NEW YORK (MainStreet) —  Sorry to break it to you, but unless you bought your Halloween costume last November, you might be paying more than you have to.

“The best time to buy cheap Halloween merchandise is right after the holiday when specialty stores and retailers deeply discount goods anywhere from 50% to 80% off,” says Andrea Woroch, consumer savings expert for The Frugals, a network of money-saving websites that includes

If you didn’t have the foresight to go Halloween shopping last fall, you should start shopping for costumes, decorations and other spooky merchandise now.

“If you wait until the last minute, you will be stuck paying whatever price your local Halloween shop offers,” Woroch says. “You will also find slim pickings with a less impressive selection of costumers and accessories.”

Many retailers have already started advertising free shipping deals on Halloween costumes and accessories, including HalloweenandCostumes.comOriental Trading ($49 and up) and Halloween Mart ($55 and up), which is also offering 30% off on select items.

Woroch suggests following Halloween retailers on Facebook and Twitter to get exclusive coupons and special promotions. She also urges consumers to look for deals in unexpected places.

“Vendors that most shoppers wouldn't consider as a place to buy Halloween essentials are going after costume seekers to get in on this big, money-making holiday,” she says. For instance, is offering free shipping as well as up to 30% off on Halloween costumes, while Pottery Barn Kids is also offering free shipping on its costumes.

Consumers can also buy decorations, party goods and festive paper party goods at the dollar store, and candy in bulk at stores such as Walmart (Stock Quote: WMT)  or Costco (Stock Quote:  COST). You can also find sales/deals at your local grocery or drug stores.

To learn more about how you and your family can enjoy the spooky season, check out MainStreet’s article Tips and Tricks for a Safe Halloween.

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