Not everyone likes to be scared. Not everyone likes dressing up. Not everyone likes candy. Not everyone likes Halloween! Yet, when you tell someone that you don’t like Halloween, the shock and horror on their face is as if Michael Myers just decapitated a puppy in front of them. So how do you do your Halloween shopping if you hate Halloween?
Many people don’t like or celebrate Halloween for many different reasons, from religious beliefs to just plain hate being frightened out of their wits several times an hour.
Unfortunately, Halloween is impossible to hide from.
In the USA it’s one of the biggest events of the year. Surprisingly, it’s not actually the second biggest holiday, in terms of spending, as many think it is. According to the National Retail Federation, it’s the 8th biggest holiday in the USA after other seasonal events like the Superbowl and Mother’s Day. But it’s still a pivotal and much anticipated holiday in the American calendar, and also globally.
In the UK, Halloween hyperbole, mimicking that of its stateside cousins, is significantly growing. Even here in deeply conservative Catholic Poland, there’s concern about the year-on-year growth of the amount of young Poles wanting to indulge in the holiday.
So how can you survive it if you’re one of the people who’d rather not don on a witch’s hat and fill your yard with a dozen rotting pumpkins?
Well, you can shop your way around it.
We don’t mean you should go on a shopping spree so huge that it would shame Johnny Depp. It’s more about choosing when, where, what, and how you do your normal shopping to help lessen the drudgery that is Halloween.
Shop Ahead of Halloween
Many people will always leave things to the last minute, and that includes Halloween shopping for their Halloween costume or Halloween party supplies. This means the closer to Halloween you get, the crazier things in stores get.
Not only are they busy, but certain goods might randomly sell out. According to retail intelligence company, Streetspotr, the average “Out of Stock Rate” is around 8% of goods, rising to 10% for promotional products. If this is the normal rate, you can see how during busy periods like Halloween, goods are far more likely to disappear from the shelves.
If you can, try and do your usual shop a little earlier so you can avoid shopping in the immediate days before Halloween. This means you’ll be spared the braying, barging crowds, and also you’ll be more likely to get what you want or need without the disappointment of finding out that the shelves are bare.
Avoid Halloween Promotions
As with any holiday, there will undoubtedly be a lot of promotions and offers on goods associated with Halloween. You may think that this might be a good time to stockpile things like alcohol and soda. But you should stay away from these.
There are two reasons. First, the promotions might not be as good as they seem. In the UK, research done Which? found that special offers often made little to no savings what so ever, and that 10% of multibuy offers actually cost more than when they’re bought individually or when they’re not on offer.
Grocery stores are tricksy hobbits who know the art of making something look like it’s cheaper even when if it isn’t. So, those offers that seem super cheap during the Halloween shopping period might actually be more expensive than at other times during the year.
Secondly, if you’re buying more than you usually would, you are more likely to use more than you usually would.
“If you used to buy a 6-pack of soda and drink 6 cans a week but now buy a 12-pack…you’re probably going to start drinking 12 cans a week. Be mindful when buying larger sizes to make sure your habits don’t change as a result,” says Jeff Weidauer, former supermarket executive and vice president of marketing at Vestcom.
By avoiding these offers you can make sure you don’t end up with lighter pockets or heavier tums.
You can also learn more about the tactics supermarkets use to get you to spend more in our “7 Psychological Supermarket Tricks and How To Save Money By Beating Them” article.
Shop For Your Favorite Meal
Some “survive Halloween” articles will advise you to stock up on candy and shovel it down your gob, usually washed down with a tsunami of soda or wine. We think differently. If the hullabaloo of Halloween is getting your down, then overdosing on candy will only make you feel worse.
Instead, shop for and cook your favorite meal. You will enjoy both cooking and eating it which will take your mind off of Halloween. You’ll also be treating yourself with a nice little indulgence that’s not going to make you ill or feel (too) guilty come November 1.
