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Halloween Costumes

4 Ways to NOT Break the Bank this Halloween

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t believe that it is Fall already! Time really flies when you are having fun during the summer. But since Fall has hit, and we are now in the month of October, you can guess what has been on the kids’ brains, right? Halloween!


As somebody who has been pretty frugal about “stuff” most of my life, this is my initial go-to when it comes to Halloween. On top of that, we are working really hard to teach our kids the value of a dollar, so we want them to realize just how much Halloween costumes can cost if they don’t think of other options.

Re-purposing means that you get to flex your creative muscle and dig into what you might already have at your disposal.

Start by going through all of the shoes and clothes in your house, just to take a quick inventory of your options. Don’t forget to take a quick peak at any (and ALL) dress up costumes, toys, plastic weapons, etc. when you are doing this inventory.

What ideas can the kids come up with, just based on what you already have, to create their own costumes? Can they mix and match different items to create something new, and really COOL, for their costume this year, without having to go out and buy anything else?

If you can’t find everything you need at home, then consider going to a local second hand store first, like Goodwill.

I know that we will be heading there this week to look for a trench coat for one of the boys who wants to create a Fortnight character. This same child will need to find some white duct tape to make his gas pack backpack for the costume, so that will be another stop. But he has already pieced together the rest of his costume from things we have around the house, which is pretty darn sweet!


Another great way to save on Halloween costumes is to share previously used costumes with the younger kids. Since we have 5 kids, this is something that we regularly practice. They are different ages and sizes, so sharing is another way that we keep our costs low.

I realize that it doesn’t seem fair to the younger kids, but we do something to spice up the old costumes so that they aren’t exactly the same.

Take for example, this year our youngest girl is thinking about wearing a costume that our oldest girl wore a few years ago. But to make it her own, she wants to add some fairy hair, different shoes, wings (which we happen to have a plethora of, for some reason) and some makeup. That way the costume isn’t the same as when our other child wore it, but it doesn’t cost us anything to create it.

I love how they are willing to share with each other, but also how they work so well together to create something new.


Almost every year, we end up at one of the local craft stores during the Halloween season. This trip is specifically to find the final touches to costumes, if we don’t already have them.

The things that I am usually looking for include:

  • Fabric
  • Face makeup
  • Glitter
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Pipecleaners (these things really come in handy for all sorts of applications)

Since we have bought a lot of items in the past couple of years, my hope is that we don’t have to go again this year. I feel like we have a pretty good stock of all of the aforementioned items, so that will cut down on our Halloween costs. Which I am pretty darn happy about!

Clearance Halloween costumes

Once I have exhausted the other 3 options, then to the Clearance section I go. More often than not, this where you will find some of the more generic costumes.

Sometimes you will get lucky and find some of the more previously popular costumes, but they aren’t popular this year. The challenge with this is convincing children that they really want to be something they don’t, because I would rather spend $10.00 on a costume, if I absolutely have to, versus $40.00. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on a Halloween costume!

The next challenge, IF you can find something they like and are willing to be, is finding the right size. Now THAT can be the biggest challenge of all with this particular costume option.

Overall, I am sure that you and your kids will come up with some really fantastic options this year. Whether you choose to

  • Re-purpose
  • Share
  • Get Creative
  • Go to the Clearance section

Or some combination of all of the options, I am excited to see what you come up with and how much you spent. So please let me know how things worked out for your Halloween costumes this year.

I know that my goal is to spend under $20.00 TOTAL for all 5 kids. Let’s see how close I come to that goal, because I know the holidays are coming right after this!