Spooktacular Tips for Throwing An Affordable Halloween Party

Sure, you could throw the most epic Halloween bash this town has ever seen! But if that means eating uncooked ramen for the next 3 months to cover the cost, maybe you should go thriftier.

You’re driving on a road late at night. It’s past midnight and you can’t wait to finally get to bed. You’d like to drive more quickly, but you chose to take the forest road without the lights and you’re worried a deer might suddenly jump in front of your car.

It’s a foggy evening and your headlights can only reveal so much ahead of you. Up ahead, you can barely make out a tall, menacing figure standing by the side of the road. They’re wearing a thick coat and a hood that hides their head, but you can see the gleam of something metallic poking out from under their long sleeve.

As your car approaches the figure, you try to keep your eyes forward and focused on the road. You don’t know what they want, but you’re worried that if you catch their attention, you might be inviting trouble.

Still, as your car passes by you can’t help but glance quickly to your right. For just a moment, you lock eyes with the figure.

Or, you would have if there were any eyes visible beneath the hood.

You keep driving but the image is burned into your head. A dark mist where a face should have been.

But that can’t be right. It was dark after all. Surely their face was just hidden by the shadow of the hood.

Suddenly you feel a hand on your shoulder.

Your heart pounds as you turn around to see the hooded figure sitting in the back seat of your car!

An eerie, strained voice, as though from someone with a hand wrapped tightly around their throat, winds its way into your ear from under the hood.

“Would you mind taking me to my friend’s Halloween party?”

You have to fight the terror resonating through your body to open your mouth and reply:

“Uh, yeah sure. Can I tag along?”

The shadowy figure clicks its tongue, or rather, makes the analog of a tongue clicking noise that you might make if you didn’t have a tongue, and responds evasively:

“Oh. Well. I’d feel pretty bad just bringing a guest out of nowhere. You understand, right? They had a legit RSVP thing so I think they planned for a specific number.”

“OK, fine,” you reply, in kind of a huff. “I’ll just throw my own Halloween party!”

But your fear only increases. You can’t afford to throw a Halloween party! Fear not, dear reader, because we spoke to the experts, and we’re here to tell you that you can, in fact, throw an affordable Halloween party!

Affordable decorations.

When your guests walk into the room, they should immediately know what kind of party they’re at. If they say “wow, it’s like Christmas in October in here” than we are sorry to inform you that you have failed. Thankfully, there are many decorations you can make or buy on the cheap to let your guests know that this is a party for All Hallows Eve.

“Free Halloween pumpkin stencils can keep costs down and add some spooky fun to your bash!” advised Shelley Grieshop, creative writer for Totally Promotional (@TPromotional). “The stencils are easy to download and use to carve pumpkins or personalize party favor bags. They even can be used to put a little fright into a DIY tablecloth or banner! You can find our free Halloween pumpkin stencils and instructions here.”

But we know what you’re thinking. What will you use to hold your guest’s napkins? Lynn Lilly, founder of the popular DIY site Craft Box Girls (@CraftBoxGirls), has the solution for you: “Use vampire fangs as napkin rings. If you are having problems getting them to stay closed, place a dot of hot glue into each corner.”

You could also get yourself some spooky cups for guests to drink out of, as this Bustle article recommends. They also suggest spooky balloons and spider webs, all of which you can probably find at whatever previously empty storefront has been replaced with a Halloween store for the month.

Finally, get some black and orange construction paper and just go to town with bats and pumpkins and skulls to tape to your wall. Your guests will get the gist.

Oh, and don’t forget about decorating yourself! That’s semi-awkward transition speak for “make sure you wear a costume.” If you want some help check these seven cheap Halloween costume ideas.

Creepy cuisine.

The partygoers are going to have to eat something, and it had better be spooky! Just giving them spaghetti and meatballs and telling them to call it “spaghetti and eyeballs” isn’t going to cut it.

