Four Easy Ways to Save on Halloween Costumes

two females dressed up for Halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be a little stressed trying to come up with a costume. Whether your plans include attending a raging Halloween bash or exploring a haunted house with some friends, coming up with the perfect ensemble can be a production in itself—not to mention expensive. According to the National Retail Federation, the average amount spent per person celebrating Halloween this year is expected to be around $75. Here are four easy ways to save on your Halloween costume:

Shop in Your Closet

One approach to creating your costume is to first see what you already have and go from there. You might be able to repurpose clothing that hasn’t seen the light of day for months, or come up with a clever combination for your festive getup. Even if you can’t cobble together an entire costume, you’ll have a good foundation to build from.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Thrift stores and consignment shops are a great avenue for finding hidden gems for your costume. Shannyn Allan of frugalbeautiful.com recommends opting out of the “costume in a bag” route and heading to the second-hand store instead. “Many times you can find brand new costumes still in the bag that big box stores couldn’t sell last year, or accessories you can use to create your own Halloween ensemble for half the price,” explains Allan. Don’t forget to check out the racks right after Halloween. Oftentimes you’ll be able to score even better deals on costumes and accessories to stow away for next year.

Find Inspiration Online

If you’re seeking some creative inspiration, try Googling images or scouring through Pinterest boards, suggests Crystal Hammond of sophisticatedspender.com.  I walked into a bar bathroom with three items: a picture of a face painting on my phone, my black eyeliner, and my silver eye shadow,” says Hammond, “and walked out looking like I was starring in a fancy pants Hollywood Halloween movie.” Looking for ideas online can help you discover new ways to use what you already have.

Host a Costume Swap

Turn your money-saving methods into a social event by gathering some of your friends to exchange costumes and accessories from past Halloweens. Ask your pals to bring some food and pumpkins to carve and turn it into a party. Any leftover items can be donated to the local Goodwill.

While putting together a costume can feel a little stressful, employing a few simple tricks will help you save both time and money. Resourcefulness and creativity go a long way with enjoying a Halloween for less.