You can tell Halloween is approaching when the weather gets cooler, the leaves change color, and the stores are stocked with treats and goodies. Unfortunately, unless you're the one 'treating,' you can certainly get 'tricked' and rack up an arm and leg in expenses. There are definitely ways to save money while still offering the kids treats they'll enjoy.

Without a doubt, while most kids look forward to dressing up in their favorite outfit-- whether it is a Power Ranger, Ninja Turtle, Buzz Lightyear, or whatever the latest trend in costumes is for that year-- parents are the ones buying the treats. The best part of the holiday is the treats, so you might as well save some money on the goodies.

Plan accordingly by following the tips outlined below, and avoid a scare from the high prices:

Plan Ahead. If you haven't gone shopping for treats by the time you're reading this post, make your purchase now. As the holiday approaches, the prices will increase; so avoid paying more than you need to. Also, go to the stores starting the day after Halloween when the prices are reduced and you can plan for the next year.

Healthy Alternatives. As a substitute for snacks you can include decorative stickers, plastic toys, pencils, and party favors which are themed for Halloween. Many drugstore food chains like Rite Aid, CVS, or Walgreens carry these items, and by shopping at the right time you can get these at a competitive price.

Bake It. Spend an afternoon in the kitchen and bake a batch of brownies, cookies, or cupcakes from a cake mix. This may take up a chunk of your time, but it can save some serious dough!

Bulk It. Instead of handing out individual bags of chips, pretzels, cookies, or popcorn, you should buy in bulk. Purchasing the largest size of these snacks at a wholesale club will give the kids items they like at a price you can afford.

Go Cheap or Go Home. The dollar stores are a great place to purchase candies, stickers, party favors, ribbons, tissue paper, and other items to create your goodie bags for the treaters. Believe it or not, these stores carry many name brand items so you don't have to skimp your treaters.

Halloween will come and go. Before you know it, the winter season will be here and you'll be kicking yourself for spending too much on candy. Save yourself the trouble and follow these tips so that you can head into the winter with extra savings. What's your favorite treat?

Related Links:

Halloween Ideas on a Budget

How to Have a low Budget Halloween

Frugal and Frightful Halloween

Dov Hoffman

Dov is a contributing writer for the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog. Dov is a recent graduate of Towson University and has earned a double major in e-Business and Marketing. Dov shares his college experience writing about student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and other topics affecting recent college graduates who are entering the workforce. Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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