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Cheap Halloween costumes

Find Safe Costumes on a Budget

Posted on 10/17/2011 9:57 EST

Your child probably wanted his or her Halloween costume yesterday. With only two weeks to go before the spooky, sweets-filled holiday, you're under the gun to grab an outfit that won't frighten your budget. There's certainly no shortage of $50 get-ups out there, but the supply of cheap Halloween costumes will make you positively giddy.

Photo by jimcrotty.com

Obvious ways to save on a Halloween costume: Dress up your child in a hand-me-down costume from a sibling or cousin. Borrow costumes from friends' older children. Make the costume yourself or pick a low-maintenance outfit like a "hobo" or ballerina. A cheap Halloween costume for a witch is as simple as a black skirt and turtle neck that your child already wears to school, paired with a cheap black hat bought at a discount store. (Individual accessories cost less than a complete costume packaged together).

Costumes made with strange glues, materials, or chemicals are a no-go, even if they are cheap or homemade. One safe material to use for a cheap Halloween costume is cardboard, and surely there's some lying around the house. Use a binding material of your choice and non-toxic paint to make all kinds of costume components, from an alligator head to robot body parts, for your child. Check out Instructables web site for safe, DIY, and cheap Halloween costume ideas.

If you plan on shopping for cheap Halloween costumes, avoid the party chains, which invariably stock the pricier get-ups. The same goes for pop-up stores that suddenly, well, pop up for the season.

Photo by cluczkow

Perhaps surprisingly, big-box stores such as Costco don't necessarily carry cheap Halloween costumes -- most are like the party stores in terms of pricing, with the cost of a toddler's fire fighter outfit reaching as high as $55, for example. BJ's offerings are slightly cheaper, but costumes still start at about $20. One major retailer selling some of the cheapest Halloween duds is Sam's Club, where animal costumes for babies and toddlers are priced at less than $12. Target has costumes for babies, toddlers, and youngsters with price tags starting at $7 and Kmart sells some costumes for less than $12. Walmart features a special "costumes under $20" section with princess, monster, and character outfits. You can sort costumes on the Kohl's website by price, and they offer several options under $20.

Dollar stories offer some of the best cheap Halloween costumes, including scary masks for as little as a dollar and other useful accessories costing just a few bucks. If you already have a cheap costume but need to accessorize, dollar stores are the place for budget-friendly props. Flourishes such as fake flowers, crowns, and stickers can put the finishing touches on your child's outfit. Goodwill stores, which often stockpile costumes bought in bulk, sell them for less than $10. Linger a bit among the racks and shelves filled with gently-used items and you just might get a whiff of an off-beat idea for your own cheap Halloween costume.

Trick-or-treat, anyone?

Filed in: Baby, Children, Costco vs Sams, DIY, Fall, Family, Free, Frugal tips, Halloween, Holidays, Kids, Kmart, Parenting, Parties, Sams, Target, Wal-Mart
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