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Saving on Halloween Costumes


Saving on Halloween Costumes
It’s a weird, weird Halloween this year. No typical Halloween parties, no in-person school celebrations, hardly any trick-or-treating. But we still let our kids pick costumes, because my goodness we can use some fun.
But just because we gave them the go-ahead doesn’t mean we’re willing to let them go over-the-top with whatever costume they want. We still stick to a budget. It was fun to buy brand-new costumes when they were babies, but we’ve learned there are some easy, non-scary tricks for saving on Halloween costumes.

Thrift Stores

We’ve always scored big at Goodwill or Salvation Army for costumes. Starting early October, you’ll start to see racks of Halloween costumes all set to go. Last year we walked away with a Darth Vader costume, light sabers, and more all for under $10. This year our little vampire found her perfect dress and cape for $6. And if you’re getting more creative, all you have to do is peruse the normal racks of clothes to creatively make things work.


Halloween costumes only get worn a handful of times, so it makes total sense to use them again or pass them on. We’ve had more than one witch in our crew, and cousins have generously made us crocodiles and Cinderellas for past Halloween. Two years ago we splurged on a new Batman costume from Costco for my son (the built-in muscles were so hilarious they made me weak). Luckily it was a bit baggy, and luckily he’s still a huge Batman fan. So when he asked to be him again, I was all for it.

Make it, Sew it

Making your own costume can sometimes add up, but if you’re careful it doesn’t have to be. I’m not an amazing seamstress. In fact, in the past I’ve been guilty of hot gluing fabric together for Halloween costumes. But my 10-year-old has gotten really into sewing, and she was really interested in making her own costume this year.

She’s reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan and has been getting Greek mythology books from the library. So she decided she wanted to be a Greek goddess, and she narrowed it down to Artemis (because she looks tough with a bow and arrow). First she made a bow using string and a stick from the yard. Then we headed to JoAnns with coupons in hand and got some inexpensive muslin and some gold Christmas ribbons that were 40% off. It all totaled $8. She and I sewed it with only some machine malfunctions. I see the imperfections in the finished project, but she is over-the-moon about it and so proud. That’s a total win.

Find Your Own Way

You can even take it a step farther and just stop buying costumes every year. A friend has four boys and only buys costumes for them every other year. On the off year, she tells them to raid the dress-up bin, ask a friend if they can borrow one, or figure something else out.
Hopefully you’re finding ways for saving on Halloween costumes. Whatever you’re up to this year, I hope this weekend is a fun break from reality. Happy Halloween!

One Comment

  • Reply Klm |

    One child wanted a new one this year, and the other is using a dress up bin costume that was a birthday gift a few years ago. And I love the idea of swapping with friends. Our local parents FB group also has a buy/sell/trade offshoot where people sell their gently used stuff. It tilts strongly towards princess costumes, but they’re usually $3-$4.

So, what do you think ?