HALLOWEEN is creeping up on us, so ensure you’re the pump-king with my ghoulish guide to the best buys pumpkins.

And my ghoulish guide makes it scarily simple to carve out your street’s most terrifying Jack O’Lantern.

PUMPKIN CARVING GUIDE

1. Choose a pumpkin with a good stem. A thick stem means a heavy pumpkin, which is better for carving.

2. Don't be scared of a freakishly-shaped pumpkin For something extra scary, giant pumpkin or large ghost pumpkin. 

3. Pick the right tools. Get the kids to draw a design with marker pen. Use a good carving kit, or improvise with an ice cream scoop or a knife (under adult supervision).

4. Use a terrifying template. The easiest way to carve a masterpiece is to download a template which can then be pinned or taped to the fruit. Download free designs at  Morrisons

Or for your little monsters, toddlers will enjoy simply drawing faces on tiny pumpkins with marker pens.

5. Time it right. Carve your pumpkin with the kids on the day you want to display it. They begin to collapse and start oozing unpleasantness within 48 hours.

6. Lance the lid. Draw a circle for a lid, 5cm from the stem. Push your carving tool through the skin and start drawing the knife back and forth in a sawing motion, cutting at a slight angle.

7. Spill out the gory guts. Gouge out the pumpkin’s guts using an ice cream or pumpkin scoop or large spoon. Scrape the innards clean so that light will shine through. Don’t throw it all away though – dig out your cauldron and make a warming pumpkin soup for Halloween supper instead. 

8. Prepare the pumpkin. Using a template, prick your design onto the pumpkin with a cocktail stick, then dab talcum powder over it to make the design stand out.

9. Carve carefully. Cut out your kids' designs along the marker pen lines or cocktail stick pricks using a pumpkin carver, drawing it back and forth.

10. Use an LED light. Don’t use a naked flame, which can be a fire hazard and should never be left unattended. Instead, pop an LED tea light into your pumpkin. 

PUMPKIN PATCH

STANDARD PUMPKIN:  Aldi Pumpkin, was £1.29 now 99p at Aldi

SAVE: 30p

GIANT PUMPKIN: Giant Pumpkin, £8 at Morrisons

GHOST PUMPKIN: Ghost Pumpkin, £2 at Morrisons

MINI PUMPKINS: Munchkin Pumpkin, 50p at Morrisons

STRIPED SQUASH: British Seasonal Squash, £1.29kg at Lidl

PUMPKIN OFFER: Buy two Morrisons Pumpkins for £1.50

SAVE: 50p when buying two

LED LIGHTS:  4 Pack Flickering Halloween Tea Lights, £1.69 at Poundstretcher.co.uk 

PUMPKIN CARVING KIT: George Home Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit, 98p at Asda

Prices correct at time of going to press. Deals and offers subject to availability.

WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

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Adam’s Green Top Tips for Families on a Budget

Use energy-saving light bulbs: Switching to energy-saving light bulbs uses less electricity and gives an average saving of around £36 a year. 

Keep it local for activities with the family: Save on fuel and get to know your community better. Check out free family events organised at your local town or church hall.

Stay mindful when food shopping: Before you buy any food item, work out the cost per gram and compare deals and packet sizes. Most supermarkets display the cost and it shows exactly what you’re getting for cash.

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