Halloween on a Budget

Savers secondhand/thrift stores are keenly aware of something Goodwill seems only mildly interested in – Halloween is big business for thrift stores. Of course it is. For people cobbling together Halloween costumes, the huge selection of weird old items at ashtray change prices couldn’t be more perfect, and Savers has been capitalizing on that fact in an increasingly big way.

Their store is already Halloweened out to the max. Not only have they collected Halloween-worthy used clothing and goods into special aisles, but they also have a fairly astonishing selection of new costumes, accessories, and decor, smack dab in the middle of the store. Their employees are also costumed. Yes, in early September.

I always keep a close eye on the fake skeleton-and-skull market around this time, and Savers has some good deals as far as that’s concerned. Fifty dollar squelettes articul√© (Pose ‘n Stay Skeletons), and plastic skulls with jaw for five bucks, soft foam versions without jaw for three. If I didn’t already own somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 fake skulls, I’d have picked up a couple of the foam ones.¬†

Next up was Dollar Tree, a dollar store that frankly has no business selling Halloween decorations this decent for a dollar each. Honestly, if you are creative, thrifty, not afraid of a little cheesiness, and want to decorate your place to a non-absurd degree for Halloween, you could do the whole thing at Dollar Tree for under 20 bucks. Best bargains: Rubber rats, bats, ravens, and owls that would certainly go for five to ten dollars each anywhere else. Also, 2 packs of LED tealights and flashing jack o’ lantern lights.

Finally, Fry’s grocery stores. It doesn’t really belong in this rundown because frankly, their prices AND selection kind of suck. There’s not much reason to do any of your Halloween shopping at Fry’s unless it’s last minute, you’re already there, and the weight of the world has crushed your spirit. But I wanted to point something out. The infamous skeletal animal trend rears its head yet again:

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But wait… what’s different about these cat and dog skeletons? Oh. They have ears. Ears! That’s complete nonsense. I know spider skeletons also make zero sense, and that these props are generally pitched at the “cutesy” Halloween customer, but this is just dumb. It’s not like you can’t tell what animal these are supposed to be without the ears.

Anyway. I guess I don’t have pictures, but Home Depot’s Halloween section is worth a look as well. Regarding the aforementioned plastic skull market, they’ve probably got the best deal in town – two decent plastic skulls with hinged jaw for under six dollars. Some nice heavy duty tombstones, spooky lighting, and full size animated props to boot. I spotted a few items with equivalents sold at Spirit for as much as double the price.

I’m not sure if I have the Saturday Halloween to thank for this, or a just a larger general trend (I pray it’s the latter), but businesses are really stepping up their Halloween game, putting the screws on Spirit’s price gouging. I’m into it.

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