What's more important than Halloween?By Money Mage · · Halloween, Frugality, Food
It’s that time of year again. Halloween! Yay! Pumpkins! Fancy Dress! Skeletons! Money Spending!
For any US readers, Halloween is no way near as popular in the UK as it is in the States. A few days later we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, so it’s all a bit celebratory overload.
I live in a small, dual University City. The kind of place where the population doubles when students are around. So Halloween tends to be a night for pished-up students. Dressed up as Frank-n-furter. Boaking up a nights worth of booze in the street.
Where I used to live, it was council-estate bairns tearing about the place. Knocking on your door. Egging it if you didn’t answer. How they could afford the eggs I don’t know.
As you can tell, I am not a huge fan of Halloween. But I was when I was 9.
A Cheap Halloween?
Halloween spending in the UK has been growing year on year by at least 5%. We spent £413m on Halloween in 2018.
During this same period, UK household savings rates (the amount you save per month) has dropped. From a high of 10.6% to a low of 3.9%. It’s bounced back up a little to around 6.5%.
What is going on!?!
What are your goals?
Do you have any medium to long term goals?
- Clear your debts?
- Not have to worry about bills?
- Buy a house?
- Go on a big holiday?
- Retire before the age of 70?
Most of us have a long-term goal. They are important to us. Our goals are often aligned to our world view. Driven by our principles.
The problem with long-term goals is they are a long way away. It’s all about habit building.
We are genetically wired to accept short-term gain ahead of long-term gain. The sugar rush dopamine effect from a marshmallow. Our knowledge is overridden. The fact that marshmallows are not good for you waistline or long-term health goes out the window.
One every now and then, as a wee treat. Sure!
We only achieve our long term goals by chipping away at them. To climb a mountain you have to do it step by step.
Are your Long Term Goals more or less important than Halloween?
This is going to be personal.
You might have kids that are going to a huge Halloween party. They are looking forward to it.
You might be a student. You’ve got an invite to the place to be on Thursday 31st October 2019. You know who else is going - you need to impress.
It’s important to have fun. Let go. Let the kids enjoy themselves at the party. Dress up, and enjoy yourself.
But remember the marshmallow. Are you going to have one marshmallow as a wee treat? How are you going to take a step towards your longer term goals?
Why not have a Cheap Halloween? Contribute to your long term goals. Rather than contribute to another 5% growth of the Halloween market this year?
- Bake some cheap Halloween cupcakes.
- Make a DIY Bat Costume or a DIY Ghost Costume
- Carve a Pumpkin (they are £1 at Tesco), then make a big batch of Pumpkin and Butternut soup. Freeze portions in freezer bags for the next few weeks.
- Make Pumpkin Bread
- Make a batch of homemade Scottish Tablet for trick or treaters.
- Mummify your Dog in loo roll, I shit you not. Unfortunately, our Border Terrier just eats loo roll, so it wouldn’t work for us.
- Got your own land? Keep some pumpkin seeds to germinate next spring. Grow your own pumpkins. Gift to friends & family next year, or cook into the tasty meals above!
Pigs in Blankets
At this time of year, I always make what I call “Pigs in Blankets”. Not sausage in bacon, no!
It’s getting to that time of year where homely food is worth it’s weight in gold. Nights are drawing in. First frosts.
Pigs in Blankets are a recipe from my Mom. I’m not sure what they are actually called, but they are tasty as!
- 8 decent sausages, best you can afford.
- 8 slices of decent bread
- Option A: Condensed mushroom soup.
- Option B: Pâté, best you can afford. Caramelized onion.
- Spread the filling onto a slice of bread.
- Place the sausage diagonally across the bread.
- Roll up opposite corners around the sausage, securing with cocktail sticks or skewers
- Place on a lightly oiled baking tray.
- Repeat for the remaining slices
- Oven Bake at 180oC or fan equilvient for around 30-40 minutes, until the sausage is cooked and the bread is toasty and not quite burnt
- Leave to cool for a wee while. Beware: the filling gets pretty hot!
If you are veggie, this works equally well with falafel or veggie sausages, and the mushroom soup filling.
Whatever you are doing this Thursday, have a very Happy Halloween!
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Sources and Attribution
- The Final Pumpkins (c) Adam Sonnett, CC-BY-SA
- Bat Costume (c) Lenore Edman, CC-BY
- Pumpkin Carving Day (c) Damian Cugley, CC-BY-SA