7 Tricks & Tips for Saving on Kids' Costumes


While some retailers are already prepping for the holiday season, most of us have our minds on fall festivities. As it turns out, we’re not alone; according to a recent study from the National Retail Federation, spending on Halloween will be close to $7 billion this year. Of that, over $1 billion will be spent on costumes for kids.

Thankfully, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to ensure your kiddos have a happy Halloween. Check out these seven ways to cut the cost of costumes without eliminating all the fun.

1. Consider second-hand.

You can easily transform cheap clothes from consignment stores into costume essentials. A prom dress makes for a great princess gown, while a peasant top is perfect for pirate attire. The site thredUp.com has a Hollywood Halloween category offering clothing items perfect for today’s popular costumes including Superman, the Smurfs and Despicable Me.

2. Set up a swap.

Swapping costumes is an easy way to save money, but did you know there’s a National Costume Swap Day scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12? Developed by Green America, the program is intended to reduce waste by offering parents a forum to trade kids’ costumes. Check their website to find a local event or consider coordinating one for your community.

3. Use coupons.

Halloween is a big holiday for retailers, and in order to compete for your dollars they offer all kinds of deals and promotions. Instead of spending precious time scrolling through circulars, download the free Coupon Sherpa mobile app for digital coupons like 20-percent off one item at Spirit Halloween. I use this app all the time to save money and score free items.

4. Go garage sale shopping.

I had a garage sale recently and wish I hadn’t sold the witch’s hat I could’ve worn for this year’s crop of trick-or-treaters! Like me, plenty of people sell old Halloween costumes at garage and moving sales, so keep your eyes peeled for neighborhood sales. Don't be afraid to negotiate with the seller if you think the asking price is too steep.

5. Check eBay.

The online marketplace for all-things-used is an ideal place to score costumes. Search for a specific costume or simply browse all children's costumes to view hundreds of options. Don't bid too early, however; be patient and put the item on your watch list to avoid overbidding. Place your bids just before the auction expires to get the best price.

6. Get crafty.

Trick-or-treating tops the list of fun things to do for kids, but arts and crafts always bring joy to the little ones, too. Instead of spending money on cheap Halloween masks and costume accessories, get the troops together and make them yourself. You can even try your hand at making the whole costume with these easy DIY costume ideas for kids.

7. Shop from home.

If the thought of navigating busy department stores scares you more than Halloween itself, stay home and shop online. There are a host of online-only costume stores to choose from offering get-ups ranging from the trendy to the traditional. Be sure you search for coupon codes before checkout to score additional savings.


Blog authored by Andrea Woroch - Andrea is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly contributes to leading national and regional news stories. You can learn more about Andrea and get more money saving tips at andreaworoch.com


Photo source: FreeShipping.org