Frugal and Fierce: How to Save Money on Halloween Costumes

Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season and the holiday season means heavy spending and perhaps overspending. But as Halloween draws near, it is hard to believe that an average Halloween costume for a child costs close to $30. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans will spend $2.6 billion on costumes this year and pet owners will spend $330 million dollars on costumes for their four legged pals. But, we are not supporters of spending lavishly on a costume that you, your kids and your pets will probably once. Thankfully, there are ways to be frugal and still look fierce on this frightfully festive holiday. Here’s how:

1. Reinvent and redesign last year’s costume

Raid your closet and your home and make last year’s costumes, this year’s new frugally fierce get-up. While kids love dressing up for this spooktacular holiday, they also love getting creative with arts and crafts.

2. Shop your home

Use household items to create new costumes for a fraction of the amount you would spend on a store bought costume. For example, white sheets can be used to create a Ghost costume, toilet paper for Mummy, boxes for Robot and old graduation gowns for a Wizard. Your creative juices can turn these already owned items into bootiful costumes.

3. Trade or swap costumes

Perhaps your neighbor has kids who just happen to wear the same size as your kids. Swapping costumes with them could help you get rid of costumes that your kids have outgrown. You can also make that swap at certain consignment stores for a discount toward your purchase. Did you know that there is a National Costume Swap Day? Unfortunately we just missed it (October 12th, 2013). But, keep that in mind for next year’s Halloween. You can also organize a swap party in your neighborhood on a date that’s convenient to you.

4. Use coupons

Halloween is a highly commercialized holiday. Retailers try to woo you into buying with their attractively crafted commercials. While clipping coupons may not be one of your favorite tasks, doing so can save you big. Magazines, store shelves, junk mail from your mailbox and websites offer a slew of coupons that can be used both online and in stores. The availability of smart devices has made it super easy to use coupons. Download a free coupon app to take advantage of more saving opportunities. Some of the best ones according to Consumer Reports are Cellfire,, Grocery IQ, and Saving Star.

5. Buy used at thrift or consignment stores and garage sales

If you have an idea of the costume that you want to wear for Halloween, go on a hunt to find cool and key pieces at your local thrift store or neighborhood garage sale. Consignment stores usually offer gently used clothing for less than what it would cost to purchase at department stores. What’s more, they are always open for negotiation. If you think the price is too steep and scary, negotiate for a cheaper price.

6. One of the few instances that procrastination pays

Procrastinating can sometimes be ghoulish. And when it comes to spending, waiting last minute to shop can potentially lead to overspending (be weary of that in case the costumes you are interested isn’t on sale). But, stores usually drop their prices the day before Halloween and waiting last minute to make that purchase in that instance might actually save you zombies some money.

There are still two weeks left to enter Consolidated Credit’s Frightfully Frugal Halloween Contest on Facebook. Simply create an original Halloween costume using pre-owned or household items. Spend $15 or less for a chance to win FREE money. Click here to enter..

Monica Victor is currently an assistant copywriter intern. Her writings aim to impart good sense to help consumers successfully manage their hard earned dollars and cents, to encourage folks to live debt-free and to improve or otherwise maintain a healthy financial outlook. She recently graduated from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), with dual majors in Multimedia Journalism and Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She was a contributing writer to the University’s student magazine-University Press (UP) and a Reporter and Associate Producer of a weekly radio news program- South Florida Journal. Monica is an inductee of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society (PTK) and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society (ODK). She hails from the beautiful isle of St. Lucia and is currently the Vice President of the St.Lucia Association of South Florida, Inc. Follow her on Google +..