rusty watering can and blown-out sneakers can all be used in outdoor displays. You can also repurpose tomato cages into ghosts, empty milk jugs into festive lights, and toilet paper rolls into eyes for your shrubbery.

5. Repeat the Nightmare
The best use of your Halloween decor dollars goes towards items you can reuse. That flimsy spiderweb fluff is not that easy to put up, super irritating to remove and is very rarely reusable. Cheesecloth, on the other hand, makes for a much more durable spiderweb and can also lend a fleeting, flyaway look to any decor item. Case in point, these haunting cheesecloth spirits by Martha Stewart. Keep this in mind when browsing decor options.

6. Prey on Your Neighbors
End-of-season garage sales represent last-ditch efforts to rid your home of clutter before the cold sets in. Now is a great time to pick up gently-used Halloween costumes, accessories and decor from your neighbors. Look beyond the specific Halloween theme to things like flannel shirts and ripped jeans to create scarecrow. You can even pick up mismatched candle holders from each sale you visit, then spray paint them all black for a unified, chic display.

7. Buy Too Late
You can often find discounts on decor beginning a few days before Halloween as stores look to push the last of their goods before they become obsolete. However, the very best time to snag outdoor decor deals is the day after Halloween, when retailers are eager to replace their holiday inventory with all things red and green. Every year, I pick up a couple of new decor items at over 70-percent off this way. Though inventory is typically limited, I can still find a respectable selection of fun and spooky decor, like skeleton heads and ghosts to hang from my tree.

Article By Andrea Woroch

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaWoroch for daily savings advice and tips.

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