Black-and-orange Friday: A savvy shopper’s dream

10/15/2013 2:54 PM

10/15/2013 2:56 PM

Everyone knows I love a good sale, and there’s no better time to buy decorations for a holiday than the day after. Nothing gets blown out like Halloween stuff. Not just decorations, but candy and costumes, too. We’re talking 90 percent marked off some items. This year, Nov. 1 falls on a Friday. So think of it as Black-and-Orange Friday.

You name the store, and they will no doubt be trying to get what they can for Halloween merchandise before moving it off the floor for the next big holiday. This is your chance to gear up for next Halloween for pennies on the dollar, or even take care of a few holiday or birthday needs on the cheap.

Decorations: The day after is open season on Halloween décor. We’re talking everything from tablecloths to skeletons to candles. For example, last year I found Funkins (the artificial, carvable pumpkins) for $2.50 and $3.75, marked down from $10 and $15, respectively. Another great find was a life-sized yard scarecrow for only $1.50! This stuff never goes out of style, only out of season. Stock up,, throw your goods in the attic, and you’ll be set for next year – all paid for.

Costumes: I know it’s hard enough for kids to figure out what they will be for this Halloween, let alone decide on next year’s costume. But for very young ones, it’s still your call, right? Either way, this is another opportunity to eliminate an expense 11 months from now. Costumes are also a great idea for gifts this holiday season.. I have friends with costume closets and their kids (and play-date buddies) absolutely love it. Shop the clearance sales for the basics: cowboy stuff, princess outfits, capes, crowns, jewelry, wigs, etc. Endless combinations, endless fun, and all dirt-cheap!

Candy: OK, maybe the shelf life for Halloween candy isn’t as long as decorations and costumes. Still, there’s a lot you can do with a bag of Hershey’s Kisses or Reese’s marked down by half the cost or more. Scour the clearance piles for candy in non-holiday themed wrappers.. These are great for stocking stuffers or just having around the house during the holiday season. If Halloween colors are all that’s available, you can use the candy in your Christmas cookies, like Kisses in those favorite peanut-butter blossoms. And candy corn, peanut butter and some chocolate kisses can be combined to make homemade Butterfinger treats that are to die for!

Just about every retailer will have some Halloween inventory to unload, but the good deals go really fast. This isn’t like an after-Christmas sale, which may last a couple weeks or more. Get there while the getting’s good. I’ve actually heard you can tell what Target

is going to mark down further by looking at the item’s price. For instance, if the sticker price ends in eight, it will be marked down again. If it ends in four, that’s the lowest it will go, so grab it now.

But remember, just because things are ridiculously cheap doesn’t mean you should spend for the sake of saving. If your budget is reserved for the next holiday, by all means keep the money in your stocking.

Kat’s Money Corner is posted on Dollars Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click .

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