Costumes on a Dime


11 Ways to Get Your Kid’s Costume for Less

There is always a sense of excitement in the air when October rolls around. Costumes are proudly displayed in stores, candy adorns the grocery aisles and kids seem to talk endlessly about what they are going to be. But in a mother’s mind, thoughts of too much candy and expensive costumes loom. This year, why not take the thrill of Halloween into your own hands? Find a cheaper costumer (or gasp, make it!), sort through your child’s candy bag (or eat it!) and embrace those little voices that beg to share their latest fad with you. Here are 11 ways to find a cheaper costume for this year’s Halloween:

1. If costumes are too expensive for you this year, check out the regular toy aisles for every day dress up outfits. Halloween costumes can be marked up just because, so go for one of your kiddo’s favorite heroines and reuse it at your next dress up party.

2. Consignment stores are a great place to find gently used costumes.

3. Call a friend and swap your child’s Hulk outfit for their Ironman one.

4. Shop online. Amazon and EBay are both great websites to use when you are looking for more affordable options.

5. Make your own. Take ideas from Pinterest and find items you have laying around the house. Make a list of the items you do not have and grab them the next time you are out so that you are not worrying about it.

6. Post a message on Facebook to let friends and family know that you are looking for costumes. Borrow one or “rent” one for a few dollars and save yourself a trip to the store.
7. Garage sales are one of the best places to find costumes. Seriously. Especially newborn to 12 months age where they cannot really be worn again as dress up outfits. At that age, kiddos wear them once and that is it. Take advantage of one mom’s love for buying expensive tutus and turn it into one of your best saving money moments.

8. Salvation Army, Goodwill, and children’s secondhand stores and consignment events in your area will all be carrying costumes and props at a discounted price.

9. Price match. This is a big one. Some stores like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart will actually match any competitor’s lower price. Most stores will adjust the price of an item if it has gone on sale within 14 days of when it was purchased. It never hurts to ask.

10. Lay-a-Way. If your child absolutely has to have the most expensive or one-of-a-kind costume that cannot be found anywhere, ask the store if lay-a-way is an option.

11. The number one tip for getting the most ridiculously priced costumes? Snag ‘em up right after Halloween for the following year. Most costumes are marked down by 70-90% off their original prices.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor this year as your kids walk out the door in their new-to-them, cheap-to-you costumes. Less time worrying about money means more time diving into the candy.

Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist and stay-at-home mom to Dylan, Hannah and Ellie Rose. She plans on getting her kids the costumes they want this year without breaking the bank. For more parenting tips visit Meagan at


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