Skip to main content

6 low-cost ideas for a happy Halloween

Halloween image from bigstock
Halloween is an exciting time for children but many parents worry about the cost of costumes, decorations, treats and parties. With the cost-of-living crisis putting the pressure on, how can we make it a memorable holiday for our kids with minimum damage to our bank accounts? We’ve come up with some ideas that might help…
or Register to add to your saved resources

1. Halloween house decorations

DIY option: Make your own cobwebs with large cotton balls and hairspray. Simply pull apart the cotton balls and hairspray them together! You could also use white and yellow balloons and a black marker to draw pumpkin-style faces and fill the house with creepy 'floating heads'. 

Low-cost option: If there's no time (or motivation) for DIY decor, then you can just purchase some fake cobwebs and spiders from Amazon for £5.99.

2. Halloween activity ideas

Free option: Get Halloween ideas by joining a parent WhatsApp group or share ideas with TheSchoolRun community on Facebook

You can also download our free Halloween worksheets and share them with your friends:

Low-cost option: Purchase a Halloween DIY decorations book for kids for £6.95 and get crafting!

Check out the wide range of craft products and Halloween ideas from Rymans.

You can also order a Halloween craft box from ToucanBox with a 50% discount until the end of October 2022. (code: awbox22)

3. Halloween window decorations

DIY option: Use black thick card to cut out spooky shapes (such as a cat or a witch on a broom) then stick them to your window. If you make holes in the shapes for eyes or a mouth, when you turn your light on in the evening it will shine through and make it even creepier.

You can also cut out letters and stick a message in your window like Have a Spooky Halloween!

Low-cost option: Alternatively, you can buy some fairly cheap window stickers online for £4.99.

4. Halloween costumes

DIY options: Get creative with items around the house (no-sewing required!). Use binbags, bedsheets, old socks, boxes or anything you can get your hands on. You could also try to organise a swap shop with other parents (maybe get your PTA on board and organise a mini-market). 

Low-cost options: Search your local charity shops for anything that could be made into a costume — they may even have old Halloween costumes. But if you can’t find anything suitable there, you can often find reasonably priced outfits online (like the £17.99 zombie cheerleader costume to the right). You can also find lots of tips on facepainting and purchase face paint pens, which make the process a lot easier. 


5. Halloween entertainment

Free option: Have a movie night! Snuggle up with low lighting and put on an age-appropriate Halloween movie. You can get access to Halloween kids movies on Amazon Prime. They normally offer a free week or month trial and you can cancel anytime (but you can only do this once every 12 months). 

Low-cost option: TheSchoolRun has partnered with to help our readers get the best family-friendly deals on events and activities across the UK. Browse the Lovetovisit site or download the app for great family deals on tickets to the cinema, theatre, museums and more. 

6. Halloween food and treats

Free option: Download an app like Olio, which offers food, treats, clothes — perfectly good items that others have too much of or no longer need — entirely free of cost. All you have to do is pick it up from a nearby neighbour. There are bound to be people who bought one too many pumpkins or bags of sweets (or basic ingrediants for cakes). You can also look up free Halloween recipe ideas on sites like BBC good food.

Low-cost option: Supermarkets will often compete with each other during holidays, so do a bit of research and compare what's out there

Please note that some of the products included in this article feature affiliate links; this means that if you click through and purchase one of the featured products, we might earn a small commission.