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Simple Savings

Frighteningly Frugal Fun!

By Tawra Kellam

The average American family spends over $100 per year on Halloween goodies. As your kids drag you through aisles full of ghosts and goblins, the scariest thing about Halloween is threatening to leave bite marks in your pocketbook. No wonder so many moms flee screaming from the store... It can be much less expensive and a lot more fun to devise your own chilling creations. Here are a few tips that you can use to stave off the greenback gremlins and exercise your creative muscle. It won't hurt a bit! These and other free frugal tips are available at

Face Paint
1 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. cold cream
food coloring
Mix all ingredients together in an old muffin pan and you are ready to paint. This amount makes one color.

 Fake Wound
1 Tbsp Vaseline
cocoa powder
2-3 drops red food coloring

 Place Vaseline in a bowl. Add food coloring. Blend with a toothpick. Stir in a pinch of cocoa to make a darker blood color. Separate tissue. Using 1 layer, tear a 2x3 inch piece and place at wound site. Cover with petroleum jelly and mold into the shape of a wound. The center should be lower than the sides. Fill the center with the red petroleum jelly mixture. Sprinkle center with some cocoa. Sprinkle a little around the edges of the wound to make darker.

 Fake Blood - Mix 2/3 cup white corn syrup, 1 tsp. red food coloring, 2-3 drops blue food coloring to darken and 1 squirt dish soap (helps blood to run well).

 Abrasions - Dab brown, red and black eye shadow on area. Apply blood over area with cotton balls. Use comb to gently scratch area in one direction. Apply cocoa or dirt over wound with cotton balls.

 Black Eye - Apply red and blue eye shadow to depressions around eyes.

 Bruises - Rub red and blue shadow over bony area to simulate recent bruises.
Blue and yellow eye shadow to create older bruises.

 Look Old - Cover face with baby powder. Draw dark lines on your skin for wrinkles. Smooth edges to blend. Cover again with baby powder. Add baby powder to your hair to create gray hair.

Food Ideas:

Deviled Eyeballs - Make deviled eggs. Add a green olive with pimento in the center for an "eyeball".

Radioactive Juice - Mix equal parts Mountain Dew and blue Kool-Aid

 Toxic Juice - Add some green food coloring to lemonade for a spooky color!

 Brains - Scramble eggs with some green, yellow and blue food coloring

 Bloody Eyeballs - Boil cherry tomatoes 30 seconds. Allow to cool; then peel skin.

 Goblin Hand - Freeze green Kool-Aid in a rubber or latex glove, float in punch.

Edible Slime - Pour lime gelatin into a glass bowl. After it is partially set, add gummy worms. Chill until lightly set. Then serve slopped all over the plate.

 Bloody Popcorn - Add red food color to melted butter and pour over popcorn.

 Freeze gummy worms in ice cubes and add them to drinks. Cut gummy worms in half if needed.

Decorating Ideas:

Spider Webs: Use the tape from old cassettes or black yarn to make spider webs. Use cotton balls stretched out for small spider webs.

 Glass Jack-o-Lantern - Outline a pumpkin face on a spaghetti or pickle jar with black paint. The paint around the outside of it with orange paint. Place a candle inside for a jack-o-lantern.

Halloween Guess It Game:
In this game, you challenge the participants to reach into mystery boxes filled with creepy things and try to guess what each item is. The person with the most correct answers wins the game. An example is if you want them to guess "grapes", you might try to confuse them by saying, "I think it's eyeballs..."

Cut a hole in the top of a shoe box or laundry box for each item to be used. Cover the box with black spray paint. Decorate each box with pumpkins or spiders for a more festive flavor.

Place the following items inside, one per box. Be sure to place enough of each item so the guests can adequately "feel" the guts.

 Eyeballs - grapes or peeled cherry tomatoes
Intestines - Cooked Spaghetti
Skin - oil a piece of plastic bag
Brains- scrambled eggs
Hair - an old clown wig
Bones - thoroughly washed chicken bones placed in some sand
Vomit - chunky salsa
Fingers - hot dogs cut into finger sized pieces
Teeth - corn nuts, pine nuts or popcorn

Have a Pumpkin Hunt
Hide mini pumpkins like you would Easter Eggs. Let the kids find and decorate them. For small children use glue sticks with construction paper cut-outs for decorations.

In 5 years, Tawra Kellam and her husband paid off $20,000 personal debt on an average income of $22,000 per year. Tawra is the author of the frugal cookbook Dining On A Dime. Dining On A Dime has over 1200 recipes and tips to help you eat better and spend less. For more free tips and recipes visit her web site at  Permission granted for use on

Tags: Halloween, Holidays
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