Today’s Hint: 3 Ways to Save Money on Store-Bought Halloween Costumes

Halloween costumes aren’t cheap. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spend about $27.85 on making or buying a costume this year.

If you’re crafty and have spare time, you can save money on costumes by making them inexpensively. For instance, Heloise offers four ideas for cheap homemade costumes (cardboard box robot, anyone), Living on the Cheap lists 85 great ideas for cheap and easy DIY costumes and you can find more relatively inexpensive DIY toddler costume ideas here.

But if you’re like me, i.e. you aren’t crafty and or have no time for spray painting, felt gluing and old clothes ripping, today’s hint focuses on three other ways you can dress up your children – and yourself — for less.

1.) If you haven’t bought costumes yet, do it at the last minute in the days or hours just before Halloween. That’s when you’ll likely be able to find good deals on remaining inventory. As the Money Crashers blog points out in a post on 17 strategies for cheap costumes: “Buying your costume the day before Halloween or the day of Halloween can save you up to 75% off of the original price.”

2.) Or invite your friends over for a pre-Halloween costume swap party, where you trade old store-bought costumes. I love this idea, which I came across on both Money and here.

3.) If the costumes are taken care of for this year, consider buying next year’s Halloween costumes shortly after Halloween this year. That’s when you’ll find deals on unsold costumes stores want to unload quickly and cheaply.  As Glen Craig, who blogs at Free from Broke, writes in a post on some clever ideas for saving money on Halloween costumes: “Know when costumes are the cheapest?  The day after Halloween!  Remember stores don’t want to hold onto that inventory.”

Soon after Halloween last year, I remember going to Babies”R”Us and seeing the clearance rack full of Halloween costumes on sale. I thought about buying one for my daughter and regret not doing so. The reasons I passed by the rack: I was worried that I wouldn’t correctly guess what my daughter’s size would be in a year.

However, after shelling out $27.84 (plus tax) this year on a cute butterfly costume from that only came in two sizes, I plan on hitting the clearance racks this year to prepare for next. I’ll plan to buy a couple in different sizes and if it seems like any of them are getting too small, I’ll just whip them out before Halloween because costumes are fun for playtime too.

What are your hints for saving money on Halloween costumes?

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  1. says

    A good place to look for costumes cheap after Halloween are places like Children’s Place. Their costumes tend to be nice cloth ones the kids can play with all year (our daughter jumps into her monster costume every now and then).

    • Hint Mama says

      Thanks for the tip Glen:) Hoping to build up a stockpile of future (and playtime) costumes for my daughter after Halloween this year.

  2. says

    You are right. The prices at OldNavy typically drop to about $15 for a really cozy, washable costume the day or two before Halloween. That’s great if your child is easily swayed to being whatever is on hand. Older children will want to secure their dream costume in advance, however.


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