Halloween Costumes Don’t Need to Be Scary-Expensive

Wed, 17 Oct 2012

Halloween is an opportunity to let your imagination be your guide to become something or someone that you only dream (or have nightmares) about. The challenge for many is sticking to a budget. Here are four tricks for having sweet Halloween costumes that don’t break the bank:


1. See the Big Picture

Think about the whole look first. It is really tempting to go to a store and just browse for a Halloween costume, but you may end up overspending. You may have to purchase the costume, accessories, makeup, props, etc. Do you know if you have matching shoes?  


2. Work with What You’ve Got

Take inventory of what you already have to get your creative juices flowing. One year, I had an excessive amount of craft supplies and decided that I wanted to be “partly cloudy with a chance of rain”. I know you’re thinking…weird, right? Well I won most creative costume for black leggings, a black turtleneck, some blue felt rain drops on the turtleneck, and a puff of cotton on my shoulder. Total cost - $0. Do you have a pink wig from two years ago? Great! Throw on some awesome makeup and go as Jem to be truly outrageous. Do you have duct tape, a lemon, a hair pin, and a flannel shirt?  Way-to-go, you just McGyver’ed yourself into an awesome outfit.


3. Look for Deals

If you have something specific in mind, try waiting until the post-Halloween sale to purchase your costume at 75% off. Or you can become a member of a bargain site like GrouponThis is a third party link. Please review the third party content guidelines by clicking here for more details. or LivingSocialThis is a third party link. Please review the third party content guidelines by clicking here for more details.. These are great resources for daily coupons, deals, and steals, like the one I just saw for $7 pet costumes. My pug will be dressed in her traditional lobster costume, but if I was in the market for a pet costume, they would have gotten my business. Check out our earlier post on how to navigate daily deals sites.


4. Nearly New is New to You

Check out the local thrift stores. You never know what you will find. Maybe that $11 powder blue leisure suit is just what the doctor ordered. Perhaps that ugly sweater that is just too hideous for words can make a perfect Bill Cosby costume. You can also arrange a swap with your friends. Set a time to bring all possible costumes and accessories to one location, then borrow and compile the best outfit you can. I had a friend with an adult size pair of pink pajamas… the ones that are all one piece with the feet. She made an amazing Energizer Bunny.


In a nutshell, a little creativity and resourcefulness goes much further on Halloween than a lot of money. And who knows, maybe your creativity can earn you some prize money for best costume. It’s always the wacky ones that win, not the store bought costume in a bag. Does anyone have any costume ideas they are particularly proud of? Don’t be scared to comment below!