Halloween might be one of my favorite holidays. I love the spooky decorations, the fun costumes and the excitement of the holiday. I also love Snickers. Okay, I love Halloween because I love Snickers. And when people just give them to you, it’s rude not to eat them. Since you are required to eat them, you cannot feel guilty about eating them. When you don’t feel guilty about eating them, you don’t feel self-loathing when then entire bag is gone. That’s why I love Halloween.
I also love this particular holiday because my kids love it so much. They love to get dressed up. They love the parties and the celebrations. They love pumpkin patches and festivals and haunted houses. And they love, love, love the evening we head to Disney World after hours for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party every year. It’s just so much fun to experience this holiday through their eyes. Oh, and “Hocus Pocus” comes on television like 79 times in October, and that’s the best.
My husband and I host a party every year to celebrate our kids dressing up and eating entirely too much sugar (because we don’t want to suffer alone). We invite 100 people to our home, encourage everyone to dress up, we set out a graveyard in our front yard, fog machines, creepy music, fun and creepy décor and all the food is themed around the holiday. Haunted hay rides and spooky stories, fun and family and lots of amazingly creative costumes; that’s what makes Halloween such an amazing holiday.
On that note, it’s expensive. With four kids, I know we spend a tremendous amount of money every year on costumes for the four of them, plus ourselves. We try to do a family theme each year, and we like to make sure that it’s memorable and fun. But sometimes you just have to take a step back and realize that it’s excessive. We all spend entirely too much money on Halloween costumes, and there has to be another way. So, I’ve done some research and come up with some pretty good ideas that will help you save money on costumes for the whole family this year. Read on to find out how to dress up without spending a fortune.
Swap Halloween Costumes
It’s so simple; why not swap costumes with friends and family each year so that everyone gets a chance to dress up like something different? For example, the family that dressed up as a pirate family last year can become your costume and they can use your Mary Poppins theme costumes. It’ll be fun and fabulous, and it’s completely free.
Let the Kids Repeat
My oldest girls wanted to dress up last year in the most creative and unique costumes. I’m sure you’ll never even guess that at 3 and 6 last year, they wanted to be Anna and Elsa. This year, they want to be the same thing. At first I was against it; you can’t be the same thing two years in a row. That’s not fun or creative, and we are not dressing the babies up at Olaf and Sven. It wasn’t until my husband pointed out that I was officially half finished with costumes before I’d even begun that I realize this might actually be a great idea. If they want to be Anna and Elsa forever, so be it. I’m just going to let it go.
Make your own Halloween Costumes
If you have some creative bones in your body, make your kid’s costumes this year. I remember growing up my mother, the creative queen, always made our costumes. One year I was a toothbrush and my brother was a tube of toothpaste. She was always the most creative costume maker around, and we always won fall festival costume contests. And she didn’t even have Pinterest or YouTube or even the internet to help her with those things back then. If she could do it sans Pinterest, you can make some creative costumes yourself without much effort at all.
Get Tutu Crazy
It’s simple, fun and amazing; I love the idea. I’ve seen so many kids running around dressed as their favorite characters with tutus instead of actual costumes. You can make them from tulle (I did a quick internet search and there are only about a million and seven different tutorials, so there you go) and make any costume homemade for Halloween. It’s so easy. Let’s so your kid wants to be a ninja turtle, but she wants to be a pretty one; a tutu with a green leotard is all it takes. The same goes for any superhero. You can even trade in your boy’s old costumes to help make them feminine in this manner, and it costs next to nothing to do it.
Buy Next Year’s Now
Here’s a concept that many parents love. Don’t wait to shop for Halloween costumes next year before you kids need them. Buy them when the holiday is over and they are all but free at the stores. Remember – once Halloween is over (actually, before Halloween is over in many places), it’s time for department stores to get rid of all things not related directly to Christmas, so go ahead and get those costumes out of the store when they’re cheap. Now you have a closet filled with different costumes your kids might want to choose from – and by might, I mean, tell them they have no choice.
Go Thrift Shopping
When I’m done with my old costumes, I take them straight to the local thrift store. We donate much of what we don’t wear or use anymore, so you can always find costumes my kids have outgrown there. If I’m doing that, why wouldn’t other people donate theirs, too? So, if you’re strapped for cash and still want the kids to look stellar for Halloween, head to the local thrift store and do some shopping. It’s a great way to find a good deal.
Photo by Getty Images