All Hallow's Eve can get a little pricey between the admission costs of haunted houses and the expense of fancy costumes. Sometimes it seems like we're stuck carving pumpkins and bobbing for apples every year. Here are 8 suggestions that will shake up your old Halloween traditions without breaking the bank.

  1. Channel your inner Nightmare Before Christmas for this one. Build a gingerbread house ... a haunted gingerbread house, that is. Use chocolate graham crackers for a creepy effect. Boil sugar to create a "glue" that will allow you to bind the graham crackers to each other. Use your imagination to build creepy towers and cellars with the crackers. Put orange and black food coloring in the frosting and get creative with the candy—candy corn pumpkins are an essential. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
  1. Sticking with the Christmas-in-October theme, make a candy corn garland. Instead of making a popcorn garland, string together some candy corn and go crazy decorating your house.

  2. Listen to an old-time radio murder mystery. You can find countless free podcasts on iTunes, as well as on the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre site. Nothing screams classic Halloween like a radio podcast.

  3. Does scooping out the pumpkin goop gross you out? Opt for painting your pumpkin instead of carving it. This innovative alternative lasts longer and is less mess to make. You can personalize it any way you want - use a feline stencil and black paint to create a witch's cat. Or you can go fancy with lace and glitter. It's an easy activity for kids. Find a few examples here and here.

  4. Do a scavenger hunt - Halloween style. Create a list of spooky things to find, and go out searching. A few examples for your list: a pumpkin, candy, face paint, something orange and a witch's hat.

  1. Make bats out of black poster board and hang them from your ceiling to add a cute creep factor to your home.

  2. Have a "Monster Mash" dance party. Find all kinds of classic Halloween songs and jam out to "Thriller" and "Ghostbusters" by the light of the jack-o-lanterns.

  3. Halloween Bingo is always an excellent option to add some spice to your October 31st activities. Make your own bingo charts of different costumes, and mark off the squares as you find each monster. A few costume ideas: a witch, a ghost, a princess, a superhero, an animal, a pirate. The options are limitless.

Don't let the expenses of Halloween "creep" up on you. With a little creativity and some preparation, your Hallows Eve celebration can be a night to remember - in a good way.

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