Operation: Don’t Go Broke is devoted to bringing readers helpful tips on ways to save in college.
Bar and club owners love holidays like Halloween, because it’s easy to get people to come in and spend money. This year, combine efforts with friends to plan an impromptu Halloween party that will be memorable and affordable.
1. Reuse and recycle old decorations and costumes. If you have a friend or family member who holds onto Halloween odds and ends from previous years, ask if you could raid their closet the afternoon of the party.
2. Go through old costumes to get inspired. Try combining two costumes. Become an undead-80’s rocker by taking your old 80’s hair band costume and adding some makeup, blood and wounds. Check out The Broadside’s How to Make a Zombie article on page XX for instructions and a homemade blood recipe. This works with almost any costume.
3. Bring Your Own Bottle. Ask guests to bring their own beverages or pool together money for a keg or gallon of liquor, like vodka or rum, which can be the base to a variety of mixed drinks.
4. Serve a beverage concoction of some sort called “Witches Brew” or “Pumpkin Punch.” If time allows, add a frozen hand. Just fill a non-powdered rubber glove with water or fruit punch, tie off the end with an elastic rubber band and place on a baking sheet in freezer until frozen.
5. Buy bulk candy. Shop at Food For Less in Bend. Gummy worms and other gross gummies are a hit around Halloween.
6. Make your own treats. Expensive pre-made items can be tempting, but your guests will be just as satisfied with homemade treats for a fraction of the cost.
7. Orange gelatin is easy, affordable and goes well with the Halloween theme; just remember it takes time to set. Serve up Jell-O shots or wow guests with a gelatin mold decorated with Halloween candy.
8. Cookies are also fairly simple to make and require just a few affordable ingredients. Substitute chocolate chips with Reese’s Pieces candies and you’ve got Halloween cookies.
9. Homemade pizza is a fun, affordable way to feed a crowd. Pre-made pizza dough can be purchased from Cibelli’s Pizza for five dollars per giant size. Before the party, roll out and pre-bake the crust. Then when your guests get hungry, set out a variety of toppings and let each of them come up with their own combination.
10. Create a Halloween playlist by scanning your iTunes library for songs with lyrics that tie into the Halloween vibe. Avoid over-played songs like “Monster Mash,” instead look for ones like Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out.”
11. Spooky Youtube playlist. If you have a television that connects to the web either through a game system, computer or app, consider entertaining your guests with a youtube video playlist of spooky music videos. Add videos like “Heads Will Roll” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Killers’ “Bones” and “Going Under” by Evanescence that are frightfully entertaining.
12. Select horror movies to show at the party. Check out The Broadside’s list of Top Five Movies Guaranteed to Make you Scream on the right.
13. A costume contest is the perfect way to conclude a Halloween gathering. Surprise the winner with the honor of holding the Halloween party at their place next year.
A tip for saving money on Halloween in the future, would be to hit the “Day After” clearance sales. Nov. 1 is the best day of the year to shop for Halloween. Stock up on items that are marked way down, so you’ll be all geared up for next year’s Halloween bash.
Anna Quesenberry is first year COCC student pursuing a degree in nursing. The wife and mother of two is passionate about saving her family money and is hoping to spread some money-saving tips to readers.