Halloween is right around the corner! And you know what that means – your little ones will be clamoring for one of those ultra expensive costumes from one of the big box stores. My oldest has his heart set on a Star Wars Storm Trooper costume that is priced at a whopping $49.95. Eek!!! Sorry, hon – that is just NOT happening!
I know that finances are tough for many these days, so the scary prices I’m seeing when I’m out and about inspired me to seek out some ways to help you save on costumes for your little ones. With just a little creativity, you can still create a costume to be proud of on the cheap!
- Make your own costume. This is probably the most obvious way to save some cents. ALL YOU magazine has some cute ones with detailed instructions and templates included. Parenting magazine has some great no-sew costumes too! Don’t forget to raid your closets. You probably have the makings of a great costume already on hand. Pick up some great, cheap accessories from the dollar store/section, and you’re ready to go!
- Reuse costumes from prior years. We’ve saved all of our costumes through the years. Before we take the kids out shopping for a new costume, we “shop” what we already have. It’s very likely that they may have rediscovered a love for Batman or firemen and will be thrilled to wear a costume from a few years back (assuming it still fits). Or you can recycle them through the ranks. For example, we have an adorable Old Navy frog costume that we have more than gotten our money’s worth out of. It’s a running tradition in our family for baby’s first Halloween that will be carried on by baby #5 this year.
- Organize a costume swap with your friends or share with friends. Surely many of them have barely used costumes and would be more than open to trading them for another gently used costume rather than paying big bucks for a brand new one. Or perhaps their children will be Trick-or-Treating on a different night than yours and they’d be willing to split the cost of a new costume.
- Buy used costumes. Thrift stores are a great place to find items to use for costumes. Old party dresses and funky suits can be used to create a unique costume that your child will be excited to wear. Consignment shops are a great place to find gently used costumes as well, but you’ll need to start shopping now because the best ones go quickly! Other sources to check would be Craigslist and eBay.
- Shop the clearance sections after Halloween or the dollar stores/sections this year to save big next year. You can find costumes at rock bottom prices in the week following Halloween. Stock up for the following year. I’ve even bought clearanced costumes at fabulous prices for the girls’ dress-up box.
We’re actually going to be doing a combination of many of the above suggestions this year. My oldest is getting a new Storm Trooper costume, but it definitely will not be the $49.95 version. We’ll be searching out a MUCH cheaper version. My five-year-old DS wants to reuse the Darth Vader costume that my oldest wore last year, so that’s free! My four-year-old DD wants to be Barbie from Barbie & the Diamond Castle, and I found a reasonably priced version of this. Our two-year-old DD I believe is going to wear the Tinker Bell costume that my older DD wore the past two years and actually was a hand-me-down to start. (Thanks, Chrissy!) And the baby is going to be the much loved frog, of course.
How are you planning to save on Halloween costumes this year? I’d love to hear your suggestions!