1Get Halloween handouts on the cheap. You can save cash by buying less expensive candy (basically anything that's not chocolate). Or have your chocolate and eat it too by searching for coupons in newspaper inserts and online. Maximize your savings by combining chocolates with cheaper candies and give each trick-or-treater one of each.
2Do the math. A five-minute search online turned up a 57.35-ounce bag of Hershey's miniatures on Amazon.com for $14.92. A smaller bag with a similar assortment at Walgreens was $2.49, which was only slightly more per ounce than the larger bag (in fact, the Amazon purchase would save you less than $1).
3Take advantage of coupons, sales or warehouse clubs. In the Hershey's miniatures example, you could easily make up the $1 difference with a coupon or sale. Likewise, a search for the larger bag online found the same assortment at Sam's Club for $9.88, which would save you more than $5 but only if you're a member.
4Make easy party treats. For kids' Halloween parties, bring something homemade and inexpensive. Search online for lots of easy recipes with a Halloween theme. One to try: Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats. Follow the usual treat recipe, mix in some yellow and red food coloring (2:1 ratio of yellow to red dye) and form the mixture into balls. Top with "stems" cut out from green Fruit Roll-Ups. See photos and the recipe on the Thinking Inking blog at bit.ly/8Zusds. Buy generic brand crispy cereal and marshmallows to spend even less on this classic favorite.
5Scare up some decorations. Start outdoors with a jack-o'-lantern surrounded by a few little pumpkins, or paint gourds ghost white with black eyes. Inside, gather a mismatched collection of old candleholders and fill them with black candles.