Happy Halloween on a Budget
Halloween is not something we're famed for in Britain. Maybe it's because we've just finished covering the cost of the summer holidays before it dawns on us. Maybe we choose between Halloween and Bonfire Night as they're so close together, or maybe we just don't like pumpkins.
Whatever the reason there's no denying that children love it. What's not to like about receiving oodles of sweets and treats for dressing up. Shy children can hide behind masks while those who love centre stage can dress to impress, it's a win-win situation.
Most children love a little bit of effort on Halloween and if you plan ahead and budget accordingly you can ensure they have a great time year after year. Here's how.
Don't Buy Tat
For the impatient among us it's tempting to buy paper and plastic decorations that we throw away after one use. That's fine for one year but take advantage of the 1st of November and buy decorations that will last. The idea is to have a Halloween box next to the Christmas decoration box in the loft so every year all you need is an outfit and a pumpkin and you're good to go.
Make Your Own
As we drift into October, weekends become wet. This is an ideal time to bring out the craft kits for the kids. Let them get inventive, allow them to draw pictures and make decorations. Here are some tips.
- For cobwebs simply stretch out cotton wool balls.
- Make bloody handprints with red paint on paper and cut them out
- Add wings to pegs and paint black for bats that can be clipped to curtains
You can also make your own toffee apples, it really is simple, just boil sugar and water together, along with a little food colouring and you're good to go. If you don't like the sound of this, melt chocolate instead and add sprinkles while the apple's still wet.
Food colouring comes in very handy over Halloween, it can turn any dish gruesome and only costs 99p.
If you have space you can start in April and grow your own pumpkin. They are one of the easiest plants to grow and kids will love watching them swell. As you'll pick them fresh you may also become accustomed to the taste, as it's really not that bad.
When it comes to carving the pumpkin save the seeds and save the flesh. The seeds can be toasted with flavours (savoury or sweet) as a great Halloween movie snack while the flesh can make any recipe seasonal.
Add pumpkin to any recipe and you've got a Halloween dish! To determine which dishes can incorporate pumpkin, consider what you'd use potatoes for for savoury dishes and bananas for for sweet dishes. Replace any with pumpkin and voila an autumn scary meal.
Halloween can be great for children and adults alike and it's one of those events that bring streets and neighbours together. Make sure you go with your children when you trick or treat. You could even choose an outfit. If you take the route of an evergreen outfit, rather than one that's scary, you could find many uses for it throughout the year!