by Meagan Ruffing

October brings a sense of excitement. Costumes are proudly displayed in stores, candy adorns the grocery aisles and kids seem to talk endlessly about what they are going to be on Halloween. But a mother thinks 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:

Check the regular toy aisles for everyday dress-up outfits. Halloween costumes can be marked up “just because,” so go for one of your kid’s favorite heroines and reuse the costume at a dress-up party.
Children’s consignment stores and events are great places to find gently used costumes.
Goodwill, Salvation Army and other thrift stores often carry costumes at a discounted price.
Garage sales are one of the best places to find costumes, especially 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.
Make your own. Take ideas from Pinterest and find items you have around the house. Make a list of the items you do not have and grab them the next time you are out.
Call a friend and 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 Toys R Us and Wal-Mart will match any 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 on Facebook and let friends and family know that you are looking for costumes. Borrow one or “rent” one for a few dollars and save yourself a trip to the store.
The number one tip for getting the most ridiculously priced costumes? Snag ‘em right after Halloween for the following year. Most costumes are marked down by 70-80 percent of their original prices.

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