Friday 31 October 2014

Smart Consumer: Yes, Halloween shopping can really give you a fright

Published 26/10/2012 | 06:00

Tina Leonard with her Halloween goodies in Dealz at West End retail park, Blanchardstown. Photo: Ronan Lang

We've come a long way from dressing up in black bags, writes Tina Leonard

'I was lucky if I got a black bag cut open for me," laughed an acquaintance when reminiscing about her childhood Halloweens. There were no 'bought' costumes then, but these days dressing up involves more than altered household goods.

Ready-made costumes are easily available, not to mention accessories. And where to start with the array of sweets and chocolates emblazoned with spooky scary characters.

So, how much will it all cost?

You can buy complete outfits in various shops. Tesco is selling clown and cat costumes for €9.50 or a boy's devil costume for €2.50, whereas costumes in Marks & Spencer are dearer at €13, €14 or €19.50 for princess dresses.

Costumes are more keenly priced at Lidl (€3.99 or €4.99). At Aldi, costumes cost €4.99 but they are 'dress-up sets' as they include extras.

It's those extras, the masks and hats, that can make an outfit, but this is where the cost can start adding up.

Masks for children start at only 35c in Tesco, but then you might want to add a witches' broom for €1.40. At M&S a hat will cost you another €6.50, a spooky door sign €3.50 and a 'trick or treat bucket' from €2.

And don't forget:

• Good planning is the key to not going over the budget. Plan the costumes and accessories.

• Check out charity shops: a rail of children's costumes was spotted in the St Vincent de Paul shop in Cork city.

• Sewing and customising is all the rage and pretty much free. I bet you could do it if you tried!

Irish Independent

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