I have a confession to make. I am not a Halloween person.
I don’t like being scared, I don’t look good in the color orange, and I’m married to a Type 1 Diabetic. I mean, it’s just not the holiday for me.
But you know what I am into? Halloween clearance sales!
I love any clearance sale, really. But for a holiday that I’m not super enthusiastic about, it is surprising how much I like a good Halloween clearance sale. “But Kristen B.,” you say, “You just told us how you didn’t like Halloween. How can the clearance sales be that different?” And I would say to you, I suppose it’s the sum of the parts. I’m not crazy about the sum, but I sure do love some parts.
CANDY. We don’t do a lot of candy in the B household, because of the aforementioned diabetes. But, Mr. B does like to have hard candies, or small containers of things like Swedish Fish, on hand for when his blood sugar gets low. You know, he likes the unpopular candy the kids are bummed to get on Halloween. People are hip to the great prices of Halloween clearance candy, but it’s still a popularity game, even if the clearance world. The most exciting candy flies off the shelf (adios, Reese’s) and the boring candy stays and seems to multiply (why hello there, Swedish Fish.) This is great news for us B’s because the more of something there is, and the longer is stays in clearance, the greater the markdown. I’m usually able to grab Mr.B’s uncool candy for 70% off and I can get enough to last us until the Easter clearance sales start.
COSTUMES. My smalls are obsessed with dressing up. Halloween clearance sales are a great time to stock up on costumes they wouldn’t normally have access to. You’d be shocked how hard it is to find a Frog costume in the off season. Speaking from personal experience. It’s also a great time to load up on costume accessories. Cat ears, dinosaur horns, princess crowns, cowboy hats…I’ve gotten them all in Halloween clearance. If you’re really lucky, you’ll happen upon an accessory that has somehow been separated from its costume, and thus has no price tag and isn’t really sellable. This has happened to me several times and always ends with a clearance weary Target employee starring at the castoff accessory and saying “Does a dollar seem fair?” It certainly does, my friend!
STOCKING STUFFERS. Hear me out on this one. With the rise of allergies and the push to make Halloween more inclusive for kids who can’t do candy, a lot of stores offer small toys in bulk to pass out instead of chocolatey goodness. Some options I’ve seen are mini play doh containers, rubber bracelets, and blind bags. These either have a Halloween color scheme (think orange, black, purple, green) that makes them poor candidates to roll over into regular sales, or they are limited edition/specifically packaged items that won’t integrate into shelves well. These items don’t usually make it to the 70% mark, but you can grab some great stocking stuffers or kids birthday favors for up to 50% this way.
CLOTHES. No one wants a bright orange t-shirt with a black cat all year round, right? Wrong! I do. The same rules of small toys apply to clothes. Specifically themed holiday apparel is a great way to stock up on kids’ clothes. My daughter doesn’t care that her black dress with the kitties on it was for Halloween. She’ll wear it every day if I let her. And it cost me $1.80, so it’s my favorite thing she owns. Pumpkin t-shirt make great layering pieces for under sweaters, outdoor clothes, or crafting outfits. No one can see those orange socks under boots. If someone you know is expecting a baby, make sure to check out the baby section for discounted Halloween outfits. My youngest, who was born prematurely, wore a rotation of mummy pajamas, witch pajamas, and ghost pajamas for the first two months of her life. We lucked out finding those in Halloween clearance because we hadn’t had anything small enough for her. Clearance sales are the gift that keeps on giving.
KITCHEN WARE. My favorite spatula has a ghost on it. I got it my very first Halloween clearance sale, five years ago. It was .30. And I swear to you, it works better than all my fancy cookware spatulas. If you’re not squeamish about having a witch on your Pyrex, get thee to kitchen wares. You’ll see discounts on holiday themed food storage, paper goods, and even cooking utensils.
DÉCOR. I mean, this is, in theory, an easy one. If you’re big into Halloween, stock up ondecorations for next year at a lower price. But if you, like me, are only “meh” on Halloween, think outside the box a little bit. Those wooden pumpkins could be spray painted and repurposed as part of a Thanksgiving Cornucopia. Those purple pillows might look great in a teenage girl’s room. Black goes with anything. Make sure to visit your home goods section. You might be surprised at what you find in holiday clearance.
If you’re new to clearance shopping, Halloween is a great place to start. It’s a little less stress than Christmas or Easter, since people tend to think the only thing available is cheap candy. Many stores host post-holiday clearance sales, but the place you’ll always find me is Target. Target’s clearance usually starts with 30%/50% clearance, with the 30% applying to food items and 50% to other merchandise. Over the course of a week it will often get up to 70%/90%.
I’ll be clearance hunting November 1st, and will post throughout the week any great finds or bargain brags, so be sure to be checking here often.
Are you a veteran clearance shopper? First timer? Will you be out hitting the stores tomorrow? Tell me all about your fave Halloween clearance brag in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!