Scene Report: Cheap Halloween Costumes – 2011 Edition

Some people spend a lot of money on Halloween costumes. I mean really, some people are SERIOUS about it. They go to Performance Studios and have their makeup professionally applied so they can be the most bad-ass-looking zombie in the room, but other people either completely forgot about Halloween until Halloween or are flat broke. And since the theme of this blog is pretty much being flat broke I decided to visit the costumes some of my friends wore this Halloween.

A few years ago I blogged about my $5 gnome costume. I thought that was pretty good, but my friend Stephen taught me what was what and paid a whopping $3 for his costume.

Now, this requires a little back-story to understand. Basically, his friends are in a band called Blown Stag – a caricature of an 80s hard rock band, and he got them a gig on Halloween so they decided that he should be their fake German ridiculous manager named Phoenix Lamburg. However, this is better than vampire or devil because you can literally do whatever the hell you want. We strolled down to the Goodwill Outlet, picked the brightest, most ridiculous clothes we could find, found a random prop, and wrote his fake name on his shirt. Oh, and drew a silver lightning bolt on his crotch.

It was a big hit, and it cost $3 and about 2 minutes of decorating. Even if you don’t know the back story you’ll at least find it hilarious.

But wait! There’s more…

My friend Oz also created a pretty cheap costume for himself. We started talking about how dudes can pretty much get away with wearing a suit on Halloween as long as it’s accompanied by one prop. He wore a suit that he already had and a Superman shirt he already had and went as Clark Kent. Lazy? Yes. Cheap? Totally? Effective? Well, effective enough. Alternately, you could have monopoly money and be someone in the 1%, scruff up and be a former banker or stock broker, carry some sort of weapon and be Christian Bale in American Psycho, etc. Likewise, women can wear a suit and a wig and be almost any female politician. Or Martha Stuart? I don’t know.

Our contributor Meryem saved money on her costume (and her boyfriend’s) by getting creative with it. She bought some zombie makeup (which she and I both can expertly apply thanks to our years working at theme parks), got some punk-rock clothes and went as punk. Because punk is dead? Get it?

Some of N4F’s Twitter followers were pretty creative too! Check out @Niki_ann, who spent about $12 on her witch costume by making it herself. She bought a shirt and tulle that matched and made the skirt out of it. The props that were bought were apparently pretty cheap too.

Or @JamieLShelton, who bought her costume at Party City this summer when Party City had a huge clearance sale on costumes. She got a $100 costume for just $5! Similarly, @Samantha797 got a great deal on a costume by buying through Ebates, which just goes to show you that if you look for a deal you’re gonna find it!

Oh, and one more. Apparently our friend @djphillips saved money on his costume this year by “going pantsless.” Unfortunately no pictures were available. Probably fortunately.

Congrats you all! You saved money and rock. All I did to save money this year was buying a terribly inaccurate looking phaser for my Star Trek costume. Sigh…




About Emily

Emily (Founder/Editor in Chief) : Emily is a graduate from Belmont University, where she majored in Music Business. She’s originally from rural Ohio, where there are many cows, a river, and one vineyard. Though she moved to Seattle in 2015, Emily maintains a love of both Nashville and free things, and is actively looking for contributors for If you're interested, reach out to her at