Here's the deal with Halloween. It's a lot of fun. But let's face it, when you're celebrating Halloween with a baby, it's more about the idea of utter and total cuteness than actual fun. As a mom of two, I can honestly tell you that getting a baby wriggled into a costume and then keeping him or her in it for the entire night is next to impossible.
So why bother, right?
Because, after all, it is a part of making memories. But just because you want to make some memories, it doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune doing it. The price of baby costumes can get pretty outrageous, and while sometimes I can understand spending the money — especially if your baby is old enough to play dress-up or you think you might pass it down to another child — more often than not, I strongly advise against it. Spending more than $20 on a costume that will only be worn once is craziness!
If your mindset is anything like mine, read on to find out how to save major money on Halloween costumes for your baby.
Buy a Costume Under $10
If you think this can't be done, you're absolutely wrong. BuyCostumes.com has an excellent clearance section with many costumes costing under $10. The selection is, of course, limited. However, with Indian Jones and Baby Bear costumes coming in at under $6, it's worth looking at.
Buy a Used Costume
Your local consignment store is a great place to find not only baby clothes, but gently used Halloween costumes as well! Think about it: if you had spent a pretty penny on a costume that you weren't going to use again, wouldn't you want to try and make money from the sale of it? The last time I was in our local baby consignment shop, they had tons of baby costumes and most were under $15.
Note: Remember that, before you buy anything used for your baby, there are a few things to consider including clothing recalls and safety considerations. You can view all CPSC-issued baby clothing recalls in the Baby Clothing Basics section of the site and I recommend you review my article What to Look for When Buying Used Baby Clothes before you purchase a used costume.
Host a Costume Swapping Party
This works just like a baby clothes swap party; everyone brings their outgrown costumes and swaps them for gently used costumes in the next size up. It works like a charm. Plus, you get to see your friends for a change! Learn more about how to host a baby clothes (or costume) swap party in the article Want Inexpensive Baby Clothes? Host a Baby Clothes Swap Party!
If you're not in to the idea of hosting a party, do it online with the Halloween Costume Exchange. Jennifer Wolfe, the Guide to Single Parents, provides an excellent explanation of the costume exchange program right here.
Make a Baby CostumeI know this sounds intimidating — especially if you're not particularly crafty. However, making a baby costume is easier than it sounds. A few excellent resources are Homemade Costume Ideas by the Guide to Family Crafts and Homemade Kids Halloween Costumes.
Wait Until the Last Minute
Believe it or not, procrastination actually pays off in this case. Granted, there won't be as many costumes to choose from, but sometimes narrow choices lead to quick decisions.
If you wait until after October 15th, you will score the best deal on a costume — especially if you're buying one brand new. And, believe it or not, one of the very best places to find cheap Halloween costumes is JoAnn Fabrics. The chain often has costumes marked down as much as 60% well before mid-October. However, costumes are only available in-store.
While Halloween can easily set you back $100 or more, it doesn't have to. If any of these tips worked for you — or you just have advice of your own on how to save money on costumes — consider contributing your ideas to How We Save Money on Baby Costumes.