Weekly family rail, with tips on celebrating Halloween cheaply, a look at another Halloween movie (“The Nightmare Before Christmas”) and more.
Tip of the Week
With the turbulent economy remaining top of mind, some Halloween shoppers may be worried about how to create new costumes and decorations without spending a fortune in the process. There's no need to fear, though - just consider these tips for a festive Halloween that won't leave your credit card haunting you:
- Set a budget - The first step of any shopping venture should be to set a budget that the whole family agrees on, and stick to it. Halloween is no different, so make sure you decide in advance how much you want to spend on costumes, decorations, candy and any other miscellaneous merriment.
- Mix new and used - One of the best ways to save money and create a completely original costume is to combine new and previously owned pieces. For instance, pairing a fancy little girl's dress and vintage jewelry with new accessories like a wig, tiara and wand makes for a completely customizable and unique princess look. You could also purchase a prepackaged costume, such as a vampire, and then punch it up with secondhand items like tuxedo pants, shiny dress shoes and white gloves to make the look even more authentic.
- Take the road less traveled - When shopping for a Halloween costume, visit a thrift store and be sure to browse every department - especially areas you don't typically shop. For instance, if you're looking to create a men's pirate costume, check the women's section for billowy and ruffled tops and loose-fitting pants. Many men may not realize the women's section offers completely different styles and textured materials, which could be perfect for a variety of costume ideas. Women, too, should check out the men's and boy's sections for things like vests and authentic uniforms.
- Consult the experts - If you're having trouble pulling together the exact look you're going for, search online and in magazines for inspiration. Some stores, like Savers and Value Village, even offer trained costume consultants who are completely dedicated to helping people put together the perfect costume on any budget. They can help shoppers find a new ready-made costume, offer advice in mixing themed accessories with clothing items found in their closets, or find unique secondhand finds for those looking to create a completely handmade look.
- Do-it-yourself decor - When shopping for decorations, don't feel like you need to pay top dollar for standard store-bought goods. Crafting spooky Halloween decor for just a few bucks can be as simple as applying a layer of black spray paint to secondhand silk flowers or quirky ceramic knick-knacks, like owls, crows and cats, and sprinkling them around your "haunted house" for a creepy surprise.
According to http://billcutterz.com/, here are the best things to buy in October:
- Halloween costumes and decorations: While you won’t find the best bargains until after Halloween, you can still find good deals during October. Pair coupons with 2-for-1 specials to get the most bang for your buck while the selection is still plentiful.
- Christmas creep: Some retailers have already put out Christmas and winter holiday decorations, and since sales won’t start picking up until late November, early December, now is the time to bargain shop. There will be leftovers pulled from warehouses and new inventory that needs to be moved. Use this time to search for good deals while no one else is paying attention.
- School clothes and supplies: Since the back-to-school rush is over and the holiday rush hasn’t begun, now is the time to pick through the leftovers and find yourself some bargains on jeans and school clothes.
- Air conditioners: Because things are cooling off, you will be able to find discounted air conditioners for sale. Negotiate for an extended warranty or ask for a lower price. If your current air conditioner needs to be serviced, now is a slow time for business, so you will be able to negotiate price and maybe you’ll find a coupon from a local company.
- Large appliances: New models of big appliances, like washing machines and stoves come out in September and October, so retailers will be pushing older inventory.
- Health insurance and employee benefits: If your employer offers health insurance of any kind, open enrollment is usually during October or November. Take this time to sign up for any employee benefits, like medical plans or 401(k) offered through your employer. If you need to add a family member, now is the time to do it without penalty.
- Games and toys: October isn’t the prime toy-buying season, so retailers will start advertising sales and pushing older inventory to make room for the holidays.
- Fruits and vegetables: Buy apples, broccoli, cranberries, grapes, pomegranates, pumpkins, spinach lettuce, sweet potatoes and winter squash.
Family Movie Night
This month we’ll be highlighting the top family-friendly Halloween movies.
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Length: 76 minutes
Synopsis: Jack Skellington, the king of Halloweentown, discovers Christmas Town and tries to change it to another Halloweentown. This classic by Tim Burton is a great holiday film.
“Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor
Pages: Young adult
Synopsis: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? - Little, Brown & Company
Did You Know
A study in the Netherlands and published in Pediatrics found that fiber was the best non-medication solution for children with constipation. Other treatments were only as effective as placebos.
GateHouse News Service