Halloween is cheaper than Christmas, but spending on costumes, lollies and decorations soon adds up.
Mum-of-two Elizabeth Denholm wanted to do something special for her kids' first-ever Halloween celebration, but she was also conscious of her budget.
Using Pinterest as a source of inspiration, Denholm spent just $30 creating a 'Halloween house' for her preschoolers to play in. Sharing a picture of her "morning activity" to the Kmart Mums Facebook page, the post quickly racked up hundreds of likes.
"I spent a maximum of $30 on decorations...as a solo mum, I didn't want to spend a fortune on just a week's worth of entertainment," Denholm said.
The decorations, purchased from Kmart and a $2 shop, are all recyclable - they can be washed and put away for next year. The pre-existing wooden playhouse is transformed for each special occasion, including Christmas and Easter.
In preparation for Halloween on Saturday, the playhouse now has gigantic spiders staple-gunned to the roof, Halloween tinsel, cobwebs, hanging ghosts, a sign and doormat. There are even "ghostly flickering lights" on the inside.
"As a mum, you only have a certain amount of time: it was a rush in, rush out sort of thing.
"Nothing cost more than $5 - the mat was the most expensive," Denholm added.
Under COVID-19 alert level 1, children can go trick or treating, but putting hands in and out of lolly bowls and taking lollies from strangers may be risky. Dr Harriette Carr, deputy director of public health, told Checkpoint that parents and children should take precautions.
"If anyone is self-isolating, or told they need to stay away from others, we recommend they put a sign outside their house not to trick or treat," Carr said.
If anyone is feeling sick or unwell, they should not go trick or treating and also put a sign outside.
"It's to protect them and others - people should respect that and honour peoples' wishes," Carr added.
She advises those handling lollies to wash their hands beforehand and children to carry hand sanitiser if eating or handling food. If possible, they're advised to have a record of where they've been.
"Pre-identify which houses your children are going to go to in advance working with other families creating a safe zone," Carr suggested.
As an alternative to trick or treating, parents could hold a Halloween party with a small group of children, or as Denholm is doing, celebrate in their own way at home.