If your kids are like mine, they turn to you the day after Halloween and already know what costume they want for next year. Of course, that desire rarely stays the same come the following October, so you can’t really costume shop that early.
But once Halloween is approaching, your kids decide exactly what to dress up as, and you head to the store to see what you can find. Costumes can certainly be expensive. If you have multiple children — and if you and your spouse happen to dress up too — that gets even more pricey. You can easily drop more than $100, just on costumes.
But it doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve got some awesome money saving tips that you can use to help you and your family celebrate the holiday, all while keeping the wallet happy.
1. Make Your Own
Even if you are not crafty, or can’t sew, you can still make your costume. Consider browsing Pinterest, where you can find all sorts of awesome ideas. Your costume doesn’t have to be perfect — it just needs to be fun to make. You can even find recipes to make your own hair dye, fake blood and more. Pinterest is a treasure trove of ideas.
2. Visit Thrift Stores
Many times, you can find Halloween costumes for sale at your local thrift store. Sometimes they are brand new and other times they have been worn only once.
3. Use Coupons/Sales
Keep your eyes open and you can find costumes on sale. You can also use coupons to get an even bigger discount. For instance, Target often releases a Cartwheel coupon for 50% off of costumes, which can make for a great deal.
4. Reuse Clothes You Have
Take the clothes you have and turn them into a costume. For instance, wear a black shirt and pants. Then, create a tail and make ears and you’ll be a mouse. Put on overalls and a flannel shirt and put some dirt on your face and you could be a farmer. This is a good way to be creative all without spending much.
5. Swap Costumes
Swap costumes with a friend who has kids about the same age as yours. This is a great way to get rid of the costume your child wore only once for something like new. Best of all, everyone wins.
6. Be Flexible
You might want to dress up as a grand wizard, but the cost is just a bit out of reach. Change direction and find something that doesn’t cost as much.
7. Shop Yard Sales
Check out yard sales for costumes and costume ideas. This is something you may be able to do as the holiday approaches or something you might want to consider doing throughout the year. You might find a piece here and there and can build a costume from the bargains you find.
8. Shop at the End of the Season
This one may not help you with this year’s costume, but is good to keep in mind for when the holiday has passed. Once Halloween is over, many stores will offer holiday items at a deep discount, so consider picking up makeup, colored hair spray and other items you can put away for next year. Think twice before getting a costume your child may not wear or could outgrow next year. However, these may make for good dress up items, if they’re a good deal.
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This article originally appeared on Credit.com.