How Dollar Store Shopping Saved Me $40 This Halloween

Adult women hold an outdoor gathering for children in halloween costumes

Image source: Getty Images

At a time when the costs are so high, I was happy to take advantage of the savings.

Key points

  • I encountered a lot of extra spending this Halloween.
  • Turning to my local dollar store resulted in a lower total bill.
  • I was also able to stock up on a variety of fun little items to make Halloween special, rather than just candy.

I remember when getting ready for Halloween meant buying my kids a costume each and buying a big bag of candy at my local Costco. Those days are over.

Now that my kids are older and signed up for different activities, there’s a lot of pressure to attend a host of Halloween events leading up to the holidays, including class parties. So this year, in addition to buying costumes and regular candy to give to cheaters, I had to buy both candy and non-food items (think pencils, erasers and stickers) for several dozen of Halloween gift bags.

All told, this year’s Halloween credit card tab was higher than it has been in previous years, partly because of these obligations and also because of the cost of everything being higher thanks to inflation. But I made a smart move during my Halloween shopping – I paid a visit to my local dollar store. And by my calculations, purchasing a number of key items saved me $40 this fall.

A multitude of items at low prices

I’m normally a bit cautious when buying food from dollar stores because I worry about expiration dates. But I made the decision to buy candy at my local dollar store after carefully checking the packages and seeing that the expiration dates in question were actually quite reasonable. (One confectionery item I purchased had an expiration date of February 2023 – better than some of the confectionery items I found in my regular supermarket.)

I also turned to the dollar store to stock up on non-food supplies for the dozens of goody bags I gave out. First, I bought my bags themselves at the dollar store and paid $1.25 for a pack of 20. I would have paid $4 or $5 at Target or Amazon.

I also stocked up on crayons, notepads, erasers, stickers, and temporary tattoos (which I’m not a fan of at all but the kids seem to love). I wanted to include non-food items in my goodie bags in case the kids have dietary restrictions like allergies or parents who don’t allow them to eat sugar (not something I enforce in my household , but I respect the rights of other parents to restrict junk food as they see fit). These items also cost $1.25 for a group of 12 packs, but those same 12 packs would have cost three to four times as much in another store or online.

Why spend more than necessary?

I can admit I did a little bit of everything for Halloween this year, but my kids happen to love it, and so do I. And it was fun to give my kids and their friends some extra treats this year.

But I’m really glad I made the decision to stock up on Halloween items at my local dollar store. And I’m also glad I planned ahead and visited this store the second week of October because friends of mine tried to follow my lead the week before Halloween and didn’t get as many chance.

The next time you’re celebrating a holiday or an event and need treats for a crowd, it makes sense to see what items your local dollar store has in stock. You may find that you are able to cut your costs well. And in a time when everything is so much more expensive than normal due to inflation, that’s an important thing.

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