Halloween Spending- Has the Economy Spooked You Out of Spending?


For many people, the real scare this Halloween may have nothing to do with ghosts or spirits. If only unemployment, rising healthcare costs and piling bills would simply go away from your doorstep as if they were kids dressed in costume. But the fact is, these scares are very much real.

And this has affected the way people celebrate holidays, including Halloween. This is evident from this survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. According to this report in Bloomberg.com, shoppers plan to spend an average of $56.31 on this year’s Halloween, down from $66.54 in 2008. Total Halloween spending is predicted to decline 18 percent to $4.8 billion from $5.8 billion last year, according to the NRF.

(Source : http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a0EG93b6ksdg)

Which means people may end up spending lesser on costumes, candies and decorations. Some of us probably won’t even be able to go trick or treating with our kids, because of the additional shifts we work.

Have you made changes to your Halloween spending? Tell us.

In the meantime, it’s interesting to see that some families aren’t letting the economy spoil the fun for them and their kids. I spoke to a few women about how much they spend on their kids’ costumes and candies every year and whether this year would be any different. Surprisingly, many of them said this year wouldn’t be any different. When I dug deeper into their answers, I discovered that this may be due to the fact that they already had a tight budget and knew a smart way to spend it. Their answers also had some useful tips that all of us can use to cut back on Halloween spending without cutting back on celebrations.

Shanti, mother of two girls, for example, says she spends about $25 on Halloween costumes for each of her kids. But since she reuses costumes for younger siblings and cousins, she usually ends up spending lesser than budgeted. Priya, another mom shares the same view. She reuses the costume until her daughter has outgrown it and then passes it on to her friends.

Vimala, who has a young daughter, doesn’t spend anything on costumes. She makes her own Halloween costumes from leftover fabric or from her little girl’s existing dresses. She spends about $10 on candies.

Kavitha, who also has a young daughter, says she and her friends swap costumes every year. So when her daughter outgrows a costume she passes it on to a friend with a younger child and she in turn borrows a costume from another friend. This way, not only do she and her friends save on expensive Halloween costumes but they also end up pleasing their kids who end up with a different costume every year.

Julie, who has three boys, says she encourages the kids to come up with a theme and gives them a combined budget for costumes. They are free to spend the amount any way they like. Sometimes they end up buying one full-fledged costume and a few accessories, which they all take turns wearing. Each kid gets to wear the costume for about an hour. Other times, each of them buys elaborate accessories and masks and don’t really buy a costume. This way, they still get dressed up in costume for Halloween, but since they’ve pooled their money and come up with a theme, they really know the value of every dollar spent.

So, there are many ways to celebrate Halloween without being spooked out of your wits by the expense it will bring.

And regardless of whether you save on costumes or candies, there is one aspect of the holiday where you won’t have to spend a dime. And that’s sending Halloween Ecards.

Check out our selection of free Halloween Ecards and pick one you like. Or send a Halloween Photo ecard for a more personal touch. And if you’re the type that prefers traditional Halloween greeting cards, then our Free Printable Halloween Cards section is for you.

Go ahead and send one. Or ten. It will still be free. Now, that’s one Halloween treat that comes with no tricks attached.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Free Halloween Ecards or Bags of Candies

In the official Top 10 list most expensive holidays, Halloween should really be somewhere near the bottom. But one year for me, it was more like #1. I had just had my first child the week before and was feeling pretty depressed. Not only was I no longer getting comments on my lovely pregnancy glow, I wasn’t getting any sleep either. So the day before Halloween, my husband gave me a $100 bill to purchase some Halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters, in the hopes that it would cheer me up.

It was my first venture out of the house since my son was born, so I was feeling overwhelmed. But I was certain that purchasing Halloween candy was going to pull me out of my funk! Once I was in the store, I was in awe of all the choices, so I started piling up my cart with every candy I saw. The lady at the check out line said “Wow! Having a party?” and embarrassed, I lied and said “Yep! All the neighborhood kids are coming!”

When I got home and brought in all of the bags of candy, my husband was speechless. I had spent all $100. I then was brought to tears, as I discovered that Halloween candy purchases are final and can’t be returned. To make matters worse, we had less than 30 trick-or-treaters that year, and what looked like thousands of pieces of candy. In the end, I was not cheered up at all, but rather even more depressed due to my frivolous Halloween spending.

