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Radio Tour: Halloween's Almost Here, Let the Christmas Shopping Begin

I just did a round of radio interviews, mostly speaking about consumer spending trends for Halloween.

Radio Microphone
Radio Microphone

We talked a lot about what thetrendiest costumeswere for the season and how the celebration of Halloween has turned into a big money-making event for retailers—even ones that you would not associate with the holiday.

The National Retail Federation estimates Halloween drives about $5.8 billion in spending, and every year, that number gets bigger.

But one number, in particular, caught the radio hosts' attention: the NRF's estimate for average spending per person. That number is expected to rise to $66.28 this year, up from last year's $56.31.

It's funny how those average spending limits always seem so low compared with what some people actually spend. I, for one, spent more than $66 stocking up on candy for the trick-or-treaters—let alone what I spent on costumes.

We had a lot of fun talking about the trendiest Halloween costumes, but we also talked about how it's time to start shopping for Christmas and Hanukkah. Yes, I hate to say it, but it's here. In fact, more than one-third of Americans have already begun their shopping.

Lastly, the radio hosts wanted to know, what most people want to know: what's the best way to save money during the holidays. Price, after all, is still the main factor driving purchasing decisions, consumers say. That's something we'll be writing more about in the weeks to come as all that holiday shopping shifts into higher gear.

My main piece of advice: Make a holiday budget, and start researching prices now. Prices will fluctuate during the holidays, and some sales may not be all they appear to be. In some places, prices may even be lower before Veteran's Day than they will be during the holidays.

Plus, if you allow more time to hunt, you'll be less stressed and more likely to find the perfect gift, and retailers will be less likely to be out of stock.

Thanks to KJYO,KYSM, the "Film Festival Radio Show," KUBQ, KIIM, WCZT, WFNE, WLW, WKQK, and "On the Money" at WEXL. It was great talking with you.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com