Halloween is approaching quickly, and you might be wondering how you’ll be able to afford a Halloween celebration or costume this year if money is tight. But have no fear; you can still host a rockin’ Halloween party on a budget and it’ll be as fun as ever! Here are a few of our favorite tips for celebrating Halloween on a budget.

5 Ways To Celebrate Halloween On A Budget

1. DIY that costume!

DIY and crafting aren’t everyone’s strong suit, so if you aren’t up for it this year, you can always grab an inexpensive costume from the local big box store or just forego dressing up this year. Or try a fun costume t-shirt that won’t break the budget and says you made an effort.

However, if you’re up for some DIY, all you need is a little time and a talent for sewing (or gluing). Need a little inspiration? Check out Epic Cosplay Costumes: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making and Sewing Your Own Costume Designs, Make: Props and Costume Armor: Create Realistic Science Fiction & Fantasy Weapons, Armor, and Accessories, and Cosplay – The Beginner’s Masterclass: A Guide To Cosplay Culture & Costume Making: Finding Materials, Planning, Ideas, How To Make Clothing, Props & More. For the kids, there’s Sewing Dress-Up: 35 cute and easy costumes for kids or Costume Party Book: Easy-to-Make and Inexpensive Outfits for Halloween, Theatre, and Creative Play (Design Originals).

Sewing Dress-Up: 35 cute and easy costumes for kids - DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
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Sewing Dress-Up: 35 cute and easy costumes for kids

Sewing Dress-Up: 35 cute and easy costumes for kids - DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids
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Sewing Dress-Up: 35 cute and easy costumes for kids

Costume Party Book: Easy-to-Make and Inexpensive Outfits for Halloween, Theatre, and Creative Play (Design Originals)
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Costume Party Book: Easy-to-Make and Inexpensive Outfits for Halloween, Theatre, and Creative Play (Design Originals)

Making your own costume allows you be creative. It’s not a pre-packed costume from the store – it’s a one-of-a-kind creation that allows you to express yourself!

2. Shop Used!

Web sites like eBay and Craiglist are great places to find Halloween decorations and costumes that people are purging at a super discounted price. Or check out your local FreeCycle.org for what you need. If you don’t have a group in your area, you can sign up to be a moderator and get one going. It’s a minimal time commitment, and both you and your community benefit year round.  Additionally, look for late in the season yard sales and shop for items that can be used for a costume or decor.

Of course, thrift stores like Goodwill and Savers are always interesting places to look for pieces for your costume. Prices are inexpensive, and their selection of weird and unusual stuff can’t be beaten. Good Will offers a free downloadable 2016 Living Amazing Halloween Guide with recipes, costume trends, Halloween fun facts, pumpkin carving templates, crafts, make-up and more to help you get going.

5 Ways to do Halloween on a Budget - Goodwill 2016 Holiday Guide - Recipes, Costume Trends, Crafts, Pumpkin Templates, Simple Costume Ideas for kids and adults
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So what does Goodwill say is the must-have costume for 2016? For kids is Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. They also give suggestions on what you’ll need to create this yourself. For adults, Wade Wilson from Deadpool and Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad are at the top of the list. Workout gear is the basis for the Quin and color blocked apparel and hair extensions in pink and blue for Quinn.

4. Reuse a costume!

The chances are that people probably won’t remember what you dressed up like last year. An excellent way to stay on budget is to recycle your previously worn outfit by adding a few changes to revive.  Or swap with a friend. Their tired costume is new to you and vice versa. This is also a perfect way to outfit your kids for Halloween – hand-me-down costumes cost nothing! Don’t have anyone nearby to trade with? Check for a 2016 Costume Swap in your area. It happens the second Saturday in October. While the originators of the movement are no longer coordinating the event, there are many swaps still taking place across the US.  If you don’t have one available, consider organizing one for next year!

National Costume Swap Day 2016
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4. BYOC!

Have a Bring Your Own Candy celebration! Ask everyone to bring a bag of their favorite candy to share. If you’d like to serve something beyond candy, ask guests to bring fun, spooky-themed appetizers or drinks to share. Most people don’t mind contributing, and it’s a great way to lessen the financial burden of a party so you can stick with your Halloween on a budget!

5 Ways to do Halloween on a Budget - BYOC party
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5. Dollar Store Decor!

Most of the time, the decor isn’t the most important part about Halloween, and if you’re rockin’ Halloween on a budget this year, this is an area where you don’t need to splurge. If you want to pick up a few things for decor, hit up your local dollar stores for some cheap decorative items that give the Halloween feel to your celebration. You’d be surprised what you can find there, and for only a buck too!

You can also DIY your decorations. The book, Artful Halloween: 31 Frightfully Elegant Projects, has projects like The Alchemist’s Book Pennant Garland which is created by items you probably already have around the house to produce a unique Halloween bunting that’ll have a lot of impact. Or take a look at Country Living Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas. I have this book in my personal library, and I refer to it often for quick ideas. You may also like Felt-o-ween: 40 Scary-Cute Projects to Celebrate Halloween.

Country Living Spooky & Bright: 101 Halloween Ideas
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These are some of our favorite tips for Halloween on a budget. It’s easy to cut costs and still have fun this year participating in Halloween!

What’s your favorite part about Halloween (on a budget or not)? Let us know in the comments below!