Have fun and save when Halloween shopping, decorating

Halloween in Fairborn on Main Street Saturday night. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Halloween in Fairborn on Main Street Saturday night. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The weather is starting to get cooler, which means it’s time for pumpkin spice lattes, caramel apples and spooky season. The National Retail Federation predicts consumers this year will spend $8 billion.

This is normally an exciting season for kids and adults, putting out the decorations, carving pumpkins, getting dressed up and trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, this year might look a little different.

We may celebrate differently this year due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you should take the “wee” out of Halloween. Families can still have fun and decorate. Your shopping costs can still stay low to make it an enjoyable season.

Better Business Bureau has some tips for Halloween this year:

· Set a budget. Once you start adding up decorations, costumes and candy your spending can get out of control. Make sure your budget is reasonable and stick to it.

· Make homemade costumes and decorations. Use supplies at home. Get creative using construction paper and clothes in your closets. Or, put a spin on an old costume.

· Rent a costume. However, know the conditions and inspect the costume before renting it.

· Look for the sales. Compare prices from various retailers and online stores for costumes and decorations. Look for coupons and sign up for email alerts as well because it could save you money.

· Buy instore. Make sure the store has a clear track record and good reviews. If you want a good deal, consider waiting until the last minute to find a costume or decorations because most stores will be trying to get rid of their inventory. Be flexible with your costume and decoration choice especially if you can’t find the one you really want. Thrifting some of your costume pieces might lower your cost.

· Try online shopping. Use secure sites. Make sure the URL begins with “https” and look for the lock symbol.

· Know return policies. Seasonal stores might not be open after October 31. Some stores might not let you do returns or exchanges. Save your receipts and use a credit card so your card company can help you dispute any charges if needed.

· Have fun with it. We are in crazy times, but we don’t have to lose the Halloween Spirit.

BBB can provide you a list of BBB accredited businesses for Halloween shopping and Business Profiles for ones you’re considering. For more information, visit bbb.org or call 937-222-5825 or 800-776-5301

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