If only I had GotFreeCards.com back then, to pull me out of my funk, my Halloween would have been so much better. I would have been able to shop for ecards all day if I wanted to, and sent them to all of my friends, without spending a penny! I would have been able to enjoy funny and scary animated Halloween ecards at no expense to my now poor husband. THAT would have made my Halloween. So this year, yes I will buy a few cheap bags of candy for the trick-or-treaters. But to really get into the spirit of Halloween, I am going to send free ecards to all of my friends, and a special Halloween ecard to my husband

Tips to make Halloween Trick-or-Treating a fun trip!

Halloween is almost here. As you get ready to take your kids trick or treating, here are some tips to make the evening more enjoyable for everyone.

* Plan to be home from work early. Start for work earlier than usual if you have to or get the day’s work done in advance. Leave enough time to make dinner, get dressed, get your kids dressed, handle last-minute costume emergencies and leave on time for trick-or-treating.

* Make sure your kids eat a healthy, filling meal before leaving. You don’t need an expert to tell you – hungry kids get cranky soon. This way, even if you get delayed on the way or are held up in traffic (in case you are driving them to trick-or-treat), they won’t be hungry for a few hours.

* Set some candy rules before leaving. It’s tough for kids to resist temptation when they have dozens of candies readily available in their pumpkin baskets. To avoid them from filling up on candies, set a reasonable limit before leaving. Teach them to practice self-control by allowing them to save up the treats for later in the week when they finish homework early or do well in a test.

* Check your city’s weather forecast and plan accordingly. Take along raincoats or an umbrella. If it’s windy or cold, kids could put on the Halloween costumes over their warm clothes or sweaters. Make sure little ones are properly clothed in warm outfits.

* Try to go trick-or-treating in a group with friends. Not only is it more fun, it’s also safer, especially if you are new to the neighborhood.

* Plan your route before leaving home. Regardless of whether you are going to walk or drive, follow a route and plan the number of stops you will make. This way, you will save time, energy and fuel. Even if you lose your group midway, you will know exactly where to find them.

Have a safe, spooky and happy Halloween!

Halloween— Relax!


Spooky Halloween
Spooky Halloween

It’s almost here: Halloween!


 Hands down, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday.  Don’t get me wrong: I love getting together with relatives who live far away on Thanksgiving, and seeing the looks of joy on family members’ faces as they open the perfect gift on Christmas warms my heart, but Halloween still stands above the rest, in my book.  The reason: it’s just about having fun.

 Sure, there’s an important, and in some cultures sacred, history behind the origins of Halloween, but for most of us, it’s turned in to a big, light-hearted celebration.  For at least one day out of the year, we don’t have to be solemn in our thanks; we don’t have to empty the bank account to buy gifts; we don’t have to juggle our celebrating with the stresses of cooking a big meal for the extended family.  On at least one holiday, all we have to do is enjoy ourselves.  And I don’t know about you, but I feel like I deserve that kind of a break, if only once a year.

So in celebrating Halloween this year, you don’t have to get your friends a free e-card  from GotFreeCards.com to show them how thankful you are.  You don’t have to pick out the perfect animated e-card to show how deeply you care.  No, on Halloween, you can send someone a free halloween ecard just because it’s a fun, funny thing to do. 

            Enjoy the holiday!

Halloween costumes don’t have to cost a fortune

Are you tired of spending money on ridiculously expensive Halloween costumes that your child will wear only for a couple of hours? No worries! There are ways to make Halloween, and almost any other occasion, fun for your kids and family even if you are on a tight budget. Here are two thrifty saving tips to get cool Halloween costumes without blowing your budget.  

Make your own costumes. Get creative.

Used gift wraps, old night gowns or bath robes, bed sheets, old curtains, table cloths, chart paper, cardboard can all be used to make a unique Halloween costume that can’t be found in stores. With your imagination and a little creativity, you can make this ‘annual Halloween costume making’ a fun, family project. What a great way to save money and spend quality time! Besides, you can come up with your own themes. One family I know dressed up as a garden salad bowl once.  The parents were celery and spinach, the kids were carrots, broccoli, peas and beans! What a wonderful way to get kids to like vegetables! Can you think of a theme that will engage your family?  

