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Here is an article I did for a home haunters newsletter and I thought I would share it again.:):)

Under Budget and Over Scary
By Matthew Winn
Building a haunted house or putting on a yard haunt can costly each year just in candy let alone all the décor. People almost have the same thing to say year after year, “That was awesome how much did you spend?” When It comes to my haunted house, I use the philosophy “under budget and over scary”. Here are some of my tips, tricks and secrets of how I do that year after year.
Don’t miss an Opportunity
I spend all year looking for bargains. Just about anything can be repurposed to be used in a Halloween display. One year a store was having clearance sale on Christmas merchandise, all items 25 cents each. They had a 4 pack battery operated candles. I hung them from fishing line in my funeral parlor room for an eerie lighting effect.
ON SALE CLEARENCE LAST CHANCE
These are three of my favorite words. Many of the things I buy I buy at the end of the season. When Halloween merchandise go on sale most retailers want it out fast to make room for Christmas. Check out your smaller retailers and grocery stores the week leading up to Halloween. They don’t have they holding power a big box store does so they start discounts earlier.
Yard Sales, Thrift Stores, and Craigslist
These are great resources that generally go unnoticed or used. Much like Halloween, I have found it too has a season. Just as the spring starts and they weather warms people start spring cleaning. Look for yard sales to start popping up. Summer time continues the boom. According to reality groups, it’s when most home are sold. Importantly don’t be afraid to haggle with prices not everyone is looking for these kinds of items and you might get a better price.
H I Y (Haunt it Yourself)
Most of the items I have in my haunts I have made myself. Even these can get expensive when it comes to materials. Look for things perfectly imperfect i.e. wood that’s bowed or has knots in it. You can save a fortune by buying things others won’t. When shopping at hardware/lumber stores builders have to by thing that will stand up to code or fit a customer’s expectations when they can’t sell these at regular price they may offer to sell them at a discount. Check the mis-tinted paint and the wrong cut wood piles for great opportunities. One year I found a few foam boards they had some damage to them, I got them half off and made about 20 new headstones for my graveyard. Don’t be afraid to ask the worst they can say is no.
While Halloween stores can provided you with over the top scares and amazing animatronics all for the right price, you can have an amazing yard haunt or home haunt that will bring them back year after year without braking the bank. And with that may all your hauntings be HAPPY HAUNTINGS !!!
You can follow Matthew on Twitter tx_pumpkin_king
 

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A Great Pumpkin
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I spend all year looking for bargains. Just about anything can be repurposed to be used in a Halloween display.

This guy needs to be on the Forum. Somebody sign him up! All good points. Thanks for sharing!
 
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