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Halloween Costume Shopping Made Easy and Inexpensive

Have you started planning for Halloween costumes yet? Chances are, your kids may be waffling between several options with no clue that this October holiday can break the bank for parents. Luckily there are several stores and creative ways to find kids Halloween costumes without going bankrupt at those commercial Halloween-specific stores. Here are five suggestions for easy and inexpensive Halloween costumes for your little goblins.

Donation-based Thrift Stores
It’s amazing the costume finds you will discover at thrift stores, especially those that are donation-based such as Goodwill and Salvation Army. So many parents donate their kids’ old costumes, so don’t forget to check the kids clothing sections of thrift stores for costume finds. To find the best deals, start shopping as early as possible. A princess dress for $5 will get snatched up in no time.

Resale Shops
While you may not find fully assembled trendy costumes at kids resale shops, you can find plenty of accessories, clothing pieces and shoes to make up the perfect costume at places like La Costa Kids. If your daughter wants to be a ladybug and needs red pants and a top, a resale shop is likely to have something in that venue. Then look for inexpensive wings and antennas at a local pharmacy store. The Buffalo Exchange resale store has tons of clothing from the 1960s through today. If your kiddos want to be an hippie or 80s rock star, check Buffalo Exchange for great ensemble items.

Host a Costume Swap
How many parents buy Halloween costumes for their kids and then leave them sitting in a storage bins in your garage for years to come? Consider hosting a costume swap with a group of your friends. It’s easy: Each family brings their old Halloween costumes to a mutual location and then the kiddos can pick out a new outfit for this year. This is a great way to recycle old costumes and keep them within your circle of friends.

Getting Creative
Who says you need to go searching for a costume for Halloween? There are lots of creative costume ideas where you only need to go as far so your own closets. Does your little one have a room full of stuffed animals? How about a “raining cats and dogs” costume? All you need is to outfit your trick-or-treater in a raincoat and rain boots, while affixing those small stuffed animal to an umbrella. Voila, costume done! Or how about blowing up purple or green balloon, attaching them to a simple shirt and leggings and you have a bunch of grapes.

Online Finds
Don’t forget shopping online is also an option for Halloween costumes. Check sites like Craig’s List on a regular basis for people hoping to sell Halloween costumes around this time of year. Etsy is another website where you can find handmade costumes (or costume accessories) that are unique and often less expensive than expensive retail stores.

What’s your preferred method of scoring an affordable and awesome Halloween costume? Share the love with other Halloween bargain-hunting mamas in the comment section below!

Feel like making your Halloween costume this year? If you’re the crafty type, check out this story detailing inspiring DIY Halloween Costumes and send in a photo of your little trick-or-treater dressed in their homemade costume to our editor at erin@redtri.com. We’ll compile our faves!

- Leah R. Singer

Photo courtesy of Leah R. Singer

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