Every time I walk into a party store come fall, I am overcome with remorse for the hard-earned dollars my parents wastefully spent on cheaply made Halloween costumes I’d only wear for maybe five hours max. Seriously, I was that kid who’d get bored of trick-or-treating after a block or so, which means, aside from the few times I played dress up as a kid, good ol' mom and dad shelled out a chunk of money in exchange for a cute photo and a bag of candy to rummage through when I wasn’t looking. Fast-forward to my 20s, and I can’t help thinking who in their right adult mind would pay for a Halloween costume that costs $50, or even $30, when there are plenty of Halloween costumes under $10 that get the job done without feeling like you just wasted a ton of cash.
I promise you, Halloween does not have to be expensive. It's one thing if Halloween is that one holiday you go all in on, as opposed to, say, Christmas. But if on All Hallows' Eve, you're either stuck answering the door for trick-or-treaters, or you're bugging your friends to at least go to a spooky happy hour with you, there's no need to dip into your bank account for overpriced ensembles I can almost guarantee you'll only wear once.
Commit to a $10 budget and get crafty with the Halloween costumes listed below. Chances are, you'll get some use out of an old T-shirt you barely wear anyway, and with plenty of leftover cash, you can splurge for king-size candy bars instead of those teasing miniatures.
1. The Copy Cat
Molly Nicole of @MarvelousMollie brings you this T-shirt costume that's so simple, you're probably a little annoyed you didn't think of it first.
You can literally pull this Halloween costume together in 10 minutes or less. All you need is a set of black letters to iron on an old T-shirt and cat ears to complete the ensemble. Easy and clever AF.
2. An Identity Thief
Maybe it's the writer in me, but I am loving all the double entendre costumes you can make on Halloween, and this genius idea comes from a YouTube channel otherwise known as 99CentsOnlyOfficial, which posts content that caters to that #CheapLife.
Got a hoodie? Great! A pair of dark sunnies? Even better. The identity thief costume's main attraction is its name tags after all. Buy a pack, scribble down a bunch of random names, and post these tags all over your body.
3. A Bank Robber
Pro tip: Consult your closet before you do any Halloween costume shopping whatsoever. Chances are, your costume is already sitting pretty in your wardrobe.
To master the ruthless robber ensemble, all black everything is a must. Bring out your dark denim and favorite black and white striped T-shirt. You can snag a black domino mask for less than a dollar at Party City, and as for your stash bag, an old pillowcase will do just fine.
4. A Cereal Killer
Personally, I'm a cereal connoisseur (seriously, ask my husband about the struggles of prying me away from the cereal aisle), so I constantly have at least one box in the recycling bin for such occasions.
Cut or print out your favorite cereal logo, and paste it onto an oversized white T-shirt. Dip your entire hand in red paint, and splatter a few prints throughout the remaining white space. Throw on a pair of leggings, footwear of your choice, and carry around a prop knife so your hostess knows no box is safe.
5. The Walking Hotspot
Bethany Mota is an OG Youtube star, and if you're one of her 10 million subscribers, then you probably want to be her IRL BFF just as badly as I do.
Check out this clever hotspot Halloween costume we've got going on here. She goes into detail in her video on how to get the look with basically any top and a coat of paint.
Everyone loves a hotspot (how else are we supposed to upload this look to Insta?), so there's really no doubt you'll be the life of the party.
6. Oh, Deer God
The Gabbie Show's Oh, Deer God costume is actually heavenly, with serious toga-party-meets-tree-hugger vibes that I am 100 percent here for.
Steal some white sheets from your parents, and follow along with the YouTuber's tutorial on how to bend and twist the fabric into a dress. Her makeup is all her own, so no need to splurge on new products, and the reindeer antlers were a dollar store find, but you can get snag a pair from AliExpress for just as cheap.