Scary Good Deals on Halloween Costumes

halloween postHalloween is right around the corner! But are more scared about how much you will wind up spending on a costume than thrilled about having a terrific time? We get it – unless Halloween is you favorite holiday of the year and you prepare for it months in advance, you probably are nonchalant about the date and just want to have a fun time – not cash in big-time for a costume you will only wear once. So over here at Slice, where you can track your packages and be notified of price drops, we have put together a list of tips and websites you can use to look fabulously spooky at a reasonable price (or for free!).

A costume is a must. After all, what’s Halloween if not an opportunity to get all decked out in outrageous clothes? But it is easy to go overboard on spending – a recent study calculates that Americans will spend $11.3 billion in total in preparing for Halloween this year. So keep your budget to a minimum by buying costumes from discount stores like Costume Discounters, which has a clearance section replete with affordable outfits, or Spirit Halloween, which offers a 20% coupon when you join their mailing list. And get inspired with posts like PopSugar’s list of DIY costumes or Slice’s very own Pinterest!

Get creative – design your own costume! Making your own costume will be more time-consuming if you choose to actually buy materials from craft stores like Michaels or Factory Direct, but imagine how rewarding it will be to know you have the only costume of your kind! When putting together your costume, if possible, buy items that you can re-use in other occasions. Websites like thredUP or ASOS sell affordable, sometimes Halloween-specific items that you could incorporate into your Halloween look but also into your everyday style.

Make do with what you already have. Real Simple and Her Campus have suggestions for costumes you can make with items you already have in your closet. The more you dare to go beyond the expected, typical costumes, the more fun you’re guaranteed to have!

Want to amp up the creepy factor? Complement costumes by using makeup to your advantage. Check out Buzzfeed’s list of uber-creepy, realistic looks to try out this year. As for where to buy the makeup, you have a few options: Halloween-specific stores like Halloween Express or Mehron sell kits you can use if you have a popular costume in mind, and regular makeup stores have options which multitask and are useful not only for Halloween but for other events. Not sure how to do your makeup for this night? Consider asking the pros at Sephora’s beauty studio for tips and for a mini-makeover!

What will you be wearing? Let us know – we’d love to hear!

Slice Wins CSPC Safety Apps Challenge!

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One of the best things about Slice is we keep an eye out for recalls on items you’ve bought so you don’t have to worry that you’ve inadvertently bought something dangerous.

You know who else thought it was pretty cool? The Consumer Product Safety Commission, who declared Slice as the “Most Innovative” app to deliver safety recall information to consumers.

“These app developers inspire us with their creativity,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye. “I congratulate them on using innovation and technology to advance the cause of product safety. Consumers are the real winners in this apps challenge because they have new mobile tools to help them to stay informed about recalls and product safety incidents.”

You can read more about the Safety Apps Challenge here, while we’ll be doing our Happy Dance! 

Most Popular Halloween Costumes Revealed!

Halloween is right around the corner– we’re counting the days here at Slice (15, in case you were wondering)! While some people have been planning since last year, we know a lot of you are still looking for that perfect idea, so let us inspire you with this week’s hottest costumes that online shoppers can’t get enough of:

Halloween is All Frozen Over

Halloween Freezes Over: Frozen costumes are among all revelers - not just the kids

Halloween freezes over: Frozen costumes are popular among all revelers – not just the kids

Frozen costumes aren’t just for Disneyland trips and sing-a-long viewings – Frozen-themed costumes are this year’s go-to for everyone. Ice queen Elsa is, by far, the number-one costume for little girls (fully one-third) and grown women (41 percent, to be exact) alike, guaranteeing you’ll be seeing plenty of little girls trick-or-treating in sparkly blue and ladies rocking dramatic dresses.  The best Elsa accessory? An Olaf to match! Yep,  Olaf is one of the top baby costumes for this holiday, for all the moms who just can’t “let it go!” quite yet.

