Before going shopping, it is helpful to plan ahead by making a list of decorations and supplies needed. This way, impulse shopping is reduced, and trips can be organized to multiple stores more efficiently to save on gas.
Here are suggestions on where to get items, as some stores have great Halloween bargains depending on what the shopper is looking for.
Stores with Halloween Decorations
Candles are a great Halloween supply and are part of many decorations like tea lanterns, luminaries, and carved pumpkins. Ikea has lots of great deals on mirrors, candles, and candleholders. Ikea is a huge chain of home decorating stores, but is only in a select few American cities. Ikea saves consumers money by the following two concepts: mass production and self-assembly.
Strings of Halloween lights, black lights, and strobe lights are great for mood and ambiance decor. Home improvement stores like Home Depot, Menards, and Lowe’s all have lights cheaper than party stores or Walgreens. Look for strings of white lights, orange lights, strobe lights, and special black lights.
Walgreens is a good place to shop when they advertise sales in the Sunday newspaper. Full-priced items are not always such a great deal, but if you stick to the coupons and sales, Halloween shoppers can find some really great bargains on smaller, novelty items such as party favors.
Dollar Stores are great for certain items: balloons, paper plates, napkins, and plastic cups, plastic serving bowls, and some decorating items such as streamers. The drawback to the Dollar Stores is the limited selections.
Craft stores such as Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby are awesome super stores for ready-made craft items, decorating items and do-it-yourself ideas. To guard against impulse shopping, make sure to have a list. These stores offer the most amount of flexibility in choices of decorating items simply because when creating something from scratch, decorating options expand.
Online Websites with Halloween Deals
Craigslist can be an awesome way to get specific items. The popularity of this website depends on the metropolitan area, but generally there are plenty of listings of items for sale. The website also allows for people to list wanted items for Halloween, too. This site is more user-friendly for listing “wanted” items than eBay. The bonus with Craigslist is that sometimes you can find things for free. The drawback is that often the seller wants you to drive over and pick up the item. Here’s an example from Minneapolis Craigslist: a once-used fog machine including a gallon of fog juice cost $20. The retail would have been $45 plus tax.
eBay sellers are getting more and more savvy. Many sellers are retailers and wholesalers, not the average homeowner cleaning out his/her basement. Yet, great Halloween deals can be found on eBay, depending on the party decoration. eBay is also great to look for collectible Halloween items, antique decorations, and unique items.
Garage Sales and Second Hand Halloween Decorations
Garage Sales, friends, and church bazaars are good places to look but take a little bit more diligence. Keep an eye out for garage and yard sale signs when out and about on the weekends. Garage sales typically occur on Fridays and Saturdays. Church bulletins post dates for bazaars and sales. Also look in the Sunday paper for ads for estate sales, auctions, yard and garage sales.
Second hand stores such as Goodwill and Salvation Army also carry limited Halloween decor. The choices are limited, and the items are used, but this is one more source for little odds and ends.
Lastly, ask friends and relatives to borrow their decorations from previous year’s parties that they may have given. This would be a last ditch effort, the option with the least investment, but also the least amount of choice. You may not have the same taste in decorations as your friends!!
Slightly Off-Season Halloween Discounts
November and late August/early September are when discounts are the deepest for Halloween decorations. August is early, so many stores bring out last season’s Halloween items with deep discounts hoping to move the merchandise and make room for this season’s decorations.
Walmart, Kmart, and Target are also great stores to look for discounted items right after Halloween.
Remember to write down a list of Halloween items appropriate for the party, the neighborhood, or occasion the decorations are needed. This will reduce impulse shopping, and help to form a rough idea of the budget needed to obtain everything.
Have patience when shopping for Halloween decorations, as every store has different items. Patience and perseverance reward the diligent shopper with great deals on Halloween party decorations.