American families will spend an average of $300 this year on Halloween essentials despite the economic downturn according to the Savers Inc survey released last Wednesday.
Halloween is the second largest grossing commercial holiday in the nation right behind Christmas, bringing in $5.8 billion to the economy in 2010 according to the National Research Foundation survey.
“My favorite part about Halloween is the overall ambience. In Texas, the weather is always perfect,” says Laura Stillo, recent SMU grad. “People seem to be happier because it’s the start of the holiday season.”
In 2010, costumes took up a majority of one’s budget.
“I spend about $25 on costumes,” says SMU sophomore Charles Savidge.
SMU senior Natasha Cannon says she wouldn’t spend more than $50 on a costume. “Just because I’m an unemployed college student!”
To save money this year, more than half of people plan on incorporating old and new items or making their costume from scratch says the Savers Inc. survey.
“Last year, I recycled one of my costumes from college – a ‘Greek Goddess’ costume I had ordered online,” says Stillo.
Pop culture icon Lady Gaga and Jersey Shore’s cast member Snooki were among the most popular costumes in 2010.
This year, be on the look out for more classic characters like vampires, superheroes and pirates thanks to popular shows like True Blood and the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Candies and decorations are also a big part of one’s budget for the holiday. Last year, nearly half of consumers decorated their homes spending a combined total of $3.4 billion according to the NRF survey. This year will be no different.
“I probably spend under $50 on decorations and candy,” says Stillo.
Trick-or-treating and chocolates are synonymous with Halloween with candy sales reaching $1.8 million in 2010.
“One year all of my friends got together during Halloween in a huge neighborhood and went to all the houses and collected our weight in candy,” says Savidge.
The most popular candies in 2010, according to the Indiana Business Research Center, were Tootsie Rolls, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate and Nestle Crunch Bars.
“It’s all about the mini Snickers or the Milky Ways,” says Savidge. Milky Ways were among the top 15 most popular Halloween treats.
According to the 2010 NRF survey, thirty three percent of Halloween fans attended or threw a party during the Halloween season.
“There’s always a good party to go to this time of year, and also it’s fun seeing how creative people can be with their costumes,” says Antonio Ortiz.
For some, all the partying can get exhausting.
“My least favorite part is feeling obligated to go out and celebrate three nights in a row-depending on the day of the week that Halloween falls- with three different, elaborate costumes,” says Stillo.
The holiday does not discriminate by age and is celebrated by adults and children alike.
“I love the colors, and the fact that little kids get so excited about it,” says Stillo.
Like Stillo, Cannon enjoys seeing the children all dressed up.
“My favorite part is seeing the darling trick-or-treaters and all their costumes!”
It’s only mid- September yet stores are already putting out Halloween products.
Not everyone is in the Halloween spirit just yet, though.
“I usually fall short on planning ahead for Halloween,” says Stillo. “I’ll probably venture to Party City to browse costumes in the coming weeks. I surprisingly lack creativity in the costume ideation department.”
Regardless of whether you are prepare or not, Halloween is still 40 days away.There’s plenty of time to perfect your costume.