Budget Haunting with 62 Days to Go

With just 62 days to go, Halloween goods are popping up at more and more retailers. Two weeks ago, it was Pottery Barn, Michael’s, and Grandin Road. In the last week or so, I’ve seen the Halloween displays out at Ross, Pier 1, Dollar Tree, Big Lots, and more. Most importantly from a budget haunting perspective, resale and thrift shops are putting gently used Halloween goods up for sale.

First on this week’s round-up is a strong candidate to become a budget supply favorite: Dollar Tree.

1. Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree usually has a small Halloween selection with some decent items. Most importantly for my fellow budget-minded haunters, everything is a $1. That’s right, $1. So, yes, the crows they sell may look like they just arrived after flying through a hurricane, but for $20 you can have a menacing flock of birds perched around your haunt or rock the Bodega Bay Halloween look.

Christina over at Library, the Universe and Everything used some $1 skull door knockers (not available at my Dollar Tree, unfortunately) to make this fantastic crafty Dia de los Muertos decoration. This might have to go on the list of “things I make for Halloween that get left up all year round.”


I think the resemblance is uncanny, don’t you?

Read on for some of the better selections, deals, and products available so far this season.

2. Pier 1

Just looking at this picture gets me excited for fall. Pumpkins! Leaves! Glowy things! As usual, Pier 1 has a wide selection of fall-themed home decor as well as a smaller section of Halloween-specific goods, including some fun mugs, Halloween tree ornaments, and masks. Also like usual, the prices are pretty high, so this one is best saved for one or two “can’t live without” items or for after-Halloween clearance shopping.

Love their, um, pirate…devil…cabaret…mask..thing

3. Big Lots

Dear Big Lots,

We both know that you’re really Pic ‘n’ Save with furniture. Please stop trying to sell me Halloween props at full-blown retail prices. No one is actually going to pay $16 for this stuff. Right? Right.

Love and Kisses,

Eva Halloween

4. Thrift Stores & Craigslist

It’s no secret that early shopping can yield some great Halloween items from Craigslist. Similarly, many thrift shops start holding back costumes and other Halloween items over the summer to put on display in late August and early September. This stuff tends to be inexpensive, is often unique, and most importantly, goes fast!


Of course, selection varies from store to store, but it’s worth a day or two of prospecting to come across gems like whatever the heck this is supposed to be.

pics 133

At least if you’re wearing it, it can’t be sneaking up behind you.

Thrift stores are also a great source of cheap plates, glassware, candles and candle holders – sometimes the most effective decor is the simplest, and a room lit only by a hundred burning candles is thick with dramatic atmosphere. I ended up coming away with some great pirate gear, an $8 zombie cheerleader costume, and a few other trinkets. And although it was a stellar find, I did decide to pass on the world’s most terrifying homemade ET costume.

The Year of Halloween - The Word's Most Terrifying ET Costume

Wherever your Halloween projects take you, approach with a sense of adventure. And maybe one of those pumpkin lattes from Starbucks – rumor is you can order one now off the mysterious “secret menu.” Happy haunting, and do let us know if you’ve found any spectacularly good deals this year, or if we’ve missed any of your favorite shopping haunts!

Categories: Home Haunting

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2 replies

  1. That ET costume almost looks like an Alf costume! Yikes.

  2. Hmmm, it IS possible that I got my “80’s Alien Puppets that Make Horrifying DIY Costumes” mixed up. 😉

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