How Much Do You Spend on Halloween?

Updated on October 05, 2011
C.M. asks from Bartlett, IL
25 answers

I almost died when my husband spent $60 on my daughter's halloween costume last year! He took her shopping because she *had* to have a store-bought costume. It was $60 by the time they were done with the costume and all the accessories.

We can't afford that much this year. My daughter is now in competitive dance and we have to spend about $150 on her costumes and shoes for that. I don't mind spending the money for competitive dance because she will wear those costumes several times and she is learning a lot from dance. However, that is straining our budget.

I was thinking of giving her a certain amount to spend since she *has* to have a store-bought costume. She can add her own money if she wants to spend more. I wanted to encourage her to make a costume and get creative--maybe a trip to the thrift store. When she was younger I made all of her costumes and not only were they awesome but we always got lots of compliments. We always made them together. I guess since that's what we always did there's more appeal now in a store-bought costume!

How much do you spend? I'm thinking between $20 and $30 should do it? For the handmade costumes I never went over $20. Once I made an entire ninja outfit out of 3 tee shirts and some ribbon! Total cost: $15.

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answers from Chicago on

As little as possible - use the costume from last year!
I usually go and buy costumes after halloween when they are on clearance for under $5 and use them next year!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Honestly, I put my kids costumes together with things I already have and if I do need something, i don't spend more than 20 bucks on everything together.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I try to stay under $30.00 per kid for the costume. My boys also want the store bought costumes. I went to Goodwill last week to look around and they have tons of costumes right now. Last year I went much later and there wasn't much left.

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answers from Dallas on

I have 2 kids and we try to keep it around $20/30 per kid.

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answers from Dallas on

Our normal range is usually up to $50, except for one year our oldest daughter had numerous parties to go to and those cheap costumes usually don't last; so we bought her a $100 vampire dress in 2007. She looked great in it and has worn it numerous times since we bought it; so i'd say good investment and future hand me down to her little sis. Plus, last year she worked at Halloween Express and gained many costumes that she had to wear to get people to buy more; so now she has a surplus. As for our youngest we set the same price range no more than up to $50, however we prefer the great finds of $20. Or if I have the time I'll put together a costume. Do what is best for your budget. I understand our oldest did competitive dance and drill team as well as other dance classes and those years she was lucky to get the up to $50 because of all those expensive costumes and shoes. In favorable weather...she once wore a dance costume.

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answers from Houston on

We make our own, and they are always really cool with lots of compliments. And I am not a seamstress either. I have a budget of $15 or so. I'm frugal on candy too.

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answers from St. Louis on

as little as's a "one night fling". The night can be fun without tossing $$ into the moneypit of life.



answers from Washington DC on

Per kid? As little as possible. Last year SD was the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. We got her some makeup, some cat ears and she made the rest out of clothes she already had and hot pink duct tape. This year my DD will be a T-Rex (or a dragon...but she calls it a T-Rex) using a costume someone offered on Freecycle. I understand the lure of a store costume, but I'd talk to her and DH and say that you are spending so much on the dance she has to be more frugal for Halloween. I'd give her $20 and tell her to be creative.

When I was little, we built our outfits around snowsuits since it often did snow or was very cold. We had one awful orange and green snowsuit that was a clown outfit for each of us the year we were the size to wear it.


answers from Orlando on

We were pretty six year old twin boys told me months ago they wanted to be Mario and Luigi for Halloween because they've been playing Super Mario alot of Wii the last few months....was in Target last week and what do you know, there stood before me one costume of each in the perfect sizes...19.99 each. They've already been wearing them and we have four weeks to go...pretty good investment I guess :-)



answers from Seattle on

I'd spend a thousand, or more, if I could :) :) :)

Cost per costume varies an AWFUL lot. I've had some as low as 50, and some that were apx 150 all told SINCE my son was born and I've been on a tight budget. Before he was born, you don't even want to know.

Complete costumes often get worn a couple years in a row, or "come back to", and the pieces of each costume are often worn many many times throughout the year. PART of that is a weather issue. It's cold and wet up here around halloween so we start off with a hoodie & sweatpants base 8 times out of 9. Those alone cost $40-$50.

The Tim Burton's Alice dress I'd LIKE to make, and can't afford to (yet!) will run me at least $500 in fabrics, ribbons, peticoats, lingerie.

I buy parts for costumes all year long, as I come across them, if they're going to be pricey. I also have deadlines for certain costumes. EX) If my son wanted to be Ezzo from Assassins's CreedII, he needed to have decided that by July, and that would have been a RUSH (he was in the hospital from Feb-June, or I would have had an April/May deadline. The shirt was going to be a *major* pain to make, just in and of itself


answers from New York on

Usually I spend around $15 or $20 per kid. (Or nothing since we have a ton of dress up nice stuff which was given to my daughters all great condition Cinderella, Ariel etc). This year we spent $30 ea kid and they got really nicer costumes. (Batgirl and Wonder Woman) My parents chipped in 1/2 with us which was nice.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I bought each child a costume last year. They were under $20 each.

