That means party supply shops and department stores will be pulling out all the stops as sales and doorbuster specials take center stage in October.
Actually, it all begins in September when many discount chains and dollar stores kick-off the season with aisles of candy, decorations and costumes.
But even if you start late, don't be too anxious to get your Halloween on -- the closer it gets to October 31st, the lower prices will fall at the major department stores.
In fact, a little patience may sometimes result in a 50% discount or more on many items for which you would have paid full price at the beginning of the month, including Halloween napkins, plates, and tableclothes.
Shopping online? Before you click the "BUY" button, don't forget to check out even more savings to be had with discount codes & coupons offered by major online retailers and party shops.
Meanwhile, here comes Halloween pop-up shops and temporary costume stores.
Many of these stores take advantage of short-term leases on storefronts that will close as quickly as they open. Prices are usually a bit higher, but the good news is that these places can give you more opportunity to browse for hard-to-find costumes.
The bad news? They won't be around for long -- so pay close attention to the price and quality of items and make sure it's exactly what you want. Once the doors permanently close on November 1st, getting a refund or a return is next to impossible.
Finally, there are the local neighborhood thrift stores. To Goodwill and the Salvation Army, this is like Black Friday shopping when when outlets are packed with DIY costume makers. So remember to plan ahead. Get there early and you'll find aisles and bins filled with old fedora hats, boa scarves, and other accessories for making affordable homemade costumes.
REALLY planning ahead
Of course, the very best time to shop is right AFTER Halloween. That's when Party City, Walmart, Target, CVS and local discount stores offer the best prices of the season -- with discounts of 75% - 90% on Halloween party goods.
(NOTE: if browsing the candy aisle, hard candies can be stored your pantry for up to a year. It's best to avoid the chocolate and caramels which, even if stored in the refrigerator, probably won't stay fresh as long.)
On the morning after, simply grab up all the Halloween party goods and decorations you can find and head for the checkout counter -- knowing that you are going to have the most inexpensive fun Halloween ever -- next year.