Halloween is just a few weeks away, and if you’re like me, you may still be scrambling to think about what your costume is going to be. But one thing I know for sure is I’m not going to bust my budget on the costume. Several years back, I spent way too much money on a pricey costume I bought online. It was a nice costume, but it was overpriced, and I will probably never use it again. Instead, I’ve vowed to plan ahead and get creative with my costumes, and be sure to shop at the places that will save me money. Here are affordable costumes and where to find them:

There are many costumes that don’t require any purchases whatsoever. There are two ways to find a costume. First, you can make a list of costume ideas you’d like to scour stores for. Or, you can have a blank canvas, and search your own home and affordable stores for inspiration for a costume.

Different Decade

It’s easy to mix and match pieces from your wardrobe to come up with an outfit that looks like it’s from another decade. A white undershirt, jeans, black sunglasses, and black leather jacket can easily pass for the 50’s, flared jeans and a tie-dye shirt works for the 70s, and through on bring neon shirts and leggings for the 80s.


Whether it’s in your own closet or something from a friend, uniforms from a doctor, police officer, nurse, construction worker, or fireman can be borrowed to wear as a practical costume.


You’d be surprised at how just styling your hair a different way, putting on specific makeup, or throwing on a certain outfit, could pass for a celebrity costume.

Things that require only an accessory
You can buy or make cat ears, and simply wear all black to go as a cat. Purchase a pair of wings or a halo, wear all white, and you’re an angel. A black dress only requires a witches hat, and you’re all set. A fedora hat can turn a men’s suit into a different era costume.

Place to find affordable costumes

Friends and Family

Why pay for a costume when you can get one for free? Ask your friends and family to borrow a costume or even another type of uniform or outfit they may have. You can also suggest and organize a costume swap amongst your friends, family, or neighbors and community. People can bring their old costumes from years back to switch for a new one.

Thrift Store

Even if you can’t find an actual Halloween costume, you’ll be able to use the eclectic items at a thrift store to put something unique together.


Many people in your area may be selling an old costume online. And it isn’t just after Halloween. Last year, I found there were several costumes for sale the weekend before Halloween since some people celebrate early.

Dollar Store

The dollar store is perfect for super affordable little accessories and pieces that can give you a fantastic costume.

Craft Store

The craft store is the perfect place to get creative with your costume. You can find unique items that can add a lot to your costume.

How do you save money on your Halloween costumes? What are some simple costumes most people have laying around their house?

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar

Kristen Kuchar is a freelance writer and editor who has learned how to save money without giving up a passion for travel, food, and living a fun life. She has written about personal finance for several years and graduated with a degree in Journalism. Follow her on Twitter @KristenKuchar.