If you don’t want to withdraw completely from Halloween and want to be prepared for the odd trick or treater, you can also bake your favorite cookies. This will gives kids in costumes something nice, homemade, and marginally more healthy than candy to eat. You’ll also have something you can enjoy too, if no trick or treaters come knocking!
Shop For Your Favorite Movies or TV Series
All the channels will have something Halloween related showing in the evening, from all-out horror films to fiendish family favorites. But just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you must watch a Halloween movie or show. You can watch anything you want!
So take time to plan a nice line-up of movies or a TV series that you really enjoy watching. It means you’ll have something to look forward to in the evening, and even if you are disturbed by any errant merrymakers, you’ll be keen to get back to watching whatever it is you’re watching.
What’s more, you can shop for snacks and treats that are themed to you choice of film of show. Thinking of joining “The Plastics” and watching Mean Girls? Buy some pink food. Lord of the Rings marathon? How about some onion rings? Or maybe some gazpacho for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown?
Plan a bit in advanced, though. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime don’t have everything on them. So be sure to check whether you need to go out and buy a DVD of your choice flick or show rather than be disappointed you can’t find it on the night.
Shop for the Holidays
If you don’t like Halloween, you might be looking forward to a different upcoming holiday: Christmas. What better way to forget a holiday you don’t like by shopping for one you do.
If it seems as if holiday goods start appearing in stores earlier and earlier each year, it’s because they are! This is a phenomenon known as “Christmas Creep”.
“It’s like a mini-arms race,” says Stephen Lach at Wharton University. “The competition among retailers means nobody wants to be second. That moves the shopping season up a little bit more each and every year.”
Of course, you don’t have to shop for Christmas (especially if you don’t celebrate it)! Instead, you can start your preparations for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Diwali.
So make use of this opportunity to start picking up things like decorations, and start shopping for presents during the Halloween period. This means that there are less things that could potentially be left for last minute panics when the time comes.
Buy Tickets for Something Un-Halloweeny
Although it seems like everywhere has something Halloween-themed going on, there are some places that don’t. Think about your local theatres, music venues, and concert halls as you might be able to spend your Halloween at something that isn’t Halloween themed. Sure, a couple might be doing something Halloweeny, but many would be just be doing stuff they would be doing at any other time of the year.
Always wanted to go to an opera? Give it a go! Been wanting to see that Broadway show for a while? Gotta book it! Your favorite band is in town? Get down there and boogie!
A similar thing can be said about sport. There may be an opportunity for you to try something new at your local sports facility, support a local team, or even join one. Either way, you might be able to find something that has little or nothing to do with Halloween that you’ve always wanted to do, not considered doing before, or have put off for a while.
Plan A Halloween Vacation
Much like shopping for a different holiday to take your mind off Halloween, why not start planning a vacation for next Halloween?
There are many countries around the world that don’t celebrate Halloween, or where celebrations are a lot more low key. So why not plan your trip to see the sights of such a country? Some places have their own festival during the Halloween period that you can get yourself involved in.
Many countries on the African continent and in East Asia like China and Japan don’t celebrate, or do very little for, Halloween. Certain European ones don’t too, including: Austria, France, Germany, and Poland.
Just be sure to check public holidays in these countries. For example, in many Catholic countries, November 1 is considered a Holy day and a public holiday so everything will be closed (apart from limited public transport), so be sure to make accommodations for this on your travels.
A Halloween Haven
Hopefully, these Halloween shopping tips will help you survive Halloween and be that little bit cheerier about having to endure it all.
Do you have any other Halloween shopping tips? Are you surprised that Halloween is only the 8th most popular holiday in the USA? Have you ever spent Halloween in a country that doesn’t celebrate it? Let us know in the comments.
Stay strong, Halloween haters!
Halloween Shopping For When Your Hate Halloween Checklist
- Shop ahead of Halloween
- Avoid Halloween Promotions
- Shop for Your Favorite Meal
- Shop for Your Favorite Movies of TV Series
- Shop For the Holidays
- Buy Tickets for Something Un-Halloweeny
- Plan A Halloween Vacation
For more inspiration, check out articles in our Halloween section.