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BBB: Spooktacular Halloween tips - Odessa American: BBB Column

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BBB: Spooktacular Halloween tips

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Posted: Sunday, October 25, 2020 5:15 am

Dealing with COVID-19 in 2020 has been more trick than treat. The pandemic has forced us to adjust our everyday lives, cancel plans and wonder how to observe upcoming holidays safely. With Halloween approaching, and local governments encouraging social distancing over social gatherings, many are looking for creative new ways to enjoy fall festivities.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is sharing both low-risk ways to celebrate and high-risk activities to avoid. Decorating your home, carving pumpkins and virtual costume contests are deemed spooktacular, but frightful activities include visiting haunted houses, trick-or-treating and traveling to fall festivals in other towns.

Data from a recent National Retail Federation (NRF) survey shows consumers will be partaking in more individual activities such as pumpkin carving and dressing up their pets, and fewer group events like costume parties. Although the survey results expect a rise in personal spending, there are plenty of ways to celebrate while keeping your wallet happy.

Sink your fangs into these scary-good Halloween savings tips from your Better Business Bureau:

>> Set a budget. The NRF estimates individuals will spend more than $90 on Halloween this year, but you may decide that’s too much … or maybe not enough! Determining your budget ahead of time can help you stay on track while you shop.

>> Search for savings. Since your favorite costumes and decorations can likely be found at more than one place, take time to comparison shop and see which retailer has the best prices. Signing up for email distribution lists from your favorite stores can offer additional savings by sending you coupons and advertisements for upcoming sales.

>> Shop at home. Check your closets for more than just monsters! Using costumes and decorations from previous years can save money. Creating costumes with household items is another way to save money and have fun.

>> Be smart online. Online shopping is the safest way to buy costumes, decorations and candy this year. Before you buy, review retailers’ return policies and ensure websites are secure by looking for the lock icon next to the URL. Always pay with a credit card in case you need to dispute a charge.

Visit us at BBB.org for more hair-raising tips and find the full list of CDC recommended activities at CDC.gov.

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