Our hip hop shoes are going to be $55 this year, like next week actually, so I can't afford to spend a lot for Halloween either. The the Soffe football capri's are $20 and the Soffe hoodie is only $8.95 plus the printing cost, she is selling the hoodies at her cost.

This year I think the same amount is okay but one wants to be a "ghostie"...I can handle that!



answers from St. Louis on

I try to stay under $30 per a kid. This year I got lucky, only had to spend $10. My youngest is wearing a hand-me-down, and my oldest wants to be a butterfly so shes wearing a leotard & tights from dance class and fairy wings from some old dress up clothes.


answers from La Crosse on

I try not to spend over $20 per kid.
This year I went on ebay and I found the two little one's costumes... Tinkerbell, very pretty dress and shoes with shipping it was $15. Peter Pan, has the shirt, pants, shoe covers, hat and knife with shipping it was $10.

One of my other sons just wants a silly mask. He found one for $2 with free shipping. Right up my alley!!


answers from Chicago on

I'd tell her to spend her own money at GoodWill and get creative. When we were growing up almost all of our costumes were homemade - even when we got older. There are so many fun and creative things you can be - and now with the Internet, your daughter could do a search for cheap costume ideas and get some great ones. There are tons and tons of accessories at GoodWill that she could use to make a costume. They are now know for their Halloween costumes, etc.



answers from Chicago on

I think $20-$30 is really reasonable. Especially if you are on a budget. Is there any way you can control the spending by limiting where you go to get a costume? That way she won't see the super expensive ones to know what she's missing. For example, maybe just say you'll take her to Old Navy and Target, and from there she'll have to pick one. And if she wants something more elaborate, for example, you can stop by the craft store to buy some ribbon or sparkles or whatever it might be to make it more special.

My 2yo is super picky, but again, he's only 2. So I'll take him to Old Navy and have him pick a costume out.



answers from Los Angeles on

I bought a used costume for $4, but spent about $20 incl shipping fees to embellish it, so I won't complain about $24. I saved money and time because last year I made the costume.


answers from Minneapolis on

craigslist, and in our area we have a costume rental place that starts to advertise around Sept, and till the day of Halloween. They are clean but I hear a lot of people were not happy with other rental stores. I am blessed to have sisters and brothers with older kids, most my kids have hand me downs and I have tried my hand and making them as well. I made a Moon costume for my daughter and it kinda turned out more like a half eaten cookie either way it was original.


answers from Austin on

Good will has ton of great costumes.

Our daughter is really clever.. She is great at using what she has to put together awesome costumes. She also gets great ideas from the Martha Stewart Halloween editions.


answers from Tulsa on

I spent $10 on the store bought costume this year. I got a size up, so he will get to wear it next year too, so an average of $5 per year. I try to recycle. Of course, his first year was special and that outfit was his exact size, so no reusing it, but it was only $15. His next two years were my sister's costume that my mom handmade when she was a baby 19 years ago. He was also going to wear it last year, but we went with something that we created with stuff he already had in his closet. This year was also going to be stuff from his closet and the only thing I would have had to buy would be a top hat. But since the store costume was so cheap, we went with that.

As a tip for next year, can you buy the costume the day after Halloween when they go half off? She'd have to decide what she was going as a year early and that doesn't work for some kids. I always buy the pre packaged Easter baskets the day after. I'm cheap! :)



answers from Lincoln on

I love to spend as little as possible! I do let him keep the costume out year round for dress up. (He's 6.) This year I lucked out! He wants to be a devil and I found the accessories (horns, tail, etc) for $5 at Wal Mart. Put on some red clothes and we will be ready!


answers from St. Louis on

As little as possible....


answers from Washington DC on

We used to spend between $15 and $20...
Some people are far more creative than I...
My friend was a shower one year -- it was awesome... total cost $0 because they had everything at home.



answers from Savannah on

I think that sounds pretty good, but do not take her to one of those Halloween specialty stores that pop up around this time of year. Those costumes are $50+. I think that walmart, target, etc. will have costumes in your price range.


answers from St. Louis on

Have not had to buy one thus far (kids are 4 and 2) and we have either been given some, borrowed or put together costumes in the past. I'd say no more than $30 per child in my household. That includes everything!!! My daughter wanted to be a ninja (figured it would be the first costume we'd buy) but then when I asked yesterday she wanted to be a princess and we have plenty of stuff at home to come up with one of those costumes! I have a feeling she'll want to be rapunzel so all I need for that is a super long wig!


Have not had to buy one thus far (kids are 4 and 2) and we have either been given some, borrowed or put together costumes in the past. I'd say no more than $30 per child in my household. That includes everything!!! My daughter wanted to be a ninja (figured it would be the first costume we'd buy) but then when I asked yesterday she wanted to be a princess and we have plenty of stuff at home to come up with one of those costumes! I have a feeling she'll want to be rapunzel so all I need for that is a super long wig!

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