Cheap Halloween Costume Ideas

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Kerry Sherin
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Many people enjoy celebrating Halloween by dressing up as an iconic character, trendy topic or other concept of their choosing. But a pricey store-bought Halloween costume may be outside your budget. If you're looking to save money on your Halloween costume this year, try gathering supplies from around your house in addition to grabbing a few inexpensive items from local stores.

Here are cheap Halloween costumes you can make for less than $20:

-- Tom Cruise from "Risky Business."

-- "Where's Waldo?"

-- Witch.

-- Cat.

-- Mummy.

-- Instagram influencer.

-- Pizza delivery person.

-- Hershey's Kiss.

-- When life gives you lemons.

-- Fake news.

-- Jellyfish.

Read on for more information about each affordable Halloween costume.

[See: 12 Useless Fees Draining Your Budget.]

Tom Cruise From "Risky Business"

A classic look from the 1983 Tom Cruise movie, the "Risky Business" Halloween costume is not only easy to put together but likely already in your closet. Don these items and you'll be sliding into a good time with this Halloween costume.

What you need:

-- White button-down shirt.

-- Dark sunglasses.

-- Black crew socks.

-- Boxers or athletic shorts.

Estimated cost: $0.

"Where's Waldo?"

The "Where's Waldo" look is a staple on Halloween as it combines items you probably already own with a few cheap accessories to tie the look together.

What you need:

-- Jeans.

-- Red and white striped top. Available at a variety of retailers for less than $15.

-- Eyeglasses. Available at a variety of retailers for less than $5.

-- Red beanie. Prices vary but this can be found for less than $10.

Estimated cost: $25 or less.

[Read: Best Budget Apps.]


No need to cover yourself in green paint, the classic witch costume can be thrown together with only three items. If it's cold in your neck of the haunted woods, grab some pantyhose for an additional layer to keep warm.

What you need:

-- Black dress.

-- Broom.

-- Witch hat. Available at most major retailers for less than $10.

-- (optional) Black pantyhose. Available for less than $10.

Estimated cost: $10 to $20.


Dressing as a cat for Halloween is a go-to when looking to save money. To make this affordable costume come together, pull out your favorite black clothing and throw on a pair of cat ears. Draw on a pair of whiskers and a small black nose, and you have a costume everyone will recognize.

What you need:

-- Black top.

-- Black pants.

-- Cat ears. Available for $1 at a dollar store.

-- Black eyeliner or waterproof marker. Available for $1 at a dollar store.

Estimated cost: $2.


Assuming you have an extra roll of toilet paper and tape laying around your home this Halloween, this mummy costume comes in at no cost. Wrap yourself with the bathroom paper and tape to secure. Be sure to use your scariest mummy voice as your best accessory.

What you need:

-- Roll of toilet paper.

-- Tape.

Estimated cost: $0

[See: 12 Shopping Tricks to Keep You Under Budget.]

Instagram Influencer

Consider this an amped up version of your daily self. If you're wanting to pull off the Instagram influencer look, it needs to be over-the-top. Go for dark contours with your makeup, take pictures of yourself throughout the night and model drinks or candy like you're getting paid to do it.

What you need:

-- Diva attitude.

-- Your phone to use as a selfie camera.

Estimated cost: $0

Pizza Delivery Person

A favorite at any party, Halloween or not, the pizza delivery person is the hero of the night for bringing snacks to all. Grab a frozen pizza for a "It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno" take on the costume or order takeout from your favorite pizza place. Carry around your pizza of choice and hand out pieces to partygoers.

What you need:

-- Polo shirt.

-- Jeans.

-- Pizza.

Estimated cost: Less than $15.

Hershey's Kiss

The iconic foil-wrapped chocolate from Hershey's is a favorite candy throughout the year. To pull this off, tie string around a Hula-Hoop and connect it over your shoulders. Then take your tinfoil and run it through the hoop and up and around your neck. Do this all the way around, creating a cone shaped tinfoil body. For an extra touch, write a clever note on a piece of paper and hang it off your head with a clip to mirror the pull tab on the chocolate candy.

What you need:

-- Aluminum foil.

-- Hula-Hoop.

-- String.

Estimated cost: Less than $10.

When Life Gives You Lemons

Bring the classic saying "When life gives you lemons" to life with this costume. Grab either a white T-shirt from your closet that you don't mind ruining or a new one from the store. Take your marker and write the word "Life." Be sure to put a piece of scrap paper or cardboard in your shirt to stop it from bleeding through. Next, grab your bag of lemons, throw on your shirt and head to your Halloween adventures.

What you need:

-- Bag of lemons. Available for a few dollars at the grocery store.

-- White T-shirt. Available for $5.

-- Black marker.

Estimated cost: Less than $15.

Fake News

First, gather your supplies and write the word "Fake" on the chest of your T-shirt. Prevent the marker from bleeding through by using a piece of paper or cardboard in between the layers. Take the old newspapers and staple the corners to the belt, allowing the paper to hang like a handkerchief. Fasten your belt, throw on your shirt and be the gossip of Capitol Hill. This outfit can be worn over pants, leggings or as a skirt if you place the paper closely enough together.

What you need:

-- Stapler.

-- Old belt.

-- White T-shirt. Available for $5.

-- Black marker.

-- Newspapers.

Estimated cost: Less than $10.


This costume will make a splash at any parade or party and is easy to throw together. Cut streamers in 4 foot pieces and tape one end to the top of the umbrella. Wear a monochrome outfit and hold your umbrella over your head. Move your body like you're under the ocean, and you've transformed into a jellyfish.

What you need:

-- Umbrella.

-- Streamer roll. Available for $1 at a supplies store.

-- Tape.

Estimated cost: Less than $5.

Combining inexpensive items from the store and the items you have from home will allow you the ultimate flexibility when it comes to being both creative with your costume and saving money this Halloween. Make sure you're checking prices and using coupons when shopping for your in-store accessories to save even more.

Kerry Sherin is a savings expert at, a leading online coupon platform that helps connect consumers with savings and deals from thousands of retailers and brands. She is a seasoned shopping and savings professional with years of experience for finding the best deal. Her passion lies in helping others connect with the brands they love at an affordable price.

When not providing consumers with the latest and greatest deals, Sherin can be found doing some deal-hunting of her own, shopping for the latest pair of shoes to fill out her collection. She also enjoys the almost perfect year-round weather in Austin, Texas by going swimming and hiking around the city with her dog Bear.

Sherin attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina where she studied integrated marketing communications and digital media. While in college, Sherin used her shopping and budgeting skills to land her the best deals on a student's budget.