Halloween is coming soon and if you are not careful, the scariest part of the creepiest holiday could be the cost of all of the costumes! The sticker shock of some costumes can make any parent faint in fear. But, have no fear! I am here to save the holiday. I have collected seven ways to save money on Halloween costumes for kids, and the best part is most can be applied to saving your budget on adult costumes too!
7 Ways to Save Money on Halloween Costumes for Kids
Save your Halloween costumes to use as hand-me-downs.
All of my girls have wanted to be a witch at least once. All of them have shared the same basic costume, but with little tweaks to emphasize their unique personalities. My oldest daughter was the cutest mean witch- with blood red lips and a gigantic wart on her nose. We used a pick and a ton of that glitter hairspray to make her curly hair stand on end and she was DARLING! My middle daughter was a star witch. We added some sparkly tulle adorably decorated with shiny stars. We made a broom out of tulle similar to this one and somehow stumbled upon a clearance witch’s hat that resembled her skirt so much you would have no idea we didn’t purchase the skirt and hat as a set! This year, my youngest daughter is going to be a Hello Kitty witch. It is an actual costume that I purchased (at a discount shop), but will be recycling the same broom as soon as I convince my hubby to find it in the attic. Another costume that has made the way down the ranks is the ninja.
Don’t “discount” discount shops!
Seriously. The aforementioned Hello Kitty Witch costume is still brand new in the package. It comes with the dress and the hat, and cost SEVEN dollars. What?!!!! I bought it at this store that is set up in an old warehouse. The closeout shop is only open during specific hours and reminds me of the love child of a outlet store and a flea market. I actually was hesitant to enter this place because I am not always fond of outlet stores. While I will never, ever claim to be the most organized person, I do prefer for the stores I shop in to be organized. I typically find that some of the outlet malls or stores are difficult for me to navigate, and thus a waste of time. However, if you are trying to get a big bang for a little buck, discount shops are the way to shop for Halloween costumes!
Buy used Halloween costumes.
I know that some people really see this as a faux paux. I’m not one of those people! In order to save money, I’ll scour Craig’s List for costumes and/or props. I also belong to many of those “mom” groups on Facebook. You know the ones- supportive, swap, or sell groups. Just like the discount stores, some of these Facebook groups can be difficult to navigate and/or trust. Sometimes people do not represent their “product” correctly, or can do other actions (such as raise a price) that are not agreeable. If you do not feel safe, DO NOT DO IT! I typically meet in a public place, without my kids, and escorted by my husband. If you prefer more secure methods of purchasing used costumes, consignment shops are a great option. I have also scored some super cute Halloween costumes at garage sales for a steal!
Shop for clearance Halloween costumes.
This does not necessarily mean shopping the year before, but that can definitely be a good way to save some serious cash. I will take the kids shopping when the Halloween outfits (and decorations) prices are slashed. This usually means that the aisles are pretty picked over, and most likely a monster of a mess (See what I did there? Monster? That’s funny!), but sometimes you can find some serious steals. I will let them pick out a tentative outfit for the following year if the price is right and the size seems plausible. If their tastes change between now and the following Halloween (yes, it can happen), then I can sell the costume that I bought for 90% off for more than I purchased it on Craig’s List or one of those Facebook mom sites. Win-win!
Be creative and make your own!
Oh, don’t check out just yet! I am not suggesting you tackle sewing, painting, and bedazzling (Still a thing, right?) in order to create the BEST. COSTUME. EVER. But, use your imagination and bargaining skills a little bit. One of my girls wants to be an angel this year. I already had the wings and halo from about six years ago, but could not reuse the dress. Hellllllo discount store. I bought her the “perfect” (her words, not mine) white dress at Burlington Coat Factory for less than 13 bucks. D.O.N.E. Sprinkle her with some glitter and she is ready to go. However, I have to dress up at work this year- with my team. All of our costumes are going to revolve around a theme. Do you think that we are going to spend a bunch of money? No!!!! We got on Pinterest and had a great time trying to figure out what we were going to make for cheap (as in less than $5, cheap). You can even layer different items of clothing for a quick no-sew fix. I have a Pinterest board dedicated to all things Halloween.
Swap costumes with another budget conscious momma.
I have done this a couple of times and it was awesome! I lent a Star Wars costume to a friend that had a son that was dying to be Darth Vader. The following year she lent us a Ninja Turtles costume. As long as it is someone you know will take care of your stuff (and return it), then this is a great money saving option!
Sell your old costumes to offset the price of new ones.
Remember those places that I suggested you search for used costumes? Those are also great places to unload your unwanted costumes! My warnings from before are also applicable here- only do what makes you feel safe. Like I said earlier, I will buy clearance outfits and sell them the following year. I also have bought costumes at a garage sale and sold them for more money.
Hopefully these tips made Halloween a little less frightening, at least to your budget! Do you have any other tips that I didn’t think of? If so, leave them in the comments!
Related: Check out Create Your Family Budget in 14 Easy Steps.
Halloween is not the only time a budget can be scary!