Buy costumes a year in advance. If you are sure you will be purchasing a costume for your kids next year, then why not buy them now, at a bargain price? Plan ahead. Stores put up Halloween costumes on sale the day after Halloween. You will find great deals on some very good costumes. This is the perfect time to buy next year’s Halloween costumes at a steal. Remember to buy children’s costumes a size or two larger.

Remember, having fun does not necessarily mean having to spend a lot of money. Spending more time doing what you like is more important. So, don’t let the economy, job cuts, fuel prices or anything come in the way of your celebration. By being creative, you can still celebrate in style.  And while you are at it send out free ecards to your loved ones.

Halloween Ecards – A Romantic Message

Halloween Message of Love
Halloween Message of Love

While Halloween is a time for treats, costumes, and pumpkin carving, it can also be a time for romance. The treats can be a box of chocolates given as a gift out of love, the costumes can be matching as a way of telling everyone he or she is your “match”, and pumpkins can be carved with a loving message.

Carving jack-o-lanterns on Halloween is a skill; it can take years of practice before you achieve the perfect carving. The moment when you set the finished product outside and light the candle, and the light flickers inside the toothy grin of the pumpkin, you can just feel the excitement and the thrill of Halloween. I once tried to be creative and carve initials into my pumpkin, but it didn’t quite work out and my creative carving just turned into a big hole.
This year, I want to be a bit of a romantic and carve a heart into my pumpkin and find some fireflies to light it up. But alas, I am not that good! So I turn to GotFreeCards.com, find the very romantic Pumpkin Love animated ecard, and send it to my loved one! It conveys the very message I wanted to do with my own pumpkin, without the risk of a carving mishap! And where in the world would I find fireflies to light up my pumpkin? Right here at GotFreeCards.com, that’s where.

It’s Fall It Must Be Time for Halloween

The leaves are turning, the night air is chilly, and the wind is stirring up the fallen leaves.  There is fright in the air, costume stores have opened their doors, and the pumpkins are ripe for picking…Halloween is here!  Kids start to dress up in costumes weeks before and visit pumpkin patches looking for the perfect pumpkin with “jack-o-lantern” potential.  Adults start planning Halloween parties and looking for the perfect costume, one that must out-do last years’.  It all leads to the last day of the month, October 31st, the day every witch, goblin, and ghost has been waiting for!

So while you are shopping online for your family’s costumes head over to GotFreeCards.com and do some early “trick or treating” in the form of free animated ecards. For those you know that are already getting into the spirit, send them a Halloween ecard to celebrate with them!  And for those you know who haven’t even given thought to what they want to dress up as, send them an ecard to jump start their Halloween celebration.  It won’t cost a penny and takes about 2 seconds to send!  All of the Halloween ecards are fantastically animated, so choose them all to send to all of your friends!  And spread the word, tell your friends to go to GotFreeCards.com to send their own Halloween treats!

Halloeeen Ecards
Halloween Ecards

Culture Brings The World Closer

It’s a known fact that cultures around the world share a lot in common, despite their contrasts. Many traditions & beliefs have similar roots & significance across the globe.

Take Halloween for example. Do you know how similar Halloween traditions are to Asian Indian customs practiced during the lunar months of Ashwin-Karthika, that happen to fall around October?

People in the west believe that Halloween symbolizes the return of spirits to the earth. In India, it is believed that spirits of the elders in the family visit during the Ashwin month. In some parts of India, people perform special rituals for an entire fortnight to honor the presence of the elderly spirits. Halloween is the time when people hang lanterns & decorate the front porch with glowing candles, lights, scarecrows & dolls. In India, the festival of Dusssehra falls during the same time. This festival is marked by lighting rows of earthen lamps or ‘Diyas’ in front of houses. The highlight of Halloween is kids in costumes going from door to door collecting candies & sweet treats. During Dussehra or Durga Puja, children in many parts of India go from house to house, dressed in fine clothes, singing devotional songs, collecting goodies & treats. People in some parts arrange their best dolls and collectibles in a special staircase style display for friends and neighbors to admire.

The astounding similarities go on. Around the world, there are countless examples like these. Perhaps, it just goes to show that the world is indeed round and people across the planet share more in common than they realize.

Do you know of any such cultural parallels?