kids skeleton costume

It’s amazing how becoming a parent alters one’s interpretation of holidays. Halloween is a favorite for our family, but oh how those costumes can be tricky! We all want to dress to impress, but doing that within a budget feels downright scary sometimes. 

The first few Halloweens in our household were a learning curve: panicked parents wanting to find the cutest possible option at the last minute. Translation: we spent entirely too much money on adorable baby giraffe and panda outfits. Determined not to repeat that mistake, we then spent a few years setting a budget but lacking any plan. Those were also the years that the kids seemed to change their costume idea every week anyway, making it impossible to buy something in advance. Translation: last minute thrift store stops to throw together a quick something.

This year, we seem to finally have learned from our past experiences and are well under way in Halloween planning. Based on our previous efforts, here are some suggestions for how to save money on Halloween costumes this year:

HomeMade costume






Once you have a costume in mind, think about how to scale it back to the true essentials needed to carry it off. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary accessories that can quickly add up. Then shop your own closet first to see what you may have on hand that can be incorporated to your costume.

The simplest costumes by far: zombies, witches, ghosts, someone from another era, cats, dogs, doctors, vets, mechanic, and Dracula.






Sy Robertson costume




Once you’ve locked in and you know which supplies you already have available, determine which other ones are left to purchase. For example, a beard is essential to the Sy Robertson costume.When you know which key pieces to shop for, start price comparing or search for the best discounts available. As in many cases, online options are a huge help here! But the cost of Sy’s beard is far cheaper than an entire head to toe outfit.








Baby sharknado





Okay, let’s face it – sometimes real costumes are just too good to ignore. See if you can organize a costume swap where everyone brings their old costumes and swaps with each other. Kids love playing dress up and chances are they won’t even ask about another store bought costume once they’ve got an option right in front of them.

Another possibility is to share it. Split the cost of a higher priced costume with a friend if you have an event outside of Halloween night. Many churches host trunk-n-treat nights or family friendly costume parties as alternatives and these are often offered on a separate night. Let your little sharknado shine with half the expense!




With so many options, just finding the right Halloween costume can be a huge challenge! But if you keep it simple, prioritize and share, then at least it won’t be a huge expense too. I hope this year’s holiday is truly a treat for you and your family.