October is an exciting month! Costumes are on display in stores, candy adorns the grocery aisles and kids seem to talk endlessly about what they are going to be on Halloween. But some parents worry about expensive costumes and too much candy. This year, embrace the holiday. Find a cheaper costume (or gasp, make it!), sort through your child’s candy bag (or eat it!) and give in to the fun of dress-up. Try these 10 ways to find a cheaper costume:

Visit consignment stores.

Children’s resale shops and annual sales events are great places to find gently used costumes.

Shop at thrift stores.
Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores often carry costumes at a discounted price.

Check out garage sales.
Neighborhood garage sales are some of the best places to find costumes, especially sizes newborn to 12 months. At that age, you wear them once and outgrow them. Take advantage of one mom’s love for buying expensive tutus and turn it into a money-saving moment.

Check the regular toy aisles.
Everyday dress-up outfits make great Halloween costumes  – watch for sales on some of your kid’s favorite heroes.

Make your own.
Take ideas from Pinterest and create them using items you have around the house.

Call a friend.
Network with other parents and form a costume “swap” – your child’s Hulk outfit for their Iron Man one.

Shop online.
Amazon and eBay are both great websites to use when you are looking for affordable options.

Price match.
 Some stores like Target and Wal-Mart will match a competitor’s lower price. Most stores will adjust the price of an item if it has gone on sale within 14 days of when it was purchased. It never hurts to ask.

Post a message.
Use Facebook and other social media tools to let friends and family know you’re looking for costumes. Borrow or “rent” one for a few dollars and save yourself a trip to the store.

The number one tip:
The best tip for for getting the lowest-priced costumes? Snag ‘em right after Halloween for the following year. Most costumes are marked down by 70-80 percent of their original prices.

– Meagan Ruffing

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