I am pretty cheap in a lot of areas. I love to get a good deal. Don't get me wrong I do spend money. I like designer clothes (although I buy them second hand) I drive a large SUV. My children go to a private school and are involved in sports and various lessons. All of these things are important to me. However one thing that I can never bring myself to spend any money on is Halloween costumes.
I am not anti-Halloween. I just can't see spending $20- to $50 dollars or more for a costume that will be worn in the dark for a couple of hours. Just in case you think I am full of it with the prices here are a few examples.
Target wasn't any cheaper.
This is also very expensive with six kids to dress up. Even with saving and handing down costumes, which we do do some. It would cost us about $100 for just the costumes. No thank you.
So we do alternative things to embrace a thrifty holiday. One of our strategies I already listed. We reuse costumes from one year to the next. Of course kids grow and nobody wants to be the same thing year after year. Enter strategy number two. We plan ahead and I shop garage sales and rummage sales in the summer. This is how we started our stash of costumes and also how I came up with baby D's costume for this year. More on that later. Strategy number three we look around the house for things we already have that might be used in different ways to add to our costume. One of the costumes I proposed to Miss A this year was Miss America. Her sister had her senior prom this year and we have a prom dress laying around. She rejected this but it was an idea. Enter strategy four. We brainstorm! I refuse to spend very much money and my children sometimes propose costumes that are either above my skill level or to expensive to implement. This lead to this years costumes. More on that later.
And finally strategy number five. We buy some stuff to use in our costumes that is either very inexpensive(think the dollar store) or can be used again throughout the year(sweat suits etc.).
Now some examples of how this works. Here are my kids all decked out from last year.
Now last year we had a 2 month old baby that I had had quite a few problems delivering and was not getting much sleep. My husband was also out of work and we had NO money. So we used only some of the strategies.
We will start with Miss A.
For this costume we used strategies number 4, brainstorm and number 3 shop the house. As you can probably tell the halo and wings are aluminum foil. The dress we already owned as well. It is an American Girl nightgown that I had previously bought at a yard sale.
Enter Mr. J. This costume we have had for years. It was given to me and I saved it. This was strategy number 2.
This is Mr. A wearing the same costume from the previous year. With
me kicking and screaming my objection the hubs took pity on the boy and bought this brand new on clearance for $5.00. This is strategy #1.
Then There is the blondie boy. I have no idea why he is crying. This is a strategies #2, #1. We originally bought this at a yard sale and we had used it for Mr. A previously.
Then there is Miss T. We bought this costume at our school rummage sale for $1.00. This implemented strategy #2.
Last but not least there is baby D. This bee costume was bought over the summer at a yard sale also implementing strategy #2.
So lets review.
1. Reuse from year to year.
2. Plan ahead and shop yard sales, rummage sales and store other peoples hand me downs.
3. Shop the house for things that might be used in different ways.
5. Buy inexpensively and buy stuff that can be used after the holiday.
Stay tuned to see how we will use these strategies for this year.
So how do you go about outfitting your kids for Halloween?
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