As a parent, I love seeing my preschool aged daughter get very excited for Halloween. Pumpkins, candy and dressing up in costume are somethings she looks forward to as soon as Autumn hits. However, Halloween costumes are expensive! A boutique catalog of kids only Halloween costumes arrived the other day in our mailbox and many of the ornate costumes were priced at well over $100. Walking through Spirit Halloween and iParty and even some stores in the local mall, I realized a small child’s costume was in the $50 dollar range, including the necessary accessories. What’s the frugal parent with two or three kids to do come this time of year? Don’t blow hundreds on outfits your kids are only going to wear once – here are 5 places you can find Halloween costumes on the cheap.
Used Costumes – eBay and Craigslist
Two of my favorite places for all sorts of affordable items, including Halloween costumes. Kids typically only wear Halloween costumes once, so you can usually find some cheap second hand costumes on these sites that are in near perfect condition. Many people will sell them for hardly anything just to clear out their closets or attics of no longer
Consignment shops are not all equal, with some owners shooting for higher profit margins than others. However, there are usually good deals to be had in kids consignment stores. The key to finding desirable Halloween costumes here is to look early, thrifty moms frequent these places long before October in search of deals on Halloween costumes.
Free Costumes – Friends and Family Freebies
Chances are you know plenty of parents with kids a little older than yours with great Halloween costumes just laying around from years past. Chances are also that these parents would be happy to lend you a costume or in many cases give you a no longer needed costume free of charge.
Your Own Kid’s Closet
Most especially if you have a younger child who is less picky, check out your child’s closet for possibilities. Last year my young daughter was a princess and I dressed her in tutus and a tiara that she already had for dress up play. A few new, cheap accessories like a wand and glitter spray from the Dollar Store were enough “new” things to make her happy.
Avoid retailers that specialize in Halloween costumes – you’ll pay an arm and a leg at these places. I would even avoid places like Target and Walmart because they tend to have lower quality costumes for an unequivocal price. Your best bet is online retailers that you can find simply by searching for “discount” or “cheap” Halloween costumes.
Jessica Drew is a freelance writer and editor who writes about several money making topics including frugal living, getting out of credit card debt and cheap flights.