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5 Great Halloween Costumes for Under $5


We shopped for a Halloween costume for our daughter on Ebay this year. It was a net gain because we sold last year’s costume for more than the new one cost. I was really amazed at how much people were paying for some of the more elaborate costumes. There were some that were selling for $70 to $100, which seems crazy for one day of wear, but to each his own.

If you don’t want to spend that much for Halloween costumes, you can always make one on your own. I am not crafty, and I can barely sew on a missing button, so these are all costumes that don’t require much in the way of skills. This is my list of top five Halloween costumes that can be made for under $5.

 1)Bunch of Grapes. I absolutely love this one and have done it for myself and for our former dog. You get a long T-shirt or sweatshirt, preferably in purple or green, but black or even white will do. Next get a package of purple or green balloons, whichever grape color you prefer. Blow up the balloons and use a safety pin to fasten them to the t-shirt until you look like a bunch of grapes. For the dog, we used a leg from an old pair of panty hose with the foot cut off. It fits a small dog like a glove. It is hard to ride in a car if you stick balloons all over your backside, but it can be done.

2)Gum on a Shoe. I saw this one in a magazine a few years ago. You dress all in pink and tie a shoe to your wrist or around your waist. Pretty gross, but very creative and simple.

3)Crayola Crayon. For this one, you’ll need two or three poster boards depending on the size person you are trying to fit. They all need to be the same color. Staple the posters together until you have a cylinder that fits the person wearing the costume. Use some string or shoe laces to hold it up, like spaghetti straps. Take the rest of the poster board and make it into a triangle or cone shaped hat for your head. You can copy the logo from a crayon onto the front and back of the posters with a black marker.

 4)Split Pea Soup. Dress all in green. Make a letter P out of paper or poster or cardboard and cut it in half. Pin the two halves of the letter P to your shirt on opposite sides. You could also dress how you please and pin letter P’s to your pants. Then you’d have pee in your pants!

5)Opposite Gender. Trade clothes with someone of the opposite sex. Ideally, the worse things fit the better. I’ll never forget a guy I went to high school with who wore a dress, wig, and full makeup to school on Halloween. He carried a purse as well. We had a really grumpy lunch lady, but when he came through the line and pulled money out of his purse, she cracked up.

What are you going to be for Halloween? If you’d rather buy a costume, don’t forget to enter the Halloween giveaway to win your share of $660 in cash!



About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Halloween is fast approaching! I already prepared a costume for my daughter and this is her first time to join this kind of party.

  2. My sister and I went as Crayola Crayons one year haha. It’s a good costume, but I’m biased 😉

  3. Lol, the bunch of Grapes are awesome! I think the most we spent this year was $12-15 for our daughter for a princess dress – but it was a birthday present so it worked out well. The cheapest was for our youngest who’ll be a puppy dog and we got the costume for $1. As far me…I am scary looking enough as it is not to need a costume. 😉

  4. I’ve been hired the last three years to take part in this really rich family’s haunted house, so I never had the need to buy anything, but this year I’m not doing the HH. I think I’m kind of “skipping” Halloween this year. I usually pass out candy but right now I’m trying not to spend. But, I do have little thins around the house like devil horns and a cat mask just in case I change my mind. I used to spend a lot of money on Halloween but the frugal in me now says no. 🙂

    • I’ve always wanted to be in a haunted house! I’d love to be the person lying in the casket who jumps up and scares everyone. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough to go to those again. We are still on the pretty instead of scary Halloween stuff at this point.

  5. Very creative. I am lovin the grape costume idea. If I had a dog he’d definitely be grapes. My youngest wanted to be Sofia – the Disney character and my oldest wanted to be a princess. I spent about $25 per kid but they are very happy!

  6. My wife said the same thing about ebay…she said people were selling costumes for a pretty good price. My wife already bought a Mickey Mouse costume for our 3 month old…it was deeply discounted. Maybe I can sell next Halloween!

    • I think you absolutely could. I also sold a couple of old ones that the consignment shop. I used to save them all, but after 6 years, that’s alot of old Halloween costumes!

  7. these are GREAT ideas Kim!

    I have another one to share: Get a post-it note, staple it a a dozen times, dap it with red markers around the staples, and stick it on your forehead. Easy, costs nothing and quite funny!

  8. haha the dog grape is awesome. I don’t think we’ll go to a halloween party, most people don’t dress up so they are not much fun.

  9. Those are definitely some creative ideas. I once went as a Golf Champion by wearing a green jacket like the one they give to the winner of the Masters. Could be a cheap options as well, but you first have to be able to find one at a Thrift store.

    • That’s a great one! If I see a green jacket, I’ll snag it for my husband. He might actually go for that one. He’s a Halloween scrooge for the most part.

  10. My wife misses the annual trick or treat because we live in a gated community.

    • We never have many trick or treaters because we live outside the city limits. Our daughter racks up because all the neighbors know her and plan for her, and because there aren’t many others. One year, a neighbor baked her a dozen cupcakes!

  11. My wife bought a few white shirts for a couple bucks each and a little bit of non-toxic paint and let our 19-month-old son go to town smearing the paint all over the shirts. So we’re all going as Jackson Pollock paintings. A little off-beat, but definitely cheap and the painting was fun for our son.

  12. Very cute AND timeless ideas 🙂

    Among my group of friends, an inexpensive route that people have in years past taken is to dress like another person in the group. This usually involves wearing different clothes and styling hair differently. It’s not something that people outside the group would “get” but we have good fun with it and it costs almost nothing.

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