• Save on Halloween Costumes

    by  • September 11, 2012 • Holidays • 17 Comments

    Fall is in the air, the holidays are coming people-and Halloween is the first batter up.  Every year I struggle with Halloween. The trick or treating is a cinch, but spending money on an outfit my children will only wear once-well that scares me. Boo! I am way to frugal to go out and buy an overpriced costume, and I am far from a mother who lovingly creates homemade costumes every year.  Here are some things that have helped me save on Halloween costumes throughout the years, and hopefully they might just help you too.

    Look at what you already have

    Is your child in martial arts, dance, or other activities that involve specific attire?  If yes, you could use some of that attire as a costume?  My son is a proud cub scout and my daughter a ballerina, so that already gives me two options for costumes this year (not that they are going to want to wear them)

    Buy clothing with Halloween in mind

    Buying warm, practical clothing every year for fall is a must for growing children, so why not keep your eyes open for apparel that might also make all or part of a costume.  Rainbow striped tights not only look cute with dresses, they would also add a nice touch to a fairy costume.  A rain jacket could be used not just for rain protection, but also for a fireman costume. The same could be said for rain boots.  Functional tutu skirts are the new “in thing” for toddler girls, which could also be used as a ballerina costume.  You get the point- “think Halloween” in your fall shopping adventures and you may just come across a great costume idea!

    Repeat after me- Dollar Store, Dollar Store, Dollar Store.

    Two years ago I went into the dollar store for some party supplies and came out with a warrior Halloween Costume for my son.  I bought the mask, the shield, and the body armor for a whopping total of $3.00.  I paired the accessories with a black long sleeve shirt, pants, boots, and a little warrior paint on the face (all of which I already had)- and my son was as happy as a warrior who had just won a battle against the enemy.

    Borrow and Swap.

    Ask friends or family members if they have any outgrown or spare costumes you could borrow.  Also, if you are a member of Facebook, check to see if there are any local groups for swapping.  If you are local to Cape Cod, check out the Cape Cod Mom Resale Group. *Please be sure that you read the rules, terms, or conditions of any Facebook group you join.

    Accessories can be Everything.

    You don’t need to buy an entire costume to make things legit. Simple accessories combined with everyday apparel also make for great costumes. A pair of butterfly wings, a tutu, a cowboy hat, a chefs hat and apron. You can pair all of these accessories with clothing to make a great costume.

    Online Shopping.

    There are quite a few Halloween costume discount stores online.  If you do decide to shop online for costumes, don’t forget to compare prices with similar sites, visit Retailmenot.com to look for coupon codes, and shop through Ebates.com to make money off your purchase.  Although not really supported by Retail Me Not or Ebates, Craigslist and Ebay are also great online resources for inexpensive costumes.

    How do you save money on Halloween costumes every year? Do you make them yourself? Borrow from others? What are some of your tips and tricks?




    17 Responses to Save on Halloween Costumes

    1. September 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Great tips Ashley! I was sorting thru “costumes” and have tons of options for costumes this year. We could be a little German man, Buzz lightyear or even Superman again! All his clothing from last year and “costume” items for play we bought big so they still fit! Costumes are always so over priced that it doesn’t make sense to buy them brand new anymore!

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm

        Thank you Amy! I would love to see the little German man costume :) How cute!

    2. September 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      We don’t buy costumes any more, but you have some great tips here. I really like the idea of swapping and borrowing. I have previously bought several when they were 90% off well after Halloween…..even if I didn’t use the whole set next year, I could take some of the pieces to make something worthwhile.

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 12:53 pm

        Buying after Halloween is also such a great idea! Steeply discounted and perfect for the next Halloween!

    3. September 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      Swapping & borrowing is a great idea! We’ve loaned our dress up costumes to the older cousins for this year, but I’m shopping for The Boy’s costume now.

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        Hope you come across a good deal :)

    4. September 11, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Great ideas!

      Last year, I went shopping during the holiday clearance and did manage to get one of those fancy pre-made costume options for this year in a size bigger than what the Daughter was at that time. We pulled it out the other night as we were getting fall decorations for the house out and she tried it on – fits perfectly! If it hadn’t, I’m sure I would have found some other little girl who would want it. It was originally $30 and I paid $7 for it so I was happy and even if it hadn’t fit, I wouldn’t have too upset about spending the $7.

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        $7 is a great deal for a Halloween costume! Great shopping!

    5. September 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      We didn’t have allot of money growing up, so when I was 8, my mom took a giant trash bag, taped can labels on it, and made me a hat out of the 1 gallon milk cardboard containers (that’s how they cam back then…I got made fun of, but I loved my mom! So I wore it, times have changed! Thanks for sharing!

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

        My Mom put me in some pretty choice Halloween costumes too, like the time she dressed me up like a candy cane :/ I still remember that day clearly, lol.

    6. September 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Shopping off season is a great idea–
      This summer, I picked up the CUTEST Lion costume– beautifully sewn and plush at a yard sale. Clearly the kids in the family were dancers, we picked up a dress up tutu as well.

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

        Love the lion! It sounds super cute! You can never go wrong with picking up discounted tutu attire when you see them. Love tutu’s too (not that I prance around the house wearing them, I would never do something like that ;) )

    7. September 11, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      The dollar store is my number one hot spot. You can get so many nice additions for your costume. It’s truly amazing what you can conjur up with a few bucks these days. Swapping is also a really smart suggestion. You were dressed up like a candy cane? CLASSIC lol I was little red riding hood more than i can count, against my will.

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

        LOVE me some Dolla Store! Yes indeed, I was a candy cane. I remember putting the costume on then having to be stuffed with newspaper! I’ll never forget it, lol.

    8. September 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      When my daughter was 2, I put her in white sweats and bought green fairy wings, a wand and halo from Ebay. She was “Tinkerbell”. This year I know my son is at least reusing his Mickey Mouse costume that was way too big last year. My daughter may do the same with her Rapunzel costume.

      You have some great tips – thanks for them!

      • Ashley B.
        September 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm

        Thank you for the compliment Maggie. Your Tinkerbell costume is a great idea!

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