10 Great Ways To Save Money On Halloween Costumes

save money halloween costume

It’s that time of the year again with Halloween less than a month away. That means that you will soon need to decide on a costume, and the more time you take to prepare, the better chance you have of keeping down the costs associated with it. Here are some ways that you can save money on your Halloween costume this year (and here are some hints on how you can save on Halloween candy and Halloween decorations:

Make it Yourself

Halloween costumes are a great way to let your creativity flourish. After all, the point of a costume is to come up with something incredibly unique and creative. Instead of going out and spending a lot of money to buy a new costume, go through the clothing and materials you already own and see what you can make from scratch. Chances are you’ll find something that will let you make a great costume.

Reuse Costumes

If you have a couple of Halloween parties, why not reuse one costume? You don’t really need a different costume for each party, do you? Even better, if you have a couple of key costumes in your closet, switch them up every couple of years. There are a good number of costumes that never go out of style, so if you keep them in rotation over the years, you’re not only getting the most use possible out of the costume, but you’re saving money.

Borrow or Swap

If you have a friend who has a similar style or friends who have kids who are the same age as your children, you should think about borrowing or swapping costumes. This will help you extend the range of costumes in your closet and will also save you from having to buy new costumes each year. Just make sure the costumes will fit or are appropriate before you go ahead and switch. You don’t want to end up with something you won’t end up wearing.

Buy from Thrift Stores

Thrift stores usually have a wide variety of clothing and accessories and many of the items in thrift stores can be used for unique costumes. If there’s an old dress or suit hanging on the racks, why not create a period piece costume? If there are a couple of interesting looking accessories, why not pick them up and add them to your costume? Most of the items in thrift stores will be significantly cheaper than anything you’ll find in a department store or online. Before you go hunting around for a new costume, check out your local thrift store for ideas.


As with most holidays, many stores give out coupons or have big sales around Halloween. Compare prices between stores to see who has the best deal before going out to buy your costume. Even a 10% off discount is better than nothing. You may even be lucky enough to get a store that as a 50% off coupon!

Face Paint

If you have children, one of the best and cheapest costumes is applying face paint. It might seem like a lot of time and energy to get the face paint on, but it’ll be worth it. Face paint is about $10 a package. You can make you kid – or yourself – into any animal you want, for instance. Draw a dog, tiger, or bunny face and then dress in appropriately colored clothes and you’re ready to go! It’s an easy costume at a low price.

Buy Used

Many people buy a great Halloween costume and then never wear it again. It’s a shame to spend so much money on something you’re never going to use. Luckily, people who choose to sell those costumes are helping you out. If you can pick up a secondhand costume for next to nothing, you’re saving a lot of money. For instance, if someone is selling a costume they bought for $50 and you pay $10, you’re saving $40. That’s a great deal you can’t pass up!

Shop Temporary Stores

You’ve probably noticed the temporary Halloween stores that appear once September rolls around. Many of these stores close the week after Halloween and won’t open again for a year. These stores are a great place to buy costumes since their prices are usually much cheaper than year-round costume stores or department stores.

Rent a Costume

If you’re looking to have an elaborate costume or even a simple one that you don’t want to own, consider renting a costume. You’ll pay a fraction of the cost you would if you had bought it and you don’t have to deal with upkeep the next time you want to use it. Costume rental is definitely a great idea for someone who’s going to multiple parties and doesn’t want to commit to buying a costume.

Buy After the Holiday

Finally, don’t forget to prepare for next year. Many costumes are incredibly cheap the week after Halloween. If you’re someone who likes to think ahead for the coming year, check out the after-Halloween sales. Whether it’s a department store, a specialty Halloween store, or online, you might find amazing costumes for up to 90% off. You might have to wait an entire year to wear the costume, but at least you’re not paying an arm and a leg for it!

(Photo courtesy of dan taylor)

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4 Responses to 10 Great Ways To Save Money On Halloween Costumes

  1. Nina says:

    Buying a costume is just not kosher in my opinion! THe whole idea of halloween was to MAKE a costume since I was a kid. The best are clever, and don’t take elaborate supplies. Try these on:

    early pregnant Kate Middleton (wear a tiara and a simple dark colored dress stuffed with a small pillow and carry a diaper bag marked ‘Prince To Be’)

    Undecided voter: wear both OBama or Romney campaign stuff, this should be really easy with all the hats, pins, stickers, signs and you name it out there

  2. jay says:

    Agree with your list! Our kids’ favorites were either homemade (sewn or pulled together) or thrift store finds. Can’t imagine anything less memorable than grabbing something off the shelf at your local CVS or Walmart.
    As with all memorable events, you have to invest some time and thought.

  3. Gailete says:

    The eleventh option of course, is to not participate in Halloween, trick or treating. Many people are starting to not participate while more and more go whole hog. I believe it is one of the biggest cash cow holiday’s these days.

    By the way, we still have plenty of Halloween sewing pattern costumes at our store http://MoonwishesStore.ecrater.com if you would like to take a look.

  4. DefinitionSavings says:

    Great list! Sometimes waiting last minute to go costume shopping can also save you money. You don’t get the best pick ,but a lot of stores mark down their Halloween costumes the days before or day of.

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