Are you ready for Halloween? Americans are projected to spend $7.4 billion on costumes, candy, and decorations this Halloween according to the National Retail Federation. Wow, that sounds like a lot of money, but it’s tiny compared to the $600 billion we’ll spend this holiday season. Yowza! That’s too much money for me to wrap my mind around.

Halloween was never a big part of my childhood. My family immigrated to the US when I was 12 and that’s a bit too old to go trick or treating. I went to a few Halloween parties in my 20’s, but it was never a big holiday for me. Now, our kid is just about the right age to go trick or treating. Last year we went to the mall and it took him a while to get into the spirit. He wouldn’t say trick or treat, but he collected a ton of Halloween candy. He was still a bit too young last year. One kid wore a pretty realistic werewolf costume and he got really scared.

This year he is a bit more mature so I think he’ll enjoy Halloween more. He wants to be Darth Vader. However, I don’t think he’ll wear the costume… He doesn’t like hats, masks, or anything that is cumbersome. He doesn’t even want to wear a cape.  He is not into dressing up at all. Basically, he just wants to wear shorts and t-shirts. We’re having a heck of a time trying to convince him to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts now that it’s getting colder. Anyway, I went to Goodwill to check what they have in stock. I don’t really want to buy a cheap costume that will be thrown away quickly. Here are the things we found at Goodwill.

  • Halloween on the cheap

    The Force is strong with this one!

    A Darth Vader Mask! Wow, what an awesome find. Actually, there are quite a few Darth Vader masks in all sizes at the Goodwill store. I guess he is popular.

  • A makeshift light saber – It’s just a noise maker stick, but it will do this time.
  • A Pirate Hat – That’s the backup costume in case we can’t get a Darth Vader costume together.
  • A cutlass – Arrr!
  • A mini basketball – I want to get him a basketball hoop for Christmas. Check out this one from Fisher Price. It looks like we’ll have a ton of fun with it. He likes playing with the one at school.

All the things here are 99 cents each. Score! We have a black pair of pants and a Batman t-shirt with a cape so we can adapt them to be Dart Vader. I guess we’ll have to tape the Dart Vader panel over the Batman symbol somehow. The backup pirate costume should be pretty easy too. We have shorts, a striped shirt, and a makeshift eye patch.

Our Halloween bill

$4 costumes

$3 decoration – I got a pumpkin from Trader Joe’s. We’ll carve it this weekend. We also have a ceramic Jack-o-lantern and a ceramic ghost candle holders so those are reusable every year.

$0 candy – We don’t get trick or treaters in our building so no handing out candies. If we get a stray one, then we can give out some of the candy we got from the mall last year. We ate all the chocolate pretty quickly and left the hard candies in a jar. Heh heh heh…

So we are getting off pretty cheap this year. Maybe next year RB40 Jr. will get into the Halloween spirit more. We read a ton of books about Halloween to get ready, but he still doesn’t really care for dressing up. Oh well.

What about you? How much are you spending on Halloween this year? I hope you’re helping to prop up the economy at least a little bit. ;)

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