Lilly advised using “powdered donut holes and plastic spiders” to create spider eggs. A box of donut holes is pretty affordable, and you can get a lot of plastic spiders if you buy in bulk.

If you want an option that’s also healthy, these stuffed pepper “jack-o-lanterns” should give your guests a fright.

Few things are scarier than a mummy’s curse, so your guests had better be really brave if they’re going to eat these mumy mini-pizzas. They should be pretty filling for not too much of a cost.

And although it might not be quite as scary, you probably have to have a plastic jack-o-lantern full of Halloween candy. Buy big bags of little candies to get it as affordably as possible. Then you can pass off the leftovers to trick or treaters.

At the center of the snack table, you can have your blood red punch. Bonus points for carving apples into the shape of skulls to leave floating in there.


While you want to scare all your guests, it’s important that your furry housemates aren’t frightened. Don’t have any pets? Then you don’t have to worry about it. But if you have a pup or pups, here are some things to keep in mind from Dana Humphrey, AKA the Pet Lady (@petladyworld):

1. Decorate with your pet in mind. Keep candle-lit jack-o-lanterns out of reach of your curious pet. Always secure electrical cords out of reach as well. If chewed, your beloved pet can suffer cuts, burns and even a life-threatening shock.

2. A tired dog is a good dog! If your pup is staying indoors during the trick-or-treat hours, it’s best to give him a nice long walk before the doorbell begins to ring. This may help to keep him calm during all of the Halloween excitement. If your pooch is joining you for the excursion, make sure to pack all of your walking essentials to ensure it’s a safe adventure for everyone.

3. Create a Zen space. With all the commotion at the front door, it’s best to put pets in a secure, relaxing, safe zone. Keeping Fido or Fluffy in a crate or a closed-off separate room is a smart idea. Provide them with their favorite bed, toys, and access to food and water bowl.

4. The candy bowl is NOT for Scruffy or Fluffy. Bags full of candy and chocolatey treats can be extremely tempting for our fur-friends. It’s important to keep that Halloween candy stash in a safe place, far out of paws reach. Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous candy is for pets.

5. Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins can cause doorbell anxiety! Strangers dressed in costumes and the constant ringing of the doorbell may be scary to even the friendliest of pets. Fear, anxiety and unusual activities and visitors can all pose threats to our pets during this holiday.”

And if your dog will be helping you entertain, Humphrey reminds you to make sure their costume is comfy.

Now get to planning! That mysterious spooky figure will be so jealous they missed your great party!

To learn more about saving money, check out these related posts and articles from OppLoans:

What are your best tips for an affordable Halloween? We want to hear from you! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Shelley Grieshop is a former newspaper reporter and copy editor who joined the team at Totally Promotional (@TPromotional) as a creative writer in January 2016. She writes company blogs, product descriptions and other items for the company’s website and general correspondence.
Dana Humphrey AKA “The Pet Lady” (@petladyworld) travels from Coast to Coast to pet trade shows and consumer events such as Superzoo, Global Pet Expo, Intergroom, Pet News Now, NAVC, Total Pet Expo, Super Pet Expo and “mutts” more, to scout out the hottest, hippest and most unique pet products on the planet! Bringing you tips and tricks from the top vets, groomers, trainers on how to safely travel and live happy with your pet! From Fox, ABC, NBC and other media outlets “The Pet Lady” will be in a city near you soon, showing off the latest and greatest tech pet gadgets, cozy comforts and fab gift ideas for man’s (and woman’s) best friend!
Lynn Lilly is the founder of Craft Box Girls (@CraftBoxGirls) and CBG TV on Apple TV. Craft Box Girls is a creative lifestyle destination to discover do-it-yourself projects, simple recipes, party inspiration, and innovative crafts. Crafting has always been a part of Lynn’s life; she grew up watching Martha Stewart, driving her to become a modern day creative living expert. Lynn has turned her passion for creating into a career of sharing home do it yourself projects, easy recipes, entertaining tips and more across multiple platforms.

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