Halloween is right around the corner, and many parents will get spooked by higher prices.
Prices are up on everything this year, including Halloween costumes and candy.
But you can keep those prices down if you know where to shop.
The mother of two young boys, Kristin Vanover, was out costume shopping and finding Halloween costumes more expensive than ever.
"I have to buy two of everything! So I always try and look to save," she said.
The National Retail Federation says families will spend an average of $100 this year on costumes, candy, and decorations.
Melissa Cid with MySavings.com says to save, the trick is buying early because the longer you wait, the more prices creep up.
"You may be left with less popular candy at an undesirable price if you wait," she said.
Save on candy
Cid says when it comes to candy, check out drug stores like Walgreens and CVS before you stock up at the grocery store: their sale prices may be lower.
She says to use digital coupons on top of sale prices.
Plus, she says, you can submit receipts for cash-back rebates through sites like Ibotta or Fetch.
"That can get your price really, really low," she said, "usually under $2 per bag."
Save on costumes
To save on costumes, visit Walmart's $5 and $10 section or stop by a resale shop like Once Upon a Child.
Store manager Laura Lewis says her slightly used costumes are half the price of new ones.
"Anything a child might want, you will find it here, and you will pay less, very much less," she said.
Lewis showed us some superhero and princess costumes at her store that were worn just once and almost 1/3 the price of new versions.
"This is Princess Jasmine," she said, "and it is just $10."
Save on party supplies
Meantime, for party supplies, Cid suggests you visit the local dollar store for table clothes, streamers, and paper plates, often a fraction of the price at the supermarket.
Also, she says, stock up now on nonperishables like chips and soda, so you don't have to pay top dollar the day of your party.
Save on pumpkins
Grocery stores may be the most convenient place to buy a pumpkin, as you can just grab one as you head into the store.
But they may not have the best prices, and the cost adds up quickly if you need more than two or three.
Cid suggests looking for pumpkins that are less than 30 cents per pound (many garden centers sell pumpkins by weight).
If they're being sold at a flat rate, she said, "you want to look for that biggest, nicest looking pumpkin that you can get at the cost."
With some cheap pumpkins, discounted candy, and a secondhand costume, you can have an affordable Halloween, and you don't waste your money.
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