Halloween for 4 kids can get pretty crazy and expensive. The average kid’s costume is $20, pumpkins are $5, trick-or-treat bags $1, and candy to hand out is gonna run $10 (minimum). This means our family can expect to spend at least $100 on this one evening of fun – and that doesn’t include sending in snacks for class parties, trips to the pumpkin patch, or school harvest festivals.
Usually, I wait till 1-2 nights before Halloween to shop for costumes to save time and money. See, by this point, the stores mark the costumes 25% off, plus there are slim pickings so my kids can pick up and consider every costume in under an hour. (Seriously y’all, my kids change their minds a million times and if we go when the store is fully stocked, we are stuck in that aisle forever.) Of course, the school can always throw a wrench in my plans by celebrating Halloween 3 days before the actual holiday (thanks so much).
This year, for the first time, we decided to get creative and put together our own costumes instead of buying packaged sets. K loves Tinkerbell, so I got some wings, a green shirt, and a cute headband with a flower on it. Throw in a skirt that I made of tulle and a little glitter, and we have the cutest Tinkerbell ever. After seeing me make K’s skirt, the older boys were dying to put together their own creative costumes. E decided be a bum, and C is going to be a werewolf (which was quite the challenge to make since masks are not allowed). E’s bum costume consists of a pair of ripped jeans, an old flannel, a cardboard sign that says “will work for candy” and some makeup to make him look dirty and in needs of a shave. C is wearing old ripped jeans, a flannel shirt, brown gloves and wolf makeup. Poor N had to go store-bought, only because I have NO CLUE where to begin with making a Bumblebee Transformer costume (I’m only human.)
N’s kindergarten field trip to the pumpkin patch supplied us with two large and perfectly shaped pumpkins. Last night, the kids teamed up and planned their pumpkins, after digging out (and playing with) all the mushy, squishy, goopiness inside. Tommy’s excellent carving skills brought their jack-o-lanterns to life, and since I was feeling all Martha Stewart from the costumes, I roasted pumpkin seeds- one salty batch, and one sweet apple-cinnamon batch. YUM!
All total, we have spent under $50 on costumes this year- which warms my frugal little heart. More importantly, the time spent with the kids, brainstorming ideas and seeing the costumes come together, was so much more fun than wasting my life away in the costume aisle. This home-made and crafty approach to the holidays just might have something to it. So if you see me on Halloween, I’m not wearing a costume on the outside, but I’m pretty sure I look a little like if Suzie Homemaker and June Cleaver on the inside.