Monday, October 11, 2010

Thrifty Easy Halloween Costumes

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.

Source: Halloween Costumes

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?

Linking up to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm


  1. Great job on those thrifty costumes. Every time this month (won't say how many times I've been) that I have visited the Goodwill they have Halloween costumes for dirt cheap!

  2. Great job on the costumes. I made my daughters costumes every year since she was one. I totally enjoyed it. I couldn't think about buying it brand new. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am not into all the Halloween stuff anymore. When I was young, I enjoyed it. Michelle, if you have time, drop by blog today. I posted my award. Thanks again.

  4. Great job! They look awesome. There are so many great ideas for inspiration out there that it makes it pretty easy to do homemade these days :) Happy Halloween!!!

  5. Great costumes. I love that pink poodle one. My family has used all those strategies, plus one. Use sleep pants, t-shirts and sweats, so that the costume can become sleep clothes after halloween.

  6. Your kids are soooooooooooooo cute!
    I love the poodle girlie, especially!
    My older daughter who is 19 does't "do" costumes anymore, and my16 year old wants to be a 20's flapper. Off to GoodWill, I guess :)
    Strategy #2 and #5. :)
    I think I'll go as myself. That ought to be scary enough.
    Or maybe I can find a large poodle costume?

  7. Well, I was looking for an email, but I'll comment instead.

    Come see!!

    And no, I didn't "fix" the giveaway because you flattered me with an award, LOLOLOL!

  8. Michelle, I came over to say exactly what Leslie said, "You won MY giveaway." Just kidding. =D Just ask Leslie, I love to kid around. I came over to congratulate you!!!! SOOOO HAPPY YOU WON!!!! Enjoy it my dear.

    Much love!

  9. Hi Michelle!

    I am so happy that you are happy!
    You do, you do look young!!

    SO glad it was you who won!
    Please, whatever you want off my blog, take it!
    I hope your day is better tomorrow!!

    Blessings and hugs, sugar!!
    This will mail out FedEx on Friday--woohoo!

    The email addy you left me was no good, so I had to comment here, sorry!


Please leave me a comment it really makes me smile!