Halloween Costumes for Adults & Kids: CHEAP!

Cheap Halloween Scarecrow

Halloween Costumes for Adults & Kids: CHEAP!

Thank you Kim at Everyday Coupon Queen for the inspiration and the photo!

Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas:What to wear, what to wear? With Halloween just a few days away, many of us are still on the fence about what we will be wearing come October 31st. As for myself, I will be wearing the same costume I wore last year as I handed out candy to a few neighborhood children. I’ll be dressed as an aging southern belle, minus the hoop skirt, parasol and mint julep! Some of you are probably scratching your heads and thinking, “Doesn’t she dress that way EVERY day?” I beg to differ. Most days, I dress as an over-worked, under-appreciated mother of three who HAPPENS to be an aging southern belle- minus the hoop skirt, parasol, etc… See the difference? I thought as much!

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will spend $79.82 on decorations, costumes and candy, up from $72.31 last year, with total Halloween spending expected to reach $8.0 billion overall. Of those buying or making costumes, the average person will spend $28.65 on costumes this year, up slightly from $26.52 in 2011.

“By the time Halloween rolls around each year it’s safe to say Americans have already spent two months preparing for one of the fastest-growing and most widely-loved holidays of the year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers know that when it comes to Halloween, new costume ideas for children, adults and pets, and the latest in home and yard décor top peoples’ shopping list. We expect retailers to stock their shelves well ahead of time to capture the attention of eager holiday shoppers.”

However, if you are among those of us who would rather not spend a lot of money on a Halloween costume you or your children will possibly only wear once, then this column is for you. Below are a few tips and ideas designed to spare your wallet without spoiling your Halloween fun. Check out these cheap Halloween costume ideas:

  1. Decide on a budget and stick to it. I think that says it all without further explanation.
  2. Be flexible in your costume choice. The more open you are to wearing most any type of Halloween costume, the more money you’ll save. If it doesn’t matter which costume you wear, then choose the least expensive one in the store.
  3. Search consignment shops. You can find some great deals on used costumes for just pennies on the dollar. In truth, most of the costumes in consignment shops have only been worn once or twice.
  4. Search eBay, Craigslist, thredUP.com, Overstock.com, and the classified ads. At ebay and Craigslist, you can often negotiate a price, so this is a wonderful way to get cheap Halloween costume ideas and costumes. For those of you who are new to thredUP, it’s an online organization that connects parents so that they can swap children’s items. Each year they offer a costume swap for $5.00! This money is basically to cover the shipping and handling! You can swap your child’s costume out for someone else’s costume. It’s such a great deal!
  5. Use last year’s costume. There’s no rule that says you have to be a different character each Halloween. If you can still fit into the Papa Smurf costume from last year, then unleash your inner little blue guy again this October 31st! One year, my youngest son went as Zorro to his school’s fall festival. The next year, I took the black hat, used a staple gun to turn it into a tri-corn and transformed Zorro into a Revolutionary War minute man!
  6. One of the most cost-effective cheap Halloween costume ideas- Borrow a costume or wear a hand-me-down costume. Since we have 3 boys, it’s a sure bet that each of my sons has been Winnie-The-Pooh, Buzz Lightyear or his gun toting pal, sheriff Woody, at least once! If you can recycle your costumes among family or friends, it will definitely help save on the cost, especially if you have several children in your family.
  7. Shop after-Halloween sales. When my boys were really young, my mother-in-law lived near a Disney store outlet. Each year, after Halloween, she would pop into the Disney outlet and pick up several classic Disney costumes for the boys. She bought classics simply because they are the types of costumes that never go out of style. So even though we might have had to wait 2 years before any of the boys were big enough to wear some of the costumes, they eventually did! If you see a costume that you know you or your child will eventually wear, then buy it at an after-Halloween sale and hang it up with your other Halloween costumes to use next year.
  8. Make your own costumes. If you have a sewing machine and a few skills, you can make a Halloween costume. You can get patterns at most stores that sell sewing machines and at online stores. Even if you don’t sew, you can use fusible webbing instead of thread to create a costume very easily.
  9. Use items found around your house, in your closet, or a sports uniform. If you have a child that takes karate lessons, plays football, is a member of a baton twirling squad, or on a cheerleading competition squad, have them wear those sports uniforms as their Halloween costume. One year, when my middle son was playing YMCA midget fall football, he just wore his football uniform to trick-or-treat in. A year or two later, when I told everyone that we would be making costumes from items we already had around the house, this same child went out to garage and came back inside with an axe! When I asked him what he was doing, he replied, “Getting my costume. I’m going as an axe murderer!” Needless to say, the axe went back in the garage and my inventive son went as a baseball player!!
  10. Give children a limited choice of costumes. Instead asking your child, “What would you like to be for Halloween?” ask her, “Would you rather be a cheerleader or a black cat for Halloween?” By limiting choices, you’ll keep costs under control.

