Americans plan to spend an average of $82.93 to celebrate Halloween this year, according to the National Retail Federation. That cost includes costumes, decor and candy (but not the dental work you might need after all the candy).
But some costume shops would make you think it’s normal to spend up to $80 — or more — just on a Halloween costume. Have you seen the price tags on these getups lately?
And while it’s tempting to plunk down a few Tubmans to take care of your get-up in one fell swoop, too many costumes out there are made of cheap material that won’t last you until next week, let alone next Halloween.
Here are a few particularly irksome costuming offenders. You’re savvier than this, Penny Hoarders. I have faith that you can put together an awesome, frugal costume this Halloween.
1. Ghost Costume Cape: list price $27.99
Are you seriously thinking of paying close to $30 for a “ghost” costume that looks like your child made it herself? (Good job, kid.)
White tulle costs no more than $2 per yard at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Pick up 4 to 5 yards, drape, fasten at the neck with a spare piece of ribbon and send her out the door.
Did I mention the adult version of this costume is $35 bucks? Sure, it comes with a white dress to wear underneath the cape, but I know you have a white T-shirt at home.
Grab some white leggings from Target when you do your Jo-Ann run and call it a holiday.
2. Adult Purple Grapes Costume: $54.99
In my day, we made this costume ourselves by blowing up purple balloons and taping them to regular old clothes.
The balloons are also more entertaining for the danger factor. Will Jimmy make it through the night with his grapes intact? Only time can tell, place your bets now.
Plus, the store-bought costume doesn’t even come with the big cartoon mitts shown, which are $10 extra. I don’t want that costume unless there are mitts.
3. Wednesday Addams Dress: $34.99
You don’t have a black dress in your closet already?
This costume doesn’t even come with the wig, tights or shoes. Remember, Wednesday herself would never fall for this crap.
4. Skeleton Catsuit: $34.59
If you take the lazy route and buy this costume instead of making it, I’m going to be so disappointed in you.
Step one: acquire black leggings and a black long-sleeved shirt. You probably have these in your wardrobe already.
Step two: Cut out some boney shapes, either from white felt or regular-old white paper. Apply to black clothing with double-sided tape.
It does not take a medical degree to piece this costume together.
5. Baby Firefighter Costume (18 months): $29.41
This baby costume is so cute, but it’s completely unnecessary. Get red sweats for your little one — perfect for snuggling year round, not just on Halloween — and use black and orange felt and some safety pins to add fire-fighting details.
Your child will probably hate the hat, so try not to spend more than a few dollars on one.
6. Tina Belcher Outfit and Foam Wig: $34.99
The foam wig for this “Bob’s Burgers” costume is cool, but it’s going to last 10 minutes before you get hot and abandon it in a corner at the party.
Instead, grab a blue tee and skirt from the thrift shop, splurge on a fresh pair of tube socks, and wear your favorite sneakers.
Steal a spare pair of glasses off your favorite hipster (they always have extras) and don’t worry about your hair. Fans of the show will still get it.
7. 80s Rocker Diva: $49.99
You don’t even need to go to the thrift store to get the clothes and accessories you need for this costume.
Just raid your kid sister’s closet. Nostalgia is so hot right now.
8. Adult Burglar Costume: $24.99
If you buy this costume, you’re the worst burglar ever. It doesn’t even come with pants.
If you’re telling me you can’t find a striped shirt to wear, you do not deserve to rob any banks.
Your Turn: How much will you spend on a Halloween costume this year?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. She loves cheap, homemade Halloween costumes.