Paycheck Chronicles

7 Cheap and Fast Halloween Costumes

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child in halloween costume
(Kenneth Wright/DVIDS)

Halloween has snuck up on you again, and you decided you can't wear the Maverick from Top Gun costume you've worn year after year. And the new Spiderman costume you've been eyeing may cost you an arm and a leg. On average, Americans spend $9 billion on Halloween-related activities each year.

One way you can cut costs is by not buying an expensive costume. And, your closet probably has all the components you need to make a great costume. Here are seven ideas for your Halloween costume that are free to relatively inexpensive.

The Little Old Man

Dress in an older man's or woman's clothing. A hat is a nice touch. If you don't have a real walking can you can substitute an appropriate size stick. Add some creative face painting with lots of wrinkles. Be sure to add the cracking voice and a prominent limp.

The Hobo

Recycle unwanted clothing. Paint your clothes or sew patches on them. Use black or brown make up to smudge on your face to look unkempt. Sport a tattered hat and some old, hole-riddled shoes and you're good to go!

The Graduate

Wear your old high school graduation cap and gown as a costume. If it doesn't hold too much sentimental value, you can use it to create a very simple, easy costume. You can also create a fake diploma to carry around with you that night.

The Witch

A long black dress or completely black outfit can be combined with a witches hat and black cape.

Scarecrow

Cut up some old jeans and a flannel shirt in scarecrow fashion. Cut sleeve ends and pant legs in strips to look tattered. Use straw or old a straw broom's bristles and glue or tape along inside edges and sleeves. And don't forget your straw hat!

Bunch of Grapes

Super simple if you have dark pants, top in red, purple or green, covered with matching balloons. Gather your friends to make an entire vineyard, or get someone to dress up as a wine bottle to be a before-and-after project. If you can source some other fruit costumes, a group of you can be the Fruit of the Loom guys.

Taco Bell Sauce

This one will require a little bit of effort, but it is still pretty darn awesome for something so simple. Use a solid colored T-shirt or cheap strapless dress and decorate to look like a sauce packet from Taco Bell. Use their saucy sayings, or make up your own. If you have time and skills, you can sew a t-shirt into a strapless dress. The decorating can be as elaborate or simple as you can manage: fabric paint, stickers, or just paper stuck onto the clothes.

Halloween can be a fun holiday for you and your children, but it shouldn't have to break the bank. Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

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