Ghosts, Gules and Princess — 4 Tips on Finding the Best Group Costume on a Budget!


As soon as the Fall hits, it’s time to officially start thinking about Halloween and our costumes.

When it comes to holidays, all holidays, I love to celebrate, go over the top and really make memories for my kids (and adults) to think about fondly.

Halloween “the unofficially start of the holiday season” is no exception to this rule, it’s a must.

I have always loved the idea of couple/family costumes. I am sure to my husband’s dismay, we have dressed up in matching/group costumes since our 1st Halloween together. Then, I went with the items or customs we had from previous years and go from there. My strategy has not changed much. I love to dress up but I hate spending a lot of money.

Tips for Cost Effective Halloween Costumes:

  • Google/Pinterest search to get ideas. I start searching something like cheap family of 4 costume ideas. All the basic ideas you have seen 100X times come up first but if you dig deeper you can find some cute ideas.
  • Narrow down your search to 3-4 good costume ideas. Think about those ideas, do you have items/pieces in your closet or from costumes from previous years you can repurpose.  If one of you have more items for one of the costumes, that would be the costume I would use.
    • If you don’t have anything that would work with your ideas, I would search online to see which costumes are cheaper to help make the final decision
    • This year, I will keep Covid in mind. Is this costume able to be used again after this? I am willing to spend more money this year, if the girls will play with the costumes after.
  • Once your costume(s) is/are picked, start putting it together! Do your best to use what you have around your house, or borrow from friends! I used Amazon or Target to find cheap items. Do your best to keep your spending down.
    • I try to keep our max spend $100 for our family of four. I like to spend the bulk of the money on the kids costumes and/or a costume I know we will use again years later. Pinterest is your best friend.
  • Don’t forget to have fun!  Don’t overly stressed-out about your costumes. Remind yourself it’s supposed to be fun and don’t take it too seriously. I need to remind myself of this too.

Custom Ideas

2015 — Bakers and a cupcake

Bakers and Cupcake: Easy, cheap, fun costume! This one hit all my criteria. All items bought on Amazon.

Total: Less than $50

2016 — Greece

Just say the word . . . Greece Lighting

I repurposed the wig from my Playboy costume. I owned the pleather pants. The Pink Lady jacket and Dylan’s costume was purchased from Amazon. Alex wore what he owned.

Total: Under $50

2017 — Wizard of OZ

This one is going to be hard to be beat . . . Wizard of Oz!  Tabitha, just 4 months old was the lion. Dylan was Dorothy. I was the scarecrow and Alex was the tin man.  All items purchased on Amazon.

Total cost $90

2018– Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and The Beast

Our 2018 custom was based on the princess Dylan was the most into at the time. Dylan was Bell. Tabitha was Chip which was the hardest custom to find. I ended up getting it on Ebay. Alex was the Beast. I got a prince custom that can be repurposed for many customs over the years. And I was Mrs. Potts. My custom was a DIY I based on a look I found on Pinterest.

Total: $110

2019 — Under the Sea

Under the Sea

Last year we went as my favorite Disney movie, Under the Sea. Dylan was Ariel, with an adorable mermaid custom and red wig. Tabitha was Flounder. I could not find a Flounder custom I liked so I put something together. I ordered a Flounder hat from Etsy, she wore a Bell tutu dress and a yellow tshirt over it. I put blue tape for Flounder’s lines. She had blue stockings and a Sebastian bag. Alex was Prince Eric. He wore the prince costume from the year before. I was Ursula. I wore all black, with a white wig and crazy makeup.

Total $68

The best part of these easy, fun, cheap costumes they still work well without the kids counter part. If you are lucky enough to go out sans the kids you can still use these costumes!

What will be this year? This year I am going for something easy, no DIY. And it must be reusable for dress-up. Any suggestions?

Do your families dress up in matching/themed costumes? I would love to hear from you! Let’s inspire each other!

Updated Sept 11, 2020

7 thoughts on “Ghosts, Gules and Princess — 4 Tips on Finding the Best Group Costume on a Budget!”

  1. My mom always puts our costumes together for us…which is so nice. One less thing for me! My son and daughter have tried on their costumes already and they’re so stinking cute! 💖 Son- Peter Pan Daughter- Tinkerbell My husband and I- pirates. Have a Happy Halloween! 👻


  2. I’ve never done group costumes for my family. I always try to challenge my sons to come up with costumes that we can make together, but they don’t have to coordinate together. I want them to come up with something that they choose


  3. My daughter keeps mentioning witches…so we’ll be witches, warlocks, or wizards…maybe…I don’t know…I think I’ve heard Wizard of Oz talk too…we’ll see…she keeps chatting with my mom about it.


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