Preparing for Trick-or-Treaters

Most of what you do in preparation for #trick-or-treaters is up to you, says Spooky Little Halloween. For example, wearing a #costume makes the event seem like less of a chore, but it is not a requirement and it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Likewise, how much you decorate is optional — you can go all in on a faux graveyard with lights, fog and sound effects, or put a couple of pumpkins and a fall wreath out, but having the porch lights lit will signal that you’re giving away candy. Speaking of candy, that’s pretty much the only other requirement for a successful #Halloween, so make sure you have enough!

Get Organized for Halloween

There’s no time like the present to get organized for #Halloween! Stuck for a #costume? Have a brainstorming session with the family, Modern Mom suggests, using a big pad of paper and some starter ideas such as “things that make me laugh” or “pop culture.” To create a #spooky fog, put small cups of water inside your #jack-o-lanterns and cubes of dry ice in the cups. For nighttime safety, have the kids wear glow sticks or incorporate reflective tape into their costumes. And if you can’t be at home because you’re out #trick-or-treating, place a cauldron full of small bags of candy on the front porch for kids to take.

Decorate Your Home for Halloween on the Cheap

If you bought so much #Halloween candy that you only have a little money left to decorate, there are plenty of ways to make your home look #spooky for scary-cheap. Make tombstones out of cardboard to turn your yard into a creepy #cemetery, haunt the trees and porch with few DIY spider webs (and giant spiders to match), make felt bats, or ghost-light your walkway with haunted luminaria, Money Crashers suggests. And remember: You can find lots of spooky supplies (including lightly used clothing for creative costumes) at thrift stores supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org.

Turn to the Thrift for Halloween Decorations

The local thrift store is the first place to look for Halloween decorations, says Social Moms. Sure, you can buy new — but why? Thrifts stocked by donations to ClothingDonations.org often have plenty of fake cobwebs, plastic pumpkin buckets and articulated cardboard skeletons you can use to decorate the home. In addition, you can find spooky plastic tombstones, string lights and other outdoor ornaments. And if you’re planning to have an indoor costume party, you’ll likely find Halloween-themed platters, plates and napkins to use while entertaining.

Harvest a Few Fall Deals at the Thrift

The apples are crisp, and the air is crisper … it must be fall! And there’s no better time to score a few bargains at the local thrift store. With cold weather and the biggest holidays just around the corner, you can prepare for the season without spending a lot of money — and at the same time, help fund veterans’ programs.

The first thing you’ll want to look for at the thrift is cold-weather clothing. If you need sweaters, scarves, gloves or a winter coat, you can find them on the cheap at the thrift. Likewise with blankets, comforters and throws — and if you start shopping for such items early, you’ll have a great selection of stuff from which to choose.

You may also want to add a little fall flair to your home. Try a warm color palette and a harvest theme, Midwest Living saysCorn husks, mums, gourds, leaves and pine cones are among the many natural accents that suggest the season; use them creatively and emphasize red, brown and orange hues to celebrate autumn.

Halloween closes out the first full month of fall, and many thrift stores will have lightly used or brand-new decorations from last year that people either didn’t use or are no longer using. String lights, paper skeletons, plastic lawn decorations, you name it; they all wind up at the thrift for reuse. But they won’t be there for long!

The thrift is also a great source of raw materials for your Halloween costume. In no time, you can source the used clothing and accessories needed to cement your status as a disco dude, zombie, cheerleader or pirate. For something more topical, you can pick up a dark suit and an extra-long red tie fast at most thrifts.

Whatever you find, you’ll experience the thrill of the hunt and save yourself some money while helping the nation’s veterans. Donations of lightly used clothing, housewares and accessories made to ClothingDonations.org are sold to thrifts for resale, with all proceeds going directly to programs that help veterans access housing, health care and more.

So shop freely for all of your fall festivities! But don’t buy new — harvest some deals at the thrift!