Saving money on a Halloween costume

Category: Personal Finances

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Whether for yourself or your children, a Halloween costume can be an expensive purchase—especially when you consider that it’s something you’ll likely just wear once. But dressing up for Halloween doesn’t have to break the bank. The following tips can help you save money on this year’s Halloween costume:

Make your own costume

Designing and creating your own costume might seem like an impossible feat, but even if you’re inexperienced, you could still put together a terrific costume. Use a prepackaged costume or your favorite fictional character for creative inspiration, then do some discount shopping at places like thrift stores and flea markets. Find different fabrics, props, and accessories that can pull your costume together. This can be a fun, cheap way to create something that is truly unique and original for your Halloween costume.

Use a costume from a previous Halloween

For a fraction of the cost, you can create an entirely new costume from an old one. If you have a costume already from a previous Halloween, recycle it for this year, but put a different spin on it. For instance, with a few new accessories and special makeup techniques, you can turn just about any costume into a vampire, zombie, or superhero.

Trade with someone

Another way to recycle a Halloween costume from a previous year is to ask someone you know if they’d be interested in swapping with one of their old costumes. You’ll both get new costumes to wear, and at no cost.

Rent instead of purchase

Theatrical costumes are often the costliest options, but they can definitely be the most impressive. If you’ve got your heart set on one of these pricy costumes, there’s no need to spend the extra money for one. Instead, look for costume shops in your area that rent out costumes. For a much cheaper price, you can get the costume you want and for just the day—and considering you probably won’t want it after Halloween anyway, it’s a good solution.

Look online

If you spot a terrific costume while shopping, but it’s priced a bit more than you want to spend, look online for any in-store coupons that you can use towards your purchase. You’ll also want to shop around for other online retailers that sell the same costume, but for a better price. Craigslist and eBay are also two good sites to check for gently used costumes from previous years, which can be substantially discounted.

Keep it simple

Dressing up for Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend money to purchase a costume. Utilize things you already own—mix and match accessories and clothing pieces to create a unique look for Halloween, and without buying anything extra.


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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: holidays, online shopping, Renting

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