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 get one-time use out of it. The good news is Halloween doesn’t have to be a burden on your wallet. Here are 5 awesome ways to save on costumes so you don’t have to break the bank this Halloween.
1. Purchase costumes for next year after the 31st
You can significantly save on costumes by purchasing them after Halloween ends. Many of the pop-up stores need to get rid of their inventory before they closeout and sell their leftovers at deep discounts. 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. The is risk is the costume might be too small if they have a massive growth spurt or too large if you overestimate. Even with a discount, you still may need to spend $20 for one day.
2. Save on Costumes by DIY
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. This year we used a dress she already had, printed a picture of Elsa, and taped the photo to it. 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, we got the photo op we wanted, and most importantly saved on costume costs.
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.
3. 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 is a great way to save on costumes because you buy one, 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 may be stained. (To me this isn’t a con if you just wash it!) Your kid is only wearing it once anyway!
4. 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 has 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.
5. Thrift Stores and Consignment shops to save on costumes
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 for 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 moms out there who think the same way you do. Just remember to stay safe, have fun, and cherish the time with your child.