Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas

Why Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas?

Of course, if you have the funds to buy a professionally-made costume, there are many places to find them. Once Halloween approaches, you can’t miss the offerings in just about every store aisle, including some grocery stories! You can also shop for costumes online or, if your town is like mine, temporary costume shops will emerge about a month or so before Halloween.

Costumes and their accessories (wigs, makeup, shoes) are not dirt cheap, however. So if you’re on a budget or have a family of ghouls to costume, you’ll need some cheap Halloween costume ideas.

Your quest for costume ideas can begin in your closet. If you have some old clothes you don’t mind using, you can’t beat them for the basis of a cheap Halloween costume. But if you don’t have anything useful in your closet, or anything you can spare, you might want to take a trip down to your local thrift store and start browsing the racks. My family uses Goodwill, Salvation Army and various local charity thrift shops.

Savvy Costume Tips

Savvy thrift store shoppers know that prices at these bargain-basement clothing sources get even better depending upon what day of the week you make your purchase. Usually it’s based on the tags. Look on the wall for a corresponding sign that describes the tag color, the day of the week and the discount.  If what you seek is available at a discount on a given day of the week, plan your purchase for that particular day and save even more.

Keep in mind, this kind of strategy can backfire, though. Let’s say you find the perfect trench coat and hat to create your spy character, but decide to wait until Tuesday to purchase in order to take advantage of your store’s 50% discount. You smile smugly to yourself at how clever you are and mark your calendar for a follow-up visit on Tuesday morning. However, come Tuesday, you walk in and your perfect ensemble has been snagged by someone else. Moral of the story? Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be so cheap.  If you find the makings of one of the perfect inexpensive Halloween costume ideas, grab it while you can. If not, you could be sorry.

Plan Ahead

Another possible strategy for inexpensive Halloween costume ideas is online shopping. Many thrift stores now have online stores that save you time and gas, allowing you to browse the racks with your computer mouse. Be aware that some stores have multiple locations. So be sure you know where the brick and mortar store is, so if you arrive in person, you’re in the right place. Check to see if there are shipping opportunities as well, but keep in mind, thrift stores rarely allow returns, so you need to be sure before you spend.

eBay and Craigslist

These two venues offer private listings of entire professionally-made inexpensive Halloween costume ideas, as well as clothing items for the do-it-yourself costume designer. Craigslist can be challenging, as often times ads are kept alive for items that have been sold, plus you’ll need to drive to pick up your outfit. Use discretion when shopping Craigslist to keep from getting the runaround.

On eBay, Buyers and sellers are bound by eBay’s policies. This makes shopping safer and more aggravation-free. Read the listings carefully and be sure to ask questions prior to purchase. Some sales are final, so if you make a mistake, it’s your dime.

With either of these two options, be sure to plan ahead and start early. That way if there are any mishaps, you have time to implement Plan B in order to avoid stress and last minute costume disasters!

Inexpensive Halloween Costume Ideas List

Below is a list of characters to spur ideas and help you put together a cheap Halloween costume using what you have on hand or what you can find online.

Needed: Torn jeans, torn shirt, worn out shoes

Needed: Uniform or uniform shirt (baseball, football, hockey, etc.)

Needed: White dress, white hat (you can make one out of paper), white shoes

Needed: White coat or scrubs (also props like stethoscope, etc.)

Needed: Blue suit, hat and boots

Needed: Long robe and staff or crystal ball. Pointed hat can be made.

Needed: Leather jacket, jeans, boots

Rock star
Needed: Anything would do.

Needed: Jumpsuit

Prison Inmate
Needed: Striped shirt and black pants or orange jumpsuit, chains or handcuffs

Needed: Green t-shirt, jeans, felt hat

Sock Hop Dancer
Needed: Flare skirt, tight sweater, athletic socks and appropriate shoes

Disco Dancer
Needed: Polyester suit, afro wig, gold medallion

Construction Worker
Needed:  T-shirt, jeans, hardhat

Carpenter or Plumber
Needed:  Same as construction worker, but add appropriate tool belt or tools

Race Car Driver
Needed: Jumpsuit

Needed: Tight-fitting black and white striped shirt (or any tight-fitting knit shirt), pants, tight gloves

Needed: Pin striped suit, sun glasses, violin case or machine gun prop

Needed: Flannel shirt, jeans, suspenders and boots

Needed: White sheet with clasp to hold. (Be sure to wear something underneath, like tights!)

I’m hoping the tips on this page will help you formulate your own inexpensive Halloween costume ideas and make your holiday stress-free and fun. It’s the one day where you can be someone else, so have a ball with it.


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