Tips to avoid scary Halloween spending

The National Retail Federation estimates the average person will spend $74 on Halloween this year and the total Halloween spending at $6.9 billion. But don't let those numbers spook you.

We've got all kinds of money-saving tricks that are sure to feel more like a treat this Halloween season.

Halloween Headquarters are hopping these days.

"People actually start buying costumes as early as September, and as far as decor - people spend a lot of money on decor. Now's the time, in the beginning of October, late September, when people spend a lot of money," said Lorenzo Caltagirone, owner of Total Party Store.

But before you buy new, our friends at SlickDeals say you should check your community calendars or your local to see if costume swap events are being held in your area - or organize your own with parents at your child's school or with parents you work with.

Also, look for costumes that can be created with things that are already in your closet.

And before you hit the brick and mortar stores, check prices online.

"Most of our customers have done their research online so they know what they want when they come into our stores," said Takisha Adams, Walmart store manager.

You can use a website like to search for products or coupons.

SlickDeals has a community of 9 million users who are scouting for the best deals available at any given time.

And don't forget the option to buy secondhand.

Thrift stores are a great place to check for dcor and costumes. You can also check out apps or websites like Poshmark and thredUp.

At thrift stores, also check out great dishware and bowls that can be painted or "dressed up" for the holiday. Visit online pinboard, Pinterest, for DIY inspiration.

When it comes to Halloween, procrastination can actually pay off. Last year, the price of Hershey's snack-sized candy bars were slashed in half two days before Halloween.

And here are some great tips to make your jack-o-lantern last longer.

After you gut your pumpkin, clean out the inside with bleach and water.

Let it dry completely before carving and then spread petroleum jelly on the carved parts.

And avoid setting your pumpkin directly on concrete, put cardboard underneath to help it last even longer.

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