Guest Blog Post by Angie Chladek
I find costumes/Halloween to be totally daunting. This year, in addition to the creative piece being difficult for me, the costumes seem a little too “grown-up” for our four-year-old daughter. I’ve done a lot of looking at all the outlets listed below, and you’ll see what I opted to do. As far as candy is concerned, my parents did something I thought was always smart: They tallied the number of “trick-or-treaters” each year and stored it with Halloween décor/candy buckets, etc. Then, the following year, they had an idea of how much candy to purchase to avoid over-buying. Check out more money-saving ideas below…
Candy can be a big expense this time of year, but it doesn’t have to be. If you wait until mid-late October to purchase, you can typically find fun-size candies for $1 or less per bag. In addition to this, watch the Sunday paper for coupons in the next couple of weeks to combine with any deals you might find in the stores. Another candy hint: Halloween-time is often the lowest price you’ll find candy all year, so if you need candy for anything in the next few months (Christmas stockings?) this is a good time to stock up.
Make your own! Pinterest and the good ‘ol Internet have oodles of ideas for costumes. I am not handy with a sewing machine, but for the past two years, I’ve recycled the same “tutu-making” skill. I purchased pink wings one year (Hobby Lobby $3.99 before 50% off coupon), added a blue dance unitard (Target- clearance rack), and made a tutu out of pink/blue tulle and called my daughter Abby Cadabby. For the following year, I purchased ladybug wings at Savers ($3.99), made a red/black tutu and put it over long sleeve black leggings and t-shirt and called her a lady bug. Try to think of skills you already have that could apply vs. purchasing the costume pre-made.
Thrift Stores/ Consignment Stores/ Craigslist These resources can all be great places to get deals on costumes. Just this week, Craigslist has about 50 listings for darling, worn-once costumes that are relatively cheap. Again, I encourage people to shop early.
Thred Up You can also start keeping an eye on ThredUp.com. They are still offering a free $10 credit when you sign up, however, it looks like the credit is not working toward shipping anymore. You still might find a great deal!
Mass Clothing Retailers Carter’s and Old Navy, have great deals on costumes right now. You can often find coupons to make the deal even better. One thing I like about shopping at mass retailers is that I can keep my receipt and return the item if I find something else that I love instead. This year, after scouring sites/stores, I opted to give our oldest daughter a choice of any $17 costume at Old Navy, so she chose to be a strawberry and she’s super excited. The costume selection there is small, but affordable at that price, and all of the costumes were innocuous enough that I don’t fear her looking too old, too soon.
Last year, on October 28th, Old Navy put all Halloween costumes down to $5.00. Believe it or not, they had a 25% off coupon available at the time so the costumes were $3.75! Again you roll the dice on that one and you will be limited in choices and sizes, but that was by far the cheapest I saw.
Last but not least, I wanted to mention Pottery Barn costumes went as low as $19.99 the week before Halloween last year. I know the selection in store once they hit that price was really low and online they had more available (however getting them in time for Halloween was really cutting it close).