Today is Halloween! It can be a  fun night where you dress up your kid, take a cute photo and parade them around your neighborhood. As much as our kids look forward to wearing a costume and eating lots of candy, it can be a costly holiday. If you are like me, you may find it difficult justifying spending $30 -$40 (that can even be on the low side for a child’s costume) on your kid to be a pumpkin for a few hours. They typically will not remember it and you end donating the costume  to good will a few months later. The good news is Halloween doesn’t have to be a weight on your wallet. Here are 5 ways you can save on your child’s costume.

  1. Purchase costumes for next year after the 31st

After Halloween ends many of the pop up stores need to get rid of their inventory before they close out. You can find items at deep discount. You can get the next size or two up for your child. It is now October 31st,  and already I see 90% discount offers for costumes.

Pro: Low cost way to have an awesome costume for your kid next year. It’s cheaper than having to buy a costume prior to the 31st at full price.

Con: You are betting that you will know your child’s size in a year. You are risking getting a costume that can be too small if they have a massive growth spurt or too large if you over estimate. Even with a discount you still may need to spend $20 for one day.

  1. DIY costumes

This is a great way to be cost effective and creative when it comes to your child’s costume. There are tons of great ideas out that there that you can find online or on Pinterest.  Need ideas? Here are 95

Pro: Depending on the costume you are creating, you may already have a lot of the materials at home and can re-purpose them as a costume. For instance my daughter loves princesses so for this year we used a dress she already had, printed a picture of Elsa and taped it to her dress. We then let her wear her “special princess shoes” (Dress shoes that we already owned) and she became Princess Elsa at $0. She was happy, looked adorable, and we got the photo op we wanted.

Con: Be careful with DIY costumes. They can be time intensive and the costs may add up to more than you think after you factor in all of the details

  1. Swap costumes with your mommy friends who have older kids

If you have a group of mom friends with kids that are a little older or a little younger, you can swap or rotate costumes each year. This way you buy one costume, save it for next year, give it to your younger friend’s kid and vice versa. The more mommy friends you bring into your circle, the more costumes you can share.

Pro: This is a great way to save money and get more use out of the same costume

Con: costume will be used and  maybe stained- (To me this isn’t a con if you just wash it!) Your kid is only wearing it once anyway!


  1. Join a local online mommy group and offer to swap costumes

If you live far from your friends or if your group of friends all have kids that are the same size, expand your network and connect with other local moms There are plenty of mom groups on Facebook that you can find and offer to swap costumes with others.

Pro: You may have access to a lot more costume options at $0 cost depending on the size of the mom group.

Con: You will probably have to meet somewhere to pick up or exchange costumes with someone else. Hopefully you can swap with someone from in-town so they will be close by. Just plan a few days ahead to coordinate so you aren’t running around at the last minute.


  1. Thrift Stores and Consignment shops

If you don’t feel like trading costumes with friends or don’t have a lot of options in an online group, you can always visit a local thrift store or consignment shop. You can usually find low cost costumes that have been gently worn. If not, you can buy cheap materials to DIY.

Pro:  Another low cost way to purchase or create a costume for your kid.

Con: You are still purchasing a costume that your kid will probably only wear once.

As you can see there are pros and cons to each of these five options. However, whichever option you choose, it is better than spending $40 on a costume for your kid to wear only once. Do not feel guilty for not wanting to spend a lot of money on your child. It is okay to spend less and still have an awesome Halloween. You are not alone and there are many other mom’s out there who think the same way you do. Just remember to stay safe, have fun, and cherish the time with your child.

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