Fanboys Forever

Fanboy fantasy: half of all men's costumes are superheroes

Fanboy fantasy: half of all men’s costumes are superheroes

Whether animated (think Buzz Light Year) or a member of the Avengers squad, every boy wants to grow up to be a superhero. And this Halloween is no different – more than half of all the most popular men’s costumes are caped crusaders. Of the top Halloween costumes purchased by men this year, superheroes dominated the list with Batman, Spiderman, Superman and Captain America leading the charge for guys playing out childhood fantasies.

Mutt-squerade: Costumes Go to the Dogs

Happy Howl-ween! Why should humans have all the fun?

Happy Howl-oween! Dinosaurs, lions and Batman are the top canine costumes.

You can’t have a happy Howl-oween without your best friend, right? When it comes to canine costumes, dressing your pup as another animal is the most popular choice among online shoppers, with dinosaur and lion costumes leading the pack. Also in the mix: Batman and princess costumes, just like their owners. Aww!

Stay tuned for next week’s trending costumes! Will Elsa and the Fanboys continue to rule the Halloween world?

We’re getting better all the time!

We recently asked for your feedback and suggestions for the Slice app.  Our Slicers came out in droves to help! The feedback we received from everyone is still being digested by our team and there is a ton to get through. All the results will help us understand how you interact with Slice and what improvements we can make. If you didn’t get a chance to answer the survey and wanted to give us your feedback, send us a message at feedback@slice.com.

thankyou
Now the moment we’ve all be waiting for. The winner of the Slice survey is: Brianna Mcfadden! We hope you’ll enjoy your gift card and tracking that package with Slice! Thanks again to all our participants for making Slice that much better.

How To: Slice Your Cooking Budget

Cooking creatively and inexpensively can be done--without resorting to ramen.

Cooking creatively and inexpensively can be done–without resorting to ramen.

Just because you want to cook on a budget doesn’t mean you have to suffer. There’s no need to boil ramen when we’ve boiled down the three essentials of cooking on the cheap. All you have to do is shop, shop, shop and prepare that sumptuous meal!

1. Economical Utensils. Having the right utensils can make or break your experience in the kitchen. When buying utensils, you want to find those that are long-lasting and that ideally multitask. Check out Paleo Leap for 10 essential kitchen utensils. The list highlights what basics you need and nothing more so you don’t overspend on unnecessary items. Inessential items to be avoided, however tempting they may be, are ones that are incredibly specific – see HellaWella’s list so you know which gadgets to avoid when you shop.

So where to buy utensils? Wayfair has quality finds (including sets of items) for under $50, and Dollar General has a limited selection of kitchen items, but what they do have is about as inexpensive as it gets and of good quality. Target also offers good options for kitchen utensils and appliances, if a bit more expensive. They are currently offering 20% off KitchenAid and free shipping on orders over $50.

We also suggest that you take advantage of promotions. If you live in Northern California, for example, Lucky Supermarkets is running a promotion until January 2015 when you can earn free Thomas Professional Cookware like pots and pans by collecting stamps from your regular grocery purchases.

Plan Ingredients in Advance. Impulse purchases can kill the most thoughtful grocery budget. To avoid those temptations, we shop online.  You can give it a shot with services like the same-day delivery Google Shopping Express or Amazon Fresh (if you live in a number of metropolitan areas in the U.S.) or direct delivery from stores like Safeway (which offers free first time delivery) or Walmart. In general, we suggest avoiding specialty stores, as they tend to be more expensive, and opting for grocery stores instead. And make sure to keep track of your deliveries with Slice!

Creative Recipes Kill Budget Boredom. Cooking on a budget does not mean your food should be bland – it’s an opportunity to get creative instead! If you’re cooking for one, check out Budget Bytes, which is regularly updated with new mouth-watering recipes, or the Food Network’s budget-friendly recipes. Cooking Light has recipes under $10 for families. And if you don’t want to go grocery shopping but aren’t sure of what you can cook with what you already have, check out MyFridgeFood, which lets you input what you have in your fridge and suggests recipes based on the ingredients you select.

Here’s to a bon appétit on the cheap!