Which? is advising families facing cost of living pressures on how they can save money over the half-term holiday with these handy hacks for free, or cut-price, Halloween-related activities.
1. Find spooky events
Which? Travel recently rounded up the best Halloween events taking place at some of the UK’s top-rated historic castles around the UK. Several of the sites are owned by either the National Trust or English Heritage, meaning members can visit for free. Plus, there’s a special offer at National Trust properties for non-members this autumn, offering families with up to four children free admission at National Trust properties until the end of November. Note that some exclusions apply. Powis Castle’s Pumpkin Trail came top of the list, with Hever Castle & Gardens’ Halloween family activities coming close behind.
2. Watch scary movies for less
For family-friendly films, some cinema chains offer discounts for family films at certain times. For instance, Cineworld’s ‘Movies for Juniors’ screenings cost £2.50 for children and accompanying adults, Odeon Kids’ run a deal where the adults pay the same price as a child, with the deal running every day during the school holidays as well as every Saturday and Sunday, and Vue has ‘Mini Mornings’ screenings from 10am during the school holidays with both adult and child tickets costing just £2.49 each if you book online, or £3.49 if you buy at the venue.
If you’re wanting to watch a spooky film, it’s worth searching for cinema deals and offers.
Anyone who buys a policy through the price comparison website Compare the Market will get 2-for-1 cinema tickets at a range of UK cinemas on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a year.
Some phone providers also offer cinema discounts. O2 customers have access to O2 Priority and can often claim free Odeon tickets to use on Sundays and Mondays, Three Mobile customers can claim £3 adult cinema tickets for Cineworld or Picturehouse using the Three+ rewards app, and Vodafone customers can claim two weekly Vue tickets for £7 via the VeryMe Rewards app.
3. Pick a low-price pumpkin
Supermarket fruit and veg aisles are full of pumpkins as Halloween approaches, but it is worth shopping around to find the cheapest. Which? analysis of the UK’s largest online supermarkets found several supermarkets offering medium pumpkins for less than one pound. Aldi’s offering was the cheapest costing just 79p, Tesco’s slightly more at 85p and Morrisons for 99p. Lidl will likely also offer cheap options in-store, but pricing isn’t available online. Waitrose and Asda didn’t have medium pumpkins available online, only large ones for £3.50 and £2 respectively. If you have leftover pumpkin to use up and want to avoid waste, you could make toasted pumpkin seeds or pumpkin soup.
4. Try DIY decorations
If you want to go a step further than carving a pumpkin, and try decorating your home for the occasion, an easy way to save money is to make your spooky designs from scratch using supplies you already have. Search your attic, or some charity shops, for old dolls that make for spooky ornaments. You could also print out paper decorations – such as skulls, spiders’ webs, and personalised gravestones – to stick around your home.
5. Make your own Halloween costumes
Decorations aren’t the only thing you can make yourself. There are many websites and videos online that give ideas and inspiration for creating your own Halloween costumes and looks using everyday makeup – rather than purchasing fake blood and face paint. You could also use old clothes and sheets to make outfits. If you do opt for buying a costume from a shop, make sure you know it’s safe by checking for a visible CE or UKCA mark on the label or packaging. Which? previously tested kids’ Halloween fancy dress outfits and found that some did not meet British safety standards.
6. Find the cheapest Halloween treats
If you’re expecting trick-or-treaters, or want to stock up on treats for a Halloween party, buying sweets doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Many supermarkets and shops have offers in the lead-up to Halloween – so it’s worth finding the best ones. B&M has a range of themed sweets on offer for £1 or less and Aldi is selling Halloween chocolate nets from 59p.
Reena Sewraz, Which? Money Expert, said:
“With the rising cost of living taking its toll on household finances, many families are likely looking to cut down on their spending. However, there are plenty of fun, cheap and free activities you can do during the October half-term holidays that don’t need to break the bank.
“If you’re shopping for pumpkins and other spooky goodies, be sure to shop around for the lowest prices. There are many free events taking place around the UK over the holiday so it’s worth looking for something nearby.”
Notes to editors:
- Over the coming months, Which? is highlighting free and useful money-saving advice every Monday to help consumers manage the ongoing cost of living crisis.
- It’s important to check that Halloween costumes are safe before buying. Look for a CE or UKCA mark – post-Brexit, the UKCA mark has replaced the safety CE mark in clothing and other products, although the CE mark can still be used until the end of this year. Which? also found that bed sheets can be extremely flammable, so be wary if using old sheets for DIY costumes.
- In October 2022 Which? Travel rounded up 8 of the UK’s best historic castles with Halloween events.
- The supermarket pricing mentioned above is correct as of Wednesday 12th October 2022.
- To help ensure consumers have access to targeted advice, Which? has launched a free My Money Health Check tool that directs users to personalised, expert tips for cutting their living costs.
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