Friday, October 2, 2009

A very Frugal Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the spooky fun of it and it's a great excuse to watch one of my favorite movies. And, let's not forget the candy and the costumes!

When I was a kid, each Halloween we'd go over to a now ex-relative's house when it was time to pick a costume. She had this old trunk that, I swear was older than she was and at the time, I thought she was older than the trees! The trunk had that musty smell that old trunks seem to have. It must have been a mixture of mold and moth balls. I have, thankfully, never smelled anything like it since. The trunk was brought out early to air out so we didn't smell old and dead, unless that's the look we were going for.

The trunk was full of magic: Costumes and vintage clothing. We got to dig through the trunk and decide what we wanted to be for Halloween. I remember one year, I was a southern belle ... with a full hoop skirt.

As a kid, I never had a store bought costume.

Once I had kids, I was shocked by the quality of costumes in the stores. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, you usually end up with a costume that falls apart. It's like throwing money away and I hate throwing my money away.

One of the best ways to get good costumes is to buy a year ahead. Hit the stores for the after Halloween sales. The costumes go on sale for 90 percent off at some stores! I pick up Halloween decorations the same way. Online retailers will also drop their costume prices significantly. The closer it gets to Christmas, the lower the prices get. Heck, I give my kids costumes FOR Christmas presents, so it's a great way to get ahead on the shopping, too.

Fall consignment sales also offer a bounty of costumes at rock bottom prices.

Freecycle is always available for getting things for You need to be open to whatever anyone might be giving away. We picked up a fabulous mummy costume several years ago from a local freecycler. The boy didn't really want to be a mummy, but the costume was cool enough he changed his mind.

Thinking outside the box, you can also hit your local thrift stores to create your own look or see if they have costumes ready made. Thrift store shopping is great for finding just the right vintage look.

Never underestimate what you can do with a hot glue gun and some creative thinking. Various animal ears can be made with cheap dollar store headbands and craft foam. Add in some homemade face paint, hot glue more fun foam or felt to solid colored sweats to create "fur" and you're ready to go!

This year, we're using and re-purposing from our own special trunk of dress up clothes. Our favorite cheerleader is now going to be a zombie cheerleader. She's going to be hanging out with her pet roadkill bunny. Along side of those two: a cow girl (cowboy hat from the dollar store, jeans, and a thrift store pair of cowboy boots). And, the mummy costume is being pulled out for another year (it really is a great costume!)

Unlike the costume trunk from my childhood, the one at our house is open year round. Dress up clothes foster creativity. Around here, the dress up clothes are used so much that I could probably justify paying full retail, but I just can't do it. LOL

1 comment:

  1. it was a sad day last year when our kids gave up their dress up for Halloween costumes, I always make them for the kids. I rarely buy them b/c they always want something 'different' :-)


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