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How to save big money on Halloween costumes this year

Some store costumes now $50 or more
Photos: Best celebrity costumes of Halloween 2017
Posted at 6:28 AM, Sep 08, 2023

Between candy, decorations and costumes, Americans spend about $100 each on Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation. That's a big chunk of your fall budget.

But many parents are finding cheaper costumes that are even more creative than what you can buy at the store. Kristin Heitman makes DIY costumes for her children yearly, saying they are much more creative.

"It uses your imagination," she said. "So, you can come up with better costumes than the pre-made ones."

We found her shopping at a Michaels store, looking at their extensive collection of costume-making supplies. Michaels manager Amanda Reinfelder said a DIY costume can save big bucks.

"We have very affordable do-it-yourself costumes," she said, "and it is very affordable 'upcycling' of your closet."

That means you can take any plain T-shirt in your closet and become a spider queen.

"It is super easy to make, you just trace out your spider web on the shirt," Reinfelder said.

Then, she says, just add some spiders Michaels sells for $5 a pack. If that is too scary, Reinfelder said a child who likes to read can be a Scripps Spelling Bee champion.

"So this you just need a T-shirt, some iron letters and some fabric paint," she said.

Do-it-yourself costumes can save big bucks

Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge agrees that DIY is the way to go to save serious cash.

"There are so many YouTube videos that are really helpful in this regard," she said.

The next best thing is a gently used costume from a consignment store or your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

"Remember, Halloween costumes are only worn once or twice. And so they're typically in very good shape," Bodge said.

She also recommends checking local Facebook groups for costume swaps in your community.

"Maybe that's something that you can quickly and easily organize," she said.

If you have to buy new, costume prices will only go down the closer we get to Halloween.

"Those retailers are going to be looking to clear that merchandise out," she said, "and they will price it to sell."

Just know you'll have fewer options to choose from that close to the holiday. Reinfelder says creating your own costume — with your kids— is something they will never forget.

"It's very heartwarming to do it together," she said.

And best of all, you don't waste your money.

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