The scariest part of Halloween this year may just be inflation. According to a new Power Reviews report, 73% of Americans surveyed said their shopping for the holiday will be impacted by economic challenges and 34% of them will buy cheaper Halloween candy this year.

If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween without breaking the bank, candy isn’t the only opportunity to be more budget-conscious on October 31 – consider saving on costumes and decor with the ideas below.

Cheap costume ideas

Let’s start with your costume. You can be the talk of the Halloween party without needing to spend all that much – or be that crafty.


Barbiecore is still going strong thanks to Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster hit Barbie, so why not combine all the pink clothes and accessories you own into a Barbie costume? From cowgirl Barbie to doctor Barbie, you can get creative too – there are plenty of variations to choose from. Ken optional.

Nepo baby

New York Magazine deemed 2022 the year of the “nepo baby,” but the pop-culture trend, which refers to the nepotism that children of celebrities enjoy, has followed us into 2023. Just throw on a Hailey Bieber-inspired Nepo Baby white t-shirt with a pair of jeans and you’re good to go.

TV show characters

TV show characters make for great cheap and last-minute Halloween costumes. Let’s face it: You probably have something in your closet to pull off a Wednesday Addams costume or transform yourself into a character from Emily In Paris or White Lotus.


Dressing up as a mime is another wallet-conscious Halloween costume idea. All you need is black-and-white clothing, white face paint, and exaggerated black makeup for a classic mime look.

Bubble bath

A bubble bath costume is a unique, cheap, and easy DIY idea. Wear a white dress, strap a bunch of white balloons to yourself, and walk around with a rubber duck. You’ll get tons of compliments.


People on TikTok are dressing like their favorite drinks – and you can do the same for Halloween this year. Dress in orange for a take on Aperol Spritz or embody red wine with a dark red outfit, a hand-drawn wine label on a piece of cardboard that you stick to your chest, and a wine cork hat.

Witch, ghost or vampire

When all else fails, go with a classic. A white sheet with eye holes cut out becomes a timeless (and budget-friendly) ghost. Buy a witch hat from the dollar store, dress in black, grab a broom, and you’re a witch. Or dress up as a vampire with pointy teeth, a cape, and lots of fake blood.

The bear

The hit Hulu show is a crowd-pleaser and your costume can be too. Simply wear a blue apron over a white t-shirt with Crocs and just “Yes chef!” constantly! If you want to go the extra mile and are a Crocs fan you can buy these Croc x H&B Jibbitz™ Pack (for $17.) They feature an H&B apron, Hat, ampersand logo, and labeled deli cup. True The Bear fans can sport these all year in the kitchen!

Budget-friendly Halloween decor

Now that you’re feeling inspired, here are some budget-friendly decor ideas to help you get extra-festive.

  • Paper bats: Cut out bat shapes from black construction paper and hang them around your home.
  • Spooky mason jars: Paint mason jars black and add creepy faces with white paint for DIY lanterns.
  • Ghost balloons: Draw ghost faces on white balloons and hang them in your yard or inside.
  • Spider webs: Stretch fake spider webs around your home, or make your own using string and cotton balls.
  • Candles: Use inexpensive LED tea lights or candles in glass jars to create eerie lighting.
  • Creepy cloth: Stain cheesecloth or gauze fabric with fake blood (water and red food coloring) and drape it around furniture and doorways for a haunted look.
  • Jack-o’-Lanterns: Carve pumpkins or use foam pumpkins and place them around with battery-operated candles inside.
  • Scary silhouettes: Create silhouettes of witches, cats, or other Halloween figures using black paper or cardboard.
  • DIY potion bottles: Reuse old glass bottles, label them as “potions,” and add colored water or dry ingredients for a witchy vibe.

Bottom line

Yes, candy is more expensive these days. But you don’t need to skimp on decor or ditch the costume to make up for it – there are fun and budget-conscious ways to fully get into the Halloween spirit.