Halloween can be a trying time for parents: Your kids are dressed like lunatics, staying up late, and under the influence of an insane amount of unhealthy chemicals. It’s essentially Mardi Gras for children.

Balancing fun, safety, and your own sanity as a parent on this spooky night is no easy feat. Luckily, we had some veteran parents share their (almost) fail-safe hacks to help you make the most of this All Hollow’s Eve!

All you need to go trick-or-treating is a kid. Any kid.

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A little amateur electrical work ahead of time makes for a great night.

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The best homemade costumes look homemade.

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Remember, it’s October. You can look hot, or you can be hot.

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Make sure your kid’s costume is visible to passing cars.

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Dad’s sweats with the holes and college shirt he refuses to give up can double for a zombie costume.

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Find the one house that leaves all their candy out in a bowl with a sign that says, “Just take 1.” Add four zeroes. Voila, you are done trick-or-treating for the night!

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Carving a pumpkin is a great way to relieve stress after a day of costume shopping.

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Save some money by letting your kids make their own costume accessories.

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It’s only considered stealing candy if you do it from your children’s friends. Taking your own kid’s candy is considered “helping them make healthy choices.”

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Try going dressed as your kids. Just whine the whole time you’re being given free candy and pee your pants two minutes before getting home.

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Remember that no matter how many hours you spend slaving away making your child’s costume, they will still decide that putting an old paper bag on their head is a way cooler costume.

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Dress your child as a ninja, so that you can reuse their costume yourself when you sneak into their room to steal their candy.

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If you’re pressed for time, just get your kids cheap eyeglasses as their costume.

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Save money by putting a huge empty bowl outside of your house.

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Explain to your kids that you have to test all the candy for “quality”. Except the Chuckles or those gross peanut-shaped marshmallows. I’m sure those are fine.

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Go as a vampire so that no one can judge how much wine you’re drinking. It’s “blood”!

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A strategic mime costume means no boring small talk with that annoying neighbor.

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