In addition to the tips above, I thought it would be fun to offer up a few cheap Halloween costume Ideas for adults & Children too. This is a small list of cheap Halloween costume ideas that can easily be made from items you probably already have around your home. Best of all, they are inexpensive and don’t involve an axe! Check them out:

Halloween Costumes for Adults & Kids: CHEAP!

  • Nerdy American Tourist: All you need for this costume is a loud, bright Hawaiian shirt, a pair of shorts (or long pants if it’s cold outside), a big, wide straw hat, tennis shoes, tall socks, a fanny pack, some zinc paste to put on your nose and a camera to hang around your neck.
  • Scarecrow: Grab an oversized flannel shirt, a pair of old blue jeans (you can add real patches onto your jeans or just pin some square fabric onto the knees of your jeans or even draw some on for added effect), and some rope. Stuff toilet paper, paper towels or plastic bags into your shirt and jeans for some bulk. Next, have some stray pieces of straw poking out, so it looks like you’re completely full of straw, instead toilet paper. Tie the rope around your ankles and wrists to keep the stuffing from falling out. Lastly, slap a straw hat and some makeup on, and bam! You’ll be Wizard of Oz worthy!
  • Miss America: Wondering what to do with an old bridesmaids’ dress or prom gown? Make a Miss America costume out of it. Simply add an inexpensive plastic tiara, some long costume gloves, high heels, and some fake costume jewelry to your gown. To complete your look, take a wide ribbon and write “Miss America” on it in glitter, then pin it together and slide it over your head for your Miss America banner!
  • Static Cling: I know you are thinking I have lost my mind, but take my word for it; this really is a cute and creative costume. Just wear all white or black (pants and top, like a sweat suit), and using safety pins, simply pin anything and everything to yourself. For example: socks, underwear, fabric softener sheets, a tank top, etc…
  • Walking Laundry Basket: Yes, I am stuck on laundry! For this costume, just grab an old plastic laundry basket and cut a waist-sized hole in the middle. Slip it on and fill the basket with a few pieces of lightweight clothing items. Pin other pieces of clothing to the shirt you’re wearing, and top it off with some accessories! Suggestions: A hat made from an old jumbo laundry bottle or a bleach bottle, a fabric softener ball on your piece of yarn for a necklace, a few fabric softeners pinned to your shirt as well, etc…
  • Black-Eyed Peas: Put on a white outfit (sweat suit or white shirt and white jeans) and black tennis shoes. Then, either draw on or cut out and pin (or glue) felt black “P’s” all over your white outfit. Lastly, color one of your eyes black, and you are officially” black-eyed peas.”

I hope I’ve given you a starting point and some clever cheap Halloween Costume Ideas ideas to incorporate into your costume planning for Halloween. By making a plan and sticking to a budget, you’ll be able to capture the fun of the holiday without sacrificing your hard-earned money in the process.


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