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Get spooky on the low-low with budget friendly costumes

If you’re looking for a cute Halloween costume that doesn’t break the bank this season, the first fact you must realize is that craft stores are your friends.

The only reason to enter the expensive costume stores is to sweep them for inspiration, pick up some props and, then, hightail it out of there.

If you want a cheap and creative costume, you’ve got to ditch the $70 outfit from the Halloween store and make your own.

Making your own costume isn’t just a cheaper alternative, it’s also an opportunity to impress the world with your creativity. Not to mention, it eliminates the risk of seeing ten other people at the party with your same exact outfit.

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If it’s the very last minute and you’re having trouble thinking of an idea, look for materials you already have around your house. If you’re a college kid, chances are you have ping pong balls, red solo cups and an empty box of beer lying around.

Budget friendly costumes
A simple couple’s costume can be made by drawing inspiration from popular shows like “Dexter.” This couple made their costume by dressing in the main character’s signature outfits. (Photo courtesy of Amy from Flickr)

Hit up Walmart for a cheap glue gun and pick out some shorts and a tank top that you won’t mind trashing. Glue the solo cups around the waist of your shorts and the ping pong balls sporadically to your top. Finally, cut out a crown from the beer box and you’re the beer pong king or queen.

If you aren’t a typical college alcoholic, look to your favorite TV shows for inspiration. There’s usually a cheap way to convert one of your favorite characters into a wearable outfit.

The Showtime series “Dexter” is a perfect example. To dress up as moral serial killer Dexter, all you need is an olive green button-up shirt, a black apron and black gloves. You can have your date dress up as one of his victims by wrapping themselves in a dress made of saran wrap and liberally applying some fake blood.

Speaking of which, when in doubt: fake blood. You can make it for incredibly cheap with cornstarch and a dash of red food coloring. (Fair warning, it’ll be really sticky.) Add it to any outfit, and you’ve got a Halloween costume.

With fake blood, you can be any of your scary favorites. Vampire? Fake blood. Zombie? Fake blood. Serial killer? Fake blood. All you need is a black outfit for the vampire, a torn dirty outfit for the zombie and a fake knife for the serial killer.

If you’d rather go sexy than scary this Halloween season, the cheapest and easiest way to do it is to pull a “Mean Girls” and pair any type of animal ears with lingerie or a sexy outfit, and you’re good to go.

Fake ears are usually less than $5 at a party store, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want an excuse to wear their lingerie out in public and call it a Halloween costume?

Perhaps, the cheapest and most original Halloween costume idea is to get punny with it.

Be a bag of M&Ms by wearing a trash bag with cut-outs of Slim Shady’s face on it. Be a ceiling fan with sports gear that reads, “Go ceilings!” Write “book” on your face and you’re Facebook. All of these costumes cost little to no money and effort, which is kind of what’s cool about them.

Whether you decide to go sexy, scary or funny, you don’t have to spend a boatload of money to have the best costume in the room. As long as you avoid the party store, get creative and have fun with it, you are good to go.

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