25 Cheap and Creative Halloween Costumes: 5 New for 2013

Cheap Halloween CostumesHalloween season will be here before you know it. I'm already seeing candy and costumes in the stores.

If you're like me you usually get an invite to a Halloween party about 3 days before the party. So if it's a costume party, you're seemingly out of luck. By then the stores are usually picked over and you end up with some garbage cheap Halloween costume that everyone silently mocks.

The best costumes are unique, creative, memorable, and instantly recognizable. So while going as Fat Elvis is instantly recognizable and perhaps somewhat memorial… it isn't unique. Anyone can be (or buy the costume for) Fat Elvis.

As with most things in life a little planning ahead of time can lead to some pretty incredible costume results — and at a cheap price, too. I'm not a huge fan of spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a costume I'll wear once even if there is a contest for best costume.

Here are some Halloween costume ideas for you and your kids:

Halloween Costume Predictions For 2013

Zombies, vampires, and pirates will continue to be popular themes for Halloween 2013, but there are some newcomers to the scene thanks to popular TV shows, old and new. It's a great year for retreads by the way. Break out those old costumes: Iron Man, Avengers, Batman, Despicable Me Minions, and more.

Sofia the First

Sofia the First – One of my daughters' favorite new shows is Disney's Sofia the First. It's a no-brainer that many little girls will want to do their trick-or-treating in this easy-to-make (and buy cheaply) costume. All you need is a purple dress, a tiara, and a kind heart. Here are some handy DIY instructions for a Sofia the First dress.

Ninja Turtles

Ninja Turtles – If you've got turtle power, you're ready for your choice of four Ninja Turtle costumes: Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Rafael (my favorite). The turtles are back. They have been for a year or two it seems with the TV series on Nickelodeon, but I'm really seeing the popularity take hold this year. I guess there's a bit of a gap in the offering of boys' characters this year given that The Lone Ranger flopped and the other movies aren't ideal characters for costumes: Despicable Me 2, Monsters University, and Planes.

Pink Power Ranger

Pink Power Ranger (Megaforce) – Because I refuse to promote Miley Cyrus or those Monster's High costumes, here's another popular throwback. You can't go wrong with the Pink Power Ranger costume. You get a cool jumpsuit and mask, ninja-style, and it's pink! I can't believe this franchise is still around. I overheard my niece (1st grade) asking to be this for Halloween.

Breaking Bad

Walter White from Breaking Bad – Now in it's final season, Breaking Bad is one of the most popular shows on TV. I've watched the first two seasons and I can see what all the hype is about. Walt, or Walter White, is easily one of the best characters in cable TV history and it's easy to see why so many people will want to be Walt this Halloween. Shave the head, trim the goatee, put on your kakis and pork pie hat, and you're good to go.


The Robertsons from Duck Dynasty – Man, we're really into our TV shows. Another popular, if not more popular show is Duck Dynasty (not pictured above). The men in the show all sport beards of considerable length. You might not have time to grow your beard out. But it won't be hard to find a fake beard to strap on this year. Find some camo clothes and you're all set for a night of candy hunting.

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Halloween Costume Predictions From Last Year

The Avengers Halloween Costume Idea

The Avengers and Batman – Two of the biggest box office hits of 2012 will likely spawn most of the costumes for this season. If you can get past the fact that Batman has no real superpowers, he makes for a pretty cool costume. The Avengers, of course, have many characters to choose from. Captain America, and his daughter American Dream, are favorites around our house.

Hunger Games Halloween Costume Idea

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games – Grab your boots, cargo pants, and green fatigues and you're all set. This outfit is perfect for anyone who doesn't want to wear a mask or put on a bunch of makeup. It's so subtle, you might get accused of not having a costume on at all. Of course, you could couple it with a bow and arrow quiver and there will be no mistaking it. I loved the first book and movie and I can see why many girls would want to be Katniss for Halloween. Don't forget the Mockingjay pin.

Gangnam Style Psy Halloween Costume Idea

Gangnam Style Psy – This is the biggest Internet phenomenon going right now. And the costume is easy. Find those blackout shade, slick back the hair, put on a bowtie and tacky sportscoat and you're all set. The key will be practicing your Gangnam style dance moves.

Romney Obama Halloween Costume Idea

Presidential Candidates – Talk about a couple of scary faces. It's election season and these two costumes are sure to be out in full swing. All you need is the mask and a suit (or Mom jeans) and you're ready to roll. Bonus points for making your kid go as one of these clowns. I've seen both the Romney and Obama masks available at Amazon for less than $15.

Olympic Gold Medal Winners Halloween Costume Idea

Olympic Athletes – There are so many great Olympic athletes to pick from this year. Unfortunately, you can't exactly wear a speedo or leotard to go trick or treating in the neighborhood. Well, I guess you could, but your neighbors may not answer the door. A great idea is to wear a track suit and put about 50 gold medals around your neck, a la Michael Phelps.


  1. Christie McGuire Struck says:

    Upcycle a bridesmaid dress! (I was the Queen of Hearts for a few years. A heart link belt, a heart necklace, a heart painted on my cheek, and a heart tiara and I was good to go.)

  2. Leo Van Reet says:

    I just have to take off my glasses which is enough to scare small children and dogs. An electrician friend of mine and his wife costumed as a plug and socket – I thought that was cute.

  3. retirebyforty says:

    I want to dress my kid up as PSY. 🙂 

  4. Vince Thorne says:

    Gadaffi and Bin-Laden will feature a lot this year I woould guess. Since the world does not have to worry about then anymore we can start having a few laughs.

  5. I really want to dress up as an Angry Bird to impress my 4 year-old, but I would never be able to live down the pictures.

    • Karen Howard says:

      Oh go for it anyway. It’s for the Kiddies & if people can’t understand that they’re just plain selfish & immature.Besides that-You’ve got to have fun too! I really hope you do this.Good Luck & Happy Halloween! : ) PS-I’m going to dress up probably as a Rich GlamourousB….-Red Gown,White Short Fur Jacket,Diamonds & hair up while I give out candy on the front porch.Should be fun.

      • JustinatTheFrugalPath says:

        Karen I completely agree with you about Halloween being for the kids. My 4 year-old niece is obsessed with Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Luckily for us my wife’s best friend has an Ursula costume that she can wear. So my wife can make my niece’s day for free.
        We’re both really excited about that.

  6. A friend of mine went as change you can believe in in 2008–he taped quarters and other coins all over his sweater.

  7. Jason@LiveRealNow says:

    We try to go cheap on costumes. My wife is going as a Merlotte’s waitress this year. A white t-shirt and some office-supply iron-on paper make the costume.

    I don’t generally dress up, since I prefer to spend the money on our over-decorated yard.

  8. You may need to rethink your Snookie costume, Babe…I’m just saying…

  9. Halloween costumes for me are being scary. I really don’t want cartoon costumes to wear in the Halloween it just makes me funny. I want to have more thrilled and frightening when ever they see me. That’s the true Halloween means!