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5 Cheap Halloween Costume ideas for when you’re on a tight budget

Halloween Pumpkin

Happy Halloween! I hope you have something fun and safe planned for tonight. Many of you are probably like us and are trying to save a few dollars as we head into the Christmas season. As much as I enjoy each holiday, I often feel frustrated that it seems like holidays demand extra expenditures.

Halloween can definitely get expensive after buying decorations, costumes for the whole family, food for parties and treats for the trick-or-treaters. Personally, I’d like to celebrate holidays in a less expensive style.

Maybe that makes me a Scrooge (oops, wrong holiday), but maybe it doesn’t have to. A little creativity can go a long way. Our two girls are still pretty young, so they are pretty easily satisfied. Here are some Halloween costume ideas for creating something fun without much expense.

Open up the dress-up box

Wearing a costume that the kids already have and play with may not be the most exciting Halloween costumer, but it saves a lot of money. Using what you already have is also a great way to teach your kids to be frugal. Just because it’s a holiday, doesn’t mean that you have to start spending money. We can be content with what we already have.

Also, a little bit of make-up can take an ordinary costume and transform it into something new and exciting. For example, a princess or cowboy outfit with some white face paint and a little bit of red for blood turns your kids into the undead. So consider spending a little money on some make-up and then just use what you already have.

School and sports uniforms

This is kind of like opening up the dress-up box for teenagers. If your older kids are on any type of sports team (including cheerleading), then there’s your costume right there. I’ve seen football players dress up their uniform with just a crazy wig.

Borrow outfits from the neighbors

This money saving technique is one of my favorites. In part, because it works for almost any age. My oldest loves to be a kitty for Halloween (and just about any other day that we let her dawn the outfit). What’s great is that we got the outfit from a neighbor. In our case, we had originally just borrowed it, but they later said we could just keep it.

As a teenager, I borrowed my neighbor’s fatigues for two or three years in a row. Even as a teenager or adult, many of your friends or neighbors may have outfits that you can borrow. So don’t make shopping for a new costume at a store your first choice. Try shopping at your friend’s house first.

Hit the second hand stores

I’ll admit, I don’t care for shopping at second hand stores too much. It’s probably an ego thing. But for an outfit that I’m going to wear just once a year, hello thrift stores! What’s even better is that I usually donate the clothes right back to the store afterwards. So I tell myself that I’m actually spending a few dollars on charity.

Start sewing

If you own a sewing machine, then you can really get creative. But even if you don’t, just a needle and some thread can go a long way. For example, that kitty outfit that we borrowed from our neighbor was just a black leotard with a black cat tail stitched to the back. The mother had quickly and easily done it herself.

Make-up can be the only thing you buy

You are probably noticing a theme by now – just be creative. Usually, if you use some pieces of a costume that you already own, borrow something from a neighbor and spend a little money on make-up, then you can put together a great costume that your kids will love. And little kids often like going as the same thing each year. The make-up kit that we bought has lasted us two Halloweens so far.

Let me know in the comments other ways that you have saved money around Halloween time.

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