Simple Halloween Costumes

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Simple Halloween Costumes & How to Make Halloween Decorations

Simple Halloween Costumes and How to Make Halloween Decorations
Need simple Halloween costumes that will both excite your kids and appease your budget?

Read on for homemade Halloween costume ideas and info on how to make Halloween decorations.

With my help you can continue your frugal homemaking even during this holiday.

Once kids reach a certain age, the excitement around Halloween grows more and more. Not only do they want to go out trick or treating, they want to do so in cool costumes.

They may even make requests. And sometimes those requests can have the frugal spirit in you trembling with fear.

Alas, you no longer have to worry! There are plenty of ways that you can send your kids off in great costumes without breaking the bank.

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Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Make Your Own

You knew I was going to say this, right? The top way to save money on your kids' Halloween costumes would be to make it yourself.

If you have any talent with needle and thread, you can make Halloween costumes that are not just cheaper than what you could probably buy in the stores - you get costumes that will be more memorable and meaningful. And, of course, an added benefit (especially if you are truly talented) is that you can make it personalized.

Most costumes in stores are going to be pretty...predictable. A Chewbacca costume in Maine is pretty much going to be the same as a Chewbacca costume in Puerto Rico. While there are a lot of really unique costumes out there, when you make one yourself, the sky is the limit as far as customizations.

Without the price tag that such alterations would cost were you to seek out a professional. The tradeoff is that making your own costume can be time consuming, so make sure you get started early enough to be finished with your creation in time for Halloween.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Get Creative

If you are going to make your own costume, don't be afraid to think outside of the box. While it is easy (not to mention tempting) to go as something well-known and contemporary, it could be great fun to create a costume that no one has ever thought of. Go to Goodwill, grab a couple of random things and see what your mind comes up with. It's an exercise in creativity and frugality!

My son one year wanted to be grapes for Halloween. So, we got him a green t-shirt, bought a pack of safety pins and a bag of green balloons, and pinned them all over him! (It was great until he sat down.) Think outside the box.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Use What You Have

Another way to save money on Halloween costumes is to use what you have. Look around the house for some inspiration. Check out your crafting materials. Rummage through your kids playroom for props. Browse through your closet. Even household items are fair game. For example, your child could walk around with an apron, an oven mitt, saucepan, and some faux pearl earrings. You have just transformed your child into Martha Stewart.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Outfits Turned Costume

Speaking of rummaging through the closet, have you considered the possibilities for costumes in there? Is your child on any sports teams? Are they a member of the Girl Scouts or Club Scouts? Practice martial arts?

All of these uniforms are fair game for Halloween costumes. You can save yourself 100% of your money by just having these uniforms do double duty as costumes. If your child still wants something different, you can suggest cool but cheap additions to the uniform so that they feel in a more festive mood. Even things as simple as a wig or creepy makeup could make all the difference in the world.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Shop Late

This may sound weird, but shopping late is another great way to save money on Halloween costumes. Especially if you are not too particular on what your children dress up as.

If you shop for costumes the day before (or even the day of ) Halloween, you will benefit from deeply discounted prices because, at this point the stores are just trying to sell whatever they have left over. By shopping at this point, you can get costumes for up to 75% off the retail price.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Shop Early

With that in mind, another great way to save money on Halloween costumes is to shop well in advance. I mean a year in advance. After Halloween costumes are at their lowest price as stores are trying to get rid of their inventory. This is when you will find the best deals on costumes. If you see something you love and it is a size that your child will be able to fit into NEXT year, grab it! That way, when Halloween rolls around again, you will already be prepared.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Costume Swaps

Another great way to save money on costumes is to swap with other people. Gather together your old costumes and swap with a couple of your friends, family members, or other moms. You can even work with a group of moms to organize a large costume swap so that everyone will have a wider variety of options to choose from.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Keep Old Costumes

If you have multiple children, a great practice would be to hold on to things that your older kids grow out of. That way, as the younger kids grow they will have clothes waiting for them. The same practice applies to costumes. After Halloween is over, wash and store the costumes to retrieve when your younger kids are old enough to fit into them.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Bargain Hunting

I would be very ashamed of myself if I did not mention the ancient art of bargain hunting. Frugal moms everywhere practice this art on a regular basis, and Halloween is certainly no exception. From yard sale and garage sales to consignment shops and thrift stores, the frugally-minded can find treasures among the things that other people had no further use for.

And the great thing about yard sales and garage sales is that you are in a better position to negotiate for a lower price - just be careful that you don't take your negotiations into the realm of the unreasonable.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Hit the Web

When bargain hunting, it is easy to remember places like Goodwill and your local consignment shops. However, one should never overlook the bargains that can be found online. If you know where to look you can find great, deeply discounted costumes that your kids will love. You can even find some for free.

Some examples of places to look for free and cheap Halloween costumes would be Freecycle, Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, and ThredUP. You can even simply do a web search for “cheap Halloween costumes” and browse to your heart's content. And then, if you so wish, you can turn around and sale what you bought.

Simple Halloween Costumes Tip: Sell to Buy

Speaking of selling things, another great method to save money on Halloween costumes would be to sell some of your things and then use some of the money to buy a new costume. All of the ways listed above for buying costumes are also ways that you can sell your old costumes (and a variety of other things).

How to Make Halloween Decorations

Ok, so now we have discussed the costumes, now let's talk a little bit about décor. If you are planning to have a Halloween party or you are one of the families who try to trick out your yard on Halloween to impress or terrify the neighborhood kids, you can also do that frugally. Here are some tips on how to save on Halloween decorations:
  1. Make your own. From carving your own jack-o-lanterns to setting up a creepy sensory table (for example blindfolding kids to feel spaghetti worms and olive eyeballs), you can definitely have a little fun with your guests without breaking the bank.
  2. Avoid the big stores and stick to places like your local Dollar Tree to stock up on decorations.
  3. Also remember the tips from above - shop late or shop early.

Saving on Halloween Candy

Now on to the true reason people get excited about Halloween - the candy. If you are one of the houses that passes out candy (either because you love seeing all the kids in their neat costumes or because you fear your home being egged or teepee'd), there are some ways that you can save on Halloween candy.
  1. Buy in bulk at discount stores rather than going to the big stores.
  2. Go for the generic brands as opposed to the name brand candies. You may think that the kids would care, but honestly, they don't. Although it is exciting to see full-size brand name bars, they generally care more about how much candy they have at the end of the night.
  3. Speaking of kids with loads of candy, another thing you can do to save money is to hand out the candy yourself. That way you can stretch your money further. The people who just set their candy out for kids to take at will are the ones who end up having to refill the candy container several times during the evening.
Have any tips on how you can save money during Halloween? Share them here:

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Sneak Peak at Next Week

Like this section on simple Halloween costumes and decor ideas? Next week we'll be talking about how to save money on transportation.

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