Halloween costumes

Fall is in the air, the holidays are coming people-and Halloween is the first batter up.  Every year I struggle with Halloween. The trick or treating is a cinch, but spending money on an outfit my children will only wear once-well that scares me. Boo! I am way to frugal to go out and buy an overpriced costume, and I am far from a mother who lovingly creates homemade costumes every year.  Here are some things that have helped me save on Halloween costumes throughout the years, and hopefully they might just help you too.

Look at what you already have

Is your child in martial arts, dance, or other activities that involve specific attire?  If yes, you could use some of that attire as a costume?  My son is a proud cub scout and my daughter a ballerina, so that already gives me two options for costumes this year (not that they are going to want to wear them)

Buy clothing with Halloween in mind

Buying warm, practical clothing every year for fall is a must for growing children, so why not keep your eyes open for apparel that might also make all or part of a costume.  Rainbow striped tights not only look cute with dresses, they would also add a nice touch to a fairy costume.  A rain jacket could be used not just for rain protection, but also for a fireman costume. The same could be said for rain boots.  Functional tutu skirts are the new "in thing" for toddler girls, which could also be used as a ballerina costume.  You get the point- "think Halloween" in your fall shopping adventures and you may just come across a great costume idea!

Repeat after me- Dollar Store, Dollar Store, Dollar Store.

Two years ago I went into the dollar store for some party supplies and came out with a warrior Halloween Costume for my son.  I bought the mask, the shield, and the body armor for a whopping total of $3.00.  I paired the accessories with a black long sleeve shirt, pants, boots, and a little warrior paint on the face (all of which I already had)- and my son was as happy as a warrior who had just won a battle against the enemy.

Borrow and Swap.

Ask friends or family members if they have any outgrown or spare costumes you could borrow.  Also, if you are a member of Facebook, check to see if there are any local groups for swapping.  If you are local to Cape Cod, check out the Cape Cod Mom Resale Group. *Please be sure that you read the rules, terms, or conditions of any Facebook group you join.

Accessories can be Everything.

You don't need to buy an entire costume to make things legit. Simple accessories combined with everyday apparel also make for great costumes. A pair of butterfly wings, a tutu, a cowboy hat, a chefs hat and apron. You can pair all of these accessories with clothing to make a great costume.

Online Shopping.

There are quite a few Halloween costume discount stores online.  If you do decide to shop online for costumes, don't forget to compare prices with similar sites, visit Retailmenot.com to look for coupon codes, and shop through Ebates.com to make money off your purchase.  Although not really supported by Retail Me Not or Ebates, Craigslist and Ebay are also great online resources for inexpensive costumes.

How do you save money on Halloween costumes every year? Do you make them yourself? Borrow from others? What are some of your tips and tricks?

For more money saving tips and tricks, visit me at my main site The Savings Momma!

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