When I first bought a house I was really excited to be able to decorate for the holidays. We moved into it in July which made Halloween the first decorating holiday for us. It was so exciting to go in the beginning of October to get decorations.
Except they were gone.
This was a very rude awakening. I figured out real quick that by October there are scraps left over and stores are already switching over to the Santa season.
What is wrong with these people?
I didn’t make that mistake again.
The next year I kept my eyes open for the first sign of Halloween. It came at the end of July.
No freaking wonder I couldn’t find anything in October that first month.
Here’s the crazy breakdown for my shopping in my area as I have studied it for years:
Starting towards the end of July I keep my eye out for Michaels craft store.
Michaels craft store
They are the first in my area to start putting out stuff. They also sell the Lemax spooky houses and if you keep your eye on the coupons, they usually put out ONE week of a 50% off any item coupon. This coupon comes out last week of July or first week of August. If you’re lucky you can use this coupon in combination of them getting the Lemax houses out and that will be the cheapest you can find them for the season. I also look over all the items and count the number of coupons I will need to save up to buy them. I usually never buy from here without a coupon.
Yes, the hardware store. They put their stuff out middle to end of August. They don’t compete with the back to school stuff so they put out their full display. I find many good things at Menards and they do a nice display.
They do have a back to school section and as soon as that starts dwindling, they start putting out Halloween. I was there yesterday (end of August) and they had 2 rows of Halloween out. It seems to me that they will have more out once they clear out the school and summer items section. I did find a few things and I know that when I see them, to get them. They have a good selection of unique things that I do not find at other stores. I usually get my plastic skeletons here. They’ve gone up in price over the years (from $10 to $16 this year) but still a good price.
I have not gone to Walgreens yet, but again they do school stuff and once that clears out they will put out Halloween. I suspect by the 2nd week of Sept they have their full display out. I usually get my gummy type candies here. They have a good selection of candy and some more unique things than other stores. They also do a nice selection of Halloween props that are at a good price. (update, I went to Walgreens this week and candy is out but not décor yet, still clearing out summer stuff)
I really like Target but they tend to get their display out later than the rest. The prices on things are fair, but not cheap. I did get a bubble fogger there for $40 on sale one year and it’s a big hit. I generally get more indoor Halloween décor there like placemats and candles.
Halloween superstores (Party City, Halloween City, Spirit Halloween)
I am lucky to live in an area that opens many seasonal Halloween only shops. Spirit stores have been advertising that they are open now and Party City is starting to set up now too.
Then there are stores that I just must pop in to see what they have. These stores are not big sources of shopping for me, but you never know:
Pier One Imports
My local grocery store (Jewel) has a fair amount of décor that I always check out
Then there’s the online resources, but this post is long enough. Next time.
So what about you? When do you start shopping and where do you find the goods?