Halloween Costumes on a Budget

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It’s spooky season! With Halloween just around the corner, the perfect costume is a must. Whether you plan on going out or staying in, here are some costume ideas that won’t scare your bank account. 

Most of these ideas would work for groups, couples or individuals.

Buy a bag of Smarties candy from the store and tape them all over a pair of pants to immediately become Mr./Mrs. Smartie Pants. This idea can also work with Nerds candy to be a nerd – add a pair of glasses to really look the part. 

Have a tropical shirt but don’t want to be a tourist? Add a pair of khaki shorts and boxing gloves to become Hawaiian Punch. 

Grab a loaf of bread from the store and some trophies or medals to be a breadwinner. 

When life gives you lemons, make a Halloween costume out of it! You can make a shirt that says “life” on it or carry around a box of Life cereal. Either way, don’t forget to bring the lemons!

Speaking of cereal, buy some mini cereal boxes from the store and empty them out. Tape the boxes and some plastic spoons to a plain t-shirt for a “Cereal Killer” look. If you want to make it a bit scarier, splatter some fake blood or red paint on the shirt. 

If it’s supposed to rain on Halloween, repurpose your umbrella into your costume. Print off pictures of Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, Tom Holland, Tyler Cameron, your Jewell crush and others to tape to or hang from the umbrella. It’s raining men!

Arguably the easiest group costume is being M&Ms. Plain colored shirts with a white “M” pinned to your chest will do the trick. Coordinate your socks or pants color to your shirt for added effect.

A similar costume would be to tape “A” to a red shirt, “S” to the blue shirt and “T” to a green shirt for easy Alvin and the Chipmunks costumes. 

Another classic, easy costume is Sully, Mike and Boo from Monsters Inc. For Sully, get a blue shirt and put purple patches in a few spots. Mike’s costume would be a bright green shirt with a giant eyeball made of paper pinned to the stomach. Boo would simply need a pink shirt and pigtails. To make yours unique, add colored tutus or buy oversized shirts with colored shorts. 

Throw it back to April 2020 for this next look. Save up the empty toilet paper rolls from your bathroom to tape or pin to a shirt to remind everyone to be thankful we all have toilet paper now. You could also add masks, hand sanitizer bottles and signs to keep six feet away for a complete COVID-19 themed costume. 

For a more upscale look, you’ll need an old prom or homecoming dress. You can either carry a rose and be a Bachelor contestant or wear a tiara, sash and bouquet of flowers for a Miss Universe look. 

A perfect couple’s costume could be Jake from State Farm and Flo from Progressive. For Jake, you need a red shirt and khakis. Flo should be dressed in all white with a white apron. Adding name tags and talking about insurance all night would really drive home the point. 

Another fun couple’s costume is Bob Ross and a Happy Little Tree. You can find a Bob Ross wig and paint pallet at Party City and other costume stores. For The Happy Little Tree, you need a brown shirt with leaves taped or pinned to it. You can even channel your inner Bob Ross to draw little branches on your face. 

If all else fails, places like Spirit Halloween have great last-minute masks, wigs, hats and costumes. No matter what costume you decide on, have fun, and be safe this year. Happy Halloween!


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