Americans spend $100 per person on Halloween items: Here’s how to save on costumes

Between candy, decorations and costumes, Americans spend about $100 each on Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation.

That’s a big chunk of a family’s fall budget. But a growing number of parents are finding cheaper costumes that are even more creative than what you can buy at the store.

Tri-State resident Kristin Heitman makes DIY costumes for her children every year, saying they are so much more creative.

“It uses your imagination,” she said. “So, you can come up with better costumes than the pre-made ones.”

We found her shopping at a Cincinnati-area Michaels store, looking at their extensive collection of costume-making supplies, where store manager Amanda Reinfelder said a DIY costume can save big bucks.

“We have very affordable do-it-yourself costumes,” she said, “and it is very affordable ‘upcycling of your closet.”

That means you can take any plain T-shirt in your closet, and become a spider queen.

“It is super easy to make, you just trace out your spider web on the shirt,” Reinfelder said.

Then, she says, just add some spiders Michaels sells for $5 a pack.

Too scary? Reinfelder said a child who likes to read can dress as a spelling bee champion.

“So this you just need a T-shirt, some iron letters and some fabric paint,” she said.

Do-it-yourself costumes can save big bucks

Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge agrees that DIY is the way to go to save serious cash.

“There are so many YouTube videos that are really helpful in this regard,” she said.

The next best thing is a gently used costume from a consignment store, or your local Goodwill or Salvation Army.

“Remember, Halloween costumes are only worn once or twice. And so they’re typically in very good shape,” Bodge said.

She also recommends checking local Facebook groups for costume swaps in your community.

“Maybe that’s something that you can quickly and easily organize,” she said.

If you have to buy new, costume prices will only go down the closer we get to Halloween.

“Those retailers are going to be looking to clear that merchandise out,” she said, “and they will price it to sell.”

Just know you’ll have fewer options to choose from, that close to the holiday.

Reinfelder said creating your own costume — with your kids— is something they will always remember.

“It’s very heartwarming to do it together,” she said.

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