According to the National Retail Federation‘s 2014 Halloween spending survey, the average person will spend an impressive $77.52 this Halloween, up from last year’s $75.03. Total spending on Halloween this year will reach a whopping $7.4 billion. Take note, though: celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to wreck your budget! At Moxie Jean, we love to show parents how they can shop resale and get their kids outfitted in adorable and popular costumes for affordable prices (as in less than $12). Here are my top tips to get your kids Halloween-ready without ruining your budget.
1. Shop your closets. As with any occasion, I always advise the first stop you should make is your own closets. Shop your kid’s closet or get out their winter items (you’ll need them sooner than later anyway) and grab a single color sweat suit or black long johns that you can use as a base for a ninja costume, scary kitty or other black-based costume.
2. Shop high-quality resale. Frugal shoppers don’t have to miss out on the season’s hottest costumes. Instead of shopping the high-dollar catalogs touting $50+ costumes, you can score that perfect get-up at lightly used high-quality resale shops.
3. Get out the scissors and glue. It’s great if you know how to operate a sewing machine, but for non-sewing parents, there are other less-challenging options. Get out the scissors and glue and try one of these creative and fun ideas:
- Find an old, oversized dress shirt and tie, and roll in the dirt to make a zombie. Make sure you add some face smudges to complete the look.
- Drag out the faux fur vest from a few years’ back, and you’ll have the beginnings of a caveman costume.
- Buy an inexpensive Hulk T-shirt, and cut some old pants into rags to make the perfect Hulk outfit. Mess up the hair and add some green facepaint, and voila! Superhero supreme!
- Create a no-sew tutu matched with a $5-or-less leotard to outfit your fairy princess.
- Pick up some inexpensive felt and a headband (to attach the ears of the costume) at a local craft store, and you can transform an ordinary white sweatshirt and pants into an adorable puppy!
- Find an old cardboard box, buy a $3 can of primary color spray paint, and transform your child into a LEGO block.
4. Participate in a swap. Parents have gotten creative about “swapping” everything from uniforms to soccer cleats. Why not trade gently used costumes?
5. Search for coupon and source codes. If you’re kids are already set on a certain character (i.e. Elsa or Anna from Disney’s Frozen, which is projected by the NRF to be the top costumes this year!) that you cannot find or don’t want to craft, simply sign up to receive email alerts from trusted Halloween shopping sites, and you’ll likely receive coupons almost immediately that you can use toward your purchase. And said sites will often throw in free shipping to boot!
Finally, take charge of your budget early on in the process, find items that you and your kids can feel excited about, get your creative juices flowing, embrace your inner-bargain hunter, and enjoy this wonderful holiday experience with your children. And don’t forget to take lots of pictures. We all know so well how fast they grow!