Do you remember when we were kids and a Halloween costume was a plastic mask from the drugstore? Boom…done! Or maybe your mom made your costume because she was Martha Stewart like that.
I know a lot of moms still make their own kids’ costumes – but as of yet, I still have not figured out the instruction manual on my sewing machine. Even though I can’t sew to save my life, we are crazzzzy about Halloween in our house. I love having my kids wear cute costumes, but I don’t like to spend a lot of money on costumes.
Here are the top 5 ways I like to save money on adorable Halloween costumes:
1) Ebay. Over the years, I have many times professed my love of buying things on Ebay. I know – you don’t always get what you expect, but that’s part of the fun. Right?! (Remind me of that the next time I get a dud).
For kids’ Halloween costumes, I always find amazing deals on Ebay. My search terms are usually: PBK costumes, Tom Arma, Babystyle, Wishcraft, Chasing Fireflies, Custom Halloween Costume, and Etsy costume.
I used to stalk my bids and end up overpaying by getting into bidding wars (seriously). Now I use this service called Snipe Swipe – which is great (they are not paying me anything to say this). You create an account and it proxy bids for you. I think it costs 10 cents per auction or something like that. I have been using it for over a year now and it has saved me a TON of money because it swoops in at the last second and bids for me. Instead of me driving up the price because I get antsy – I get to put in my max price and walk away. Usually I end up winning for far less than I would expect because it only bids over the next top bid by 50 cents or something.
In the year I’ve been using Snipe Swipe, I’ve used maybe $5 out of my account. I wouldn’t use Ebay without it now. Here is the FAQ from Snipe Swipe, since I know I didn’t explain it all that well. Ha!
This is a cute giraffe costume I got last year on Ebay for $6 (including shipping):
2) Mom’s Club Swaps
Are you part of a Mom’s Club, MOPS group, or just have friends with kids the same age as yours? See what they have for costumes and if anyone would be willing to swap with you. Usually Halloween costumes get worn once for a few hours and are in near-perfect condition (but outgrown) by the following year. This is a great way to share the costume love and get a lot more life out of your own costumes, as well.
3) Consignment Stores
There are so many great consignment stores like Once Upon A Child or Children’s Orchard (that’s our local chain). Even Goodwill and the Salvation Army have Halloween costumes. I was in our local Goodwill last Fall and there were so many cute kid costumes! If you have your heart set on one particular costume, then this might be a long-shot. But if you’re open to browsing, then definitely don’t forget about searching these stores.
Also, I have heard that ThredUp! has changed their business model and is now offering lots of cute consignment items – and of course, they will have some cute Halloween costumes, too!
4) After Halloween Sales
So, this is something to put on your to-do list for November 1st. Every year on the morning after Halloween, I go to Target and I raid the 50-80% off Halloween section. I also go to Pottery Barn Kids online because there’s no way I would pay retail for their seasonal items – but they always start marking down right after the holiday. Anything I’ve had my heart set on, I know I can find for a fraction of the price if I’m just a teensy bit patient.
I got Daisy’s dog costume at Target for $5 a few years ago at Target’s after-Halloween sale. In case you can’t tell – she’s supposed to be a fish. I figured it went well with our Mermaid Theme a few years ago – ha!:
5) Make Your Own
Of course, the most affordable way to save money on Halloween costumes is to make your own from items you already have around the house. Most of us have dress-up stuff our kids wear year-round, and if we let our children be creative, they can come up with super cute costumes. These costumes may not look like they are straight from the Chasing Fireflies catalog – but they have something those costumes don’t have: originality!
Here is a costume Paprika (age 7) came up with on her own last week – it’s butterfly princess witch. As you can tell, she liked it!
(No affiliate links were used in this article. Happy Halloween!)