The prices of costumes are just ridiculous anymore. Every year it seems like they are more expensive. $50-$100 is a lot of money for something you wear only once a year. My costumes for the past few years I havent spent the outrageous prices.
If your not sure what you want to be, check out your local Ross. I just bought my costume from work and my costume here was $16.99. I looked it up when I got home and websites were wanting $50 for it. Which is a lot for only getting the dress and headband. Everyday we have been getting in costumes (children and adult). The sizes are random usually ranging from Small to Large. Here are some other costumes we have gotten recently.
Cute Dorothy Type Costume $9.99
Another Dorothy for $9.99.
This fairy costume that does come with the wings is only $6.99. Its cute and a total bargain.
A diffrent style fairy costume for $6.99.
Dexter Costume for $9.99.
Got this one for my hubby for only $12.99. We did have also a Leg Avenue Alice in Wonderland and Queen of Hearts costume but someone bought them. They were $16.99 each. So if you happen to be by a Ross, just stop by and see what they have. Stores will get different things, so you might happen to come upon something you like and wont cost you that much.
My costume last year I got from Ross. The referee top and whistle were $7.99. I got a black active skirt from work for $5.99(was on clearance) and my referee socks from spirit Halloween for $5.99. My hat was my hubbys. So last year it cost me $20 for my costume.
Another one is buy separate pieces from goodwill or buy items from the stores (on clearance maybe) to put a costume together. A couple years ago I was punky brewster and i think i spent $25 and most of it was for my shoes. I already had the jeans. I happened to buy the stuff for my outfit during my double discount. The purple jacket was on clearance and then i bought a yellow and blue shirt. I found the whistle at walmart for like a couple bucks. I also had a purple hankerchief that i got at walmart for a $1.
I was marilyn once and i shopped around comparing prices throughout all the stores. I think my costume was like $16 and my wig was like $10.
A crappy pic i had taken with my phone. I had to search my photobucket account to find this picture since it was from 2007 lol I wore this costume to work.
Also a good place to look for a costume is Ebay. They have preowned costumes but they also have brand new. I got a boxer costume a few years ago for $20 and in stores it ranged from $40 to $50. Just look at the descriptions and watch out for shipping to. Sometimes a costume can have a cheap buying price but has a hefty shipping price. I dont have a pic for this costume because i only got to wear it for an hour.
This is a picture of it i found googling of it except I got the one with the longer top but the same model girl was wearing it.
Also a good idea is signing up for the spirithalloween.com emails because they are constantly sending out coupons. I have had emails so far this year for free shipping, 10% 20% 25% off, Buy 1 get 1 25% off, Save upto $50 off, and chances to win spirit halloween giftcards. I used a spirit halloween coupon a few years ago to get my Queen of Hearts Costume.
I went to a party last year and a lady told me every year for a costume her group of friends call each other up finding out what each other have and they exchange. This way none of them are shelling out any money.
For next year's costume you can shop the after halloween sales. You can score an awesome deal. I got a whole lady gaga costume for like $5 but my hubby accidentally threw it away. :( Last year I got a big bird costume for $6 at Target and i googled the costume that day and it was going for $80.
I know theres also costume rentals but not sure how much that is. You might as well spend the money buying a costume then renting, that way you actually own it and can wear it again without spending more money.
Have anymore bargain costume shopping tips, let me know in the comments. :)
After Thought/Side Note/Edit: (09/28/12) I was at Walmart tonight and I saw some adult lady costumes for $9.97. There was a pirate, nurse, nun, witch, angel, groovy girl, french maid, and a devil. I thought the pirate was the best one. Keep in mind they arent anything fancy.. I thought though for $10 its a good deal, especially for the cute pirate costume. You can see other costumes at Walmart.com.