Halloween is a really big deal to me – I’ve always loved it! I’ve been hosting Halloween parties for most of adult life, and they seem to get more involved every year. It started with some spooky treats set out on a platter for a few friends when I was 20 and just went from there. Now, I’m famous for my elaborate parties and decorations! I get really excited when I find see Halloween stuff in stores and usually can’t resist picking up something new to add to the collection. So when Kmart challenged me to deck out my whole home in fiendish finds from their store, I knew this was the kind of project I could really sink my (vampire) teeth into!
Since we don’t have a Kmart in my small town (Sniff), Jai and I paid a visit to a location in Portland on Friday, which was conveniently nearby to an event we were going to that day. Even the tree outside the store was setting the mood for Fall fun with its bright orange leaves!
Now, anyone who knows me is aware that I’ve been a huge Maroon 5 fan for almost as long as I’ve been throwing these Halloween parties. Well, when I walked into Kmart the first thing I laid eyes on was a big display for Adam Levine’s new 222 clothing line. Between the giant poster of Adam and the huge Halloween store, they may as well have put a sign up reading, “Welcome to your favorite store, Beeb!” 😉
After I finished being distracted by the Adam Levine display, I got down to the business at hand of picking up everything I would need for tricks and treats! Decorations? Check. Candy? Check. Costumes? Check. Discounted Grim Reaper? Check!
Here’s Jai deciding if he should be a piece of bacon for Halloween.
And here’s me shopping for a costume. I’m noticing that the tights in the display behind me are almost identical to what I am wearing – every day is Halloween for me! 😉
By the end of my shopping trip, my cart was overflowing with Halloween goodies!
I think I’m ready to check out!
Here’s all my spooktacular swag! I got so many ghastly goodies that, when I was going through the checkout, the cashier said – completely unprompted by me – “I want to come to YOUR house for Halloween!!”
I got two bags of candy for trick-or-treats to hand out to my Halloween guests, plus two large Tupperware containers to use as candy bowls. This makes it simple, because you can slap the lid on to store any leftover candy after the party!
Jai decided to be a pirate for Halloween, while I picked out a witch costume. I bought this one because I will probably wear the dress again – with my goth tastes, half the Halloween costumes look like “Regular” dresses to me! 😉
We got a ton of lights to decorate our yard with, from spooky garlands and creepy light-up eyes to black lights. We also got some long strands of lights to hang over the porch, driveway, and side of the house, along with extension cords, since I always seem to forget these when I get ready to do outdoor decorations. 😉 We really wanted to do a spooky window display, so we also picked up a 24″ flat screen TV that Kmart had on sale. These flat screens can also be hooked up to a computer and used as a giant monitor, to create a ghastly DIY “Pepper’s Ghost” floating head effect. (You can see an example of what I’m talking about here.)
There were so many ghastly goodies to choose from! I bought a light-up, color-changing skull, a giant cobweb, a large grim reaper to hang by the front door, a flying ghost, “Creepy fabric”, a flaming skull, and “Marcus the carcass”, a light up dude that looks like he’s sinking into the ground. Since I live on the wetlands, this is not too far-fetched. 😉
I really wanted to make my haunted house pop with something interactive, so I decided to create a Halloween photobooth on the porch. A photobooth rental in the Portland area seems to range in the $650+ price range for a booth that does digital copies only. I spent $528.84 on supplies to create my own DIY photo booth – that includes a DSLR camera with lens, a tripod, a camera case, LED light, and a curtain rod, curtains and Halloween tablecloth to create the booth itself. A homespun photo booth may not be quite as slick as hiring a photo booth, but instead of spending all that money for just a few hours, you could create your own and have a professional camera to use long after your event is through. Now that we’re in the thick of holiday season, there will be family photos to capture during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s – so if you’ve been wanting to take better photos but been intimidated by the cost, you might be surprised to see how relatively inexpensive this setup was that I picked up at Kmart.
I also bought a black plastic tub to store all my new decorations in!
Before my shopping trip, I printed out my ShopYourWay Rewards Card to use in the store. This is Kmart’s loyalty card and savings program which I’ve been a member of for a few years. I honestly never did too much with it because I found the website to be confusing and never really figured it out; but it was actually a lot easier to use in the brick-and-mortar store. I ended up being really glad I had my card with me, because it saved me quite a bit of cash. Members receive lower prices on certain items, so it knocked off $44.50 total from the standard price on two of my items; and I also received points that I was able to redeem for money off my purchase. In a bit of serendipity, I got an email the night before my shopping trip letting me know I had 8,000 in points in my account expiring on October 16th – this equaled $8 off my purchase. I bought the camera first, and since it was in the electronics department, I paid for it separately and redeemed my $8 in points to bring the price down. I also received 4,420 in points back for buying the camera, which is equivalent to $4.42. The points are available to use immediately, so when I picked out the rest of my Halloween goodies and headed to the checkout, I was able to knock another $4.42 off my total! I had added up all my purchases before checking out and expected to max out my gift cards and spend a few bucks out of pocket, but was pleasantly surprised when it ended up being $46 less than I expected – so Jai and I actually hit up a second Kmart in Beaverton on our way home from the event we were at, so that we could use up the rest of the gift card! And, since I had also received points for my second transaction, I had an extra $5.11 to spend as well. All said, I received an extra $17.53 to spend because of ShopYourWay Rewards, so I have warmed to the program a bit since this shopping trip – anything that equals free cash is good in my book!
If you’d like to check out more details on my Halloween haul, click here to view my ShopYourWay Catalog for this shopping trip – it includes product details, prices, and can be used to add products to your online cart in one click if you’re feeling inspired!
Enter to Win:
And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! TWO MomStart readers will each win (1) $500 Kmart gift card so they can have their own frightfully fun shopping spree!
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter this giveaway, which ends on October 20th, 2013 at 11:00 PM PST. Giveaway is open to residents of the United States, 18 years of age or older. Prizes will be shipped via Priority Mail upon receipt of winners’ information – we are making every effort to get gift cards to the winners in time for Halloween, but please be aware that there can sometimes be unexpected delays with the Post Office. Please click here to read our giveaway rules.