The bewitching hour of Halloween is fast approaching, scaring many of us to scamper out to purchase last minute costumes, decorations, and candy.  If you are not careful, and if you do not practice frugality, this annual ritual can become frightfully costly and not so sweet.

Treat Yourself To Sweet Savings – Get into the knack of treating yourself frugally.  Buy candy in bulk, and venture out to discount, warehouse, and dollar stores.  If 500 candy bars seem like a lot of sweets to distribute in one evening, you may want to split costs with a friend or neighbor.  To cut down on costs for next year, scavenger the stores for costumes and decorations right after Halloween.  This is also a good time to satisfy a sweet tooth since Halloween candy is usually discounted to make room for Christmas.

Use Sleight Of Hand – Personally hand out candy to the trick or treaters.  If you allow hungry hands to dig into an unattended candy dish, you are destined to go through mounds of candy.  Unless you are prepared to eat the costs twice, you do not want to purchase your candy too early.  Explore giving out safe candy alternatives such as inexpensive trinkets and stickers.

Costume Yourself Wisely Make believe can get costly.  Consider making your own costumes.  Often your costume needs can be found by rummaging through your closets.  Costumes should be short enough to prevent tripping.  Do not let your child carry knives, swords, or other props unless they are soft and flexible.  To stay visible during the evening hours, trim your costumes, shoes, and treat bags with strips of reflector tape.  Instead of a mask that can impede vision and breathing, consider using nontoxic makeup.

Stay Away From Fire –  If you buy costumes, masks, beards, and wigs, look for flame-resistant labels.  You also want to avoid dressing your child in any costume with billowing material such as big baggy sleeves and flowing skirts that are more apt to come into contact with exposed flames and candles.   The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces the Flammable Fabrics Act, and recalls products at Halloween and throughout the year that can cause injury.  To report a dangerous product or a product related injury call the CPSC Hotline at: 1-800-638-2772.

Keep An Eye Out For Safety – Halloween inspires a surge of interest in the purchase of zany Halloween festooned contact lenses.  BEWARE The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is cracking down on decorative contacts that are sold without a prescription.  The FDA warns that these lenses could cause serious eye injury or even blindness, and consumers should not wear them unless they are properly prescribed and fitted by an eye-care professional.  If you have had problems with decorative contact lenses, contact the FDA’s MedWatch at: 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088). GO DOOR TO DOOR SAFELY, AND HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

Please send your legal and consumer questions to, or write to 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 1C-46, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Tel: 215-765-4828, Web Address:


© Elisha Hoffman Abrams and LegallyInformed’s Blog, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Elisha Hoffman Abrams and LegallyInformed’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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