1. Shop temporary stores vs. year-round costume shops. Every September, Halloween stores pop up in otherwise vacant retail space, only to disappear in November. These stores can offer lower prices than year-round costume shops due to their comparatively low overhead. A costume shop open all year might mark up prices around Halloween, since that’s when they typically do the vast majority of their business.
2. Find great costumes at non-costume stores. Check out costumes at your local big volume stores such as Costco. Although there’s a limited selection, most younger children are simply excited to dress up – they care little about specific costume ideas.
3. Do it yourself without the needle and thread. Creating a great costume doesn’t take a specialized seamstress but does take a little creativity. Visit a craft store and you will get some great ideas. Many craft stores offer the step by step tools to create your own unique costume.
4. Consider costume rental. Once you accept the fact that your costumes will probably never be used more than once, you might consider just renting something for the night. The advantage is that you or your children will be enjoying a far higher quality get-up than the inexpensive costumes that are normally sold for under $50. While this might not be the best choice for young children spending an hour or two trick-or-treating, it’s a great option for older kids or adults who want to impress their friends at a costume party. The rental market is where the year-round shops really excel.
5. Shop online. It’s very easy to overlook the fact that most items sold in costume stores can be purchased online. Online stores will offer great prices and incredibly wide selections. Once you’ve visited some local costume stores, take a moment to search for the same items online at substantial savings. That being said, also keep in mind that many local stores employ your neighbors, pay taxes and otherwise support your local community. Support them whenever possible.
6. Stockpile your dress up trunk. What a better way to beef up that coveted dress up trunk than to take advantage of those deeply discounted sales on costumes immediately following Halloween? For those parents truly thinking in advance, you can make these sales purchases for the upcoming Christmas Holiday Season.