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Hip2Save This Holiday: Shop Halloween Clearance Sales = Great Christmas Gifts

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What a fun idea! If your child loves to play dress-up, wouldn’t it be fun to place a treasure chest filled with inexpensive dress-up clothes for your little princess or super hero under the Christmas tree? :) Check out this frugal idea from reader Claire…

Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Claire…

One of my daughter’s favorite gifts ever was a huge box of dress up clothes. A few years ago she was really into dressing up and I couldn’t believe how expensive dress up clothes were. I had the great idea to shop the after Halloween sales. We have a few Halloween stores that open seasonally and then close in November. I went to the Halloween store November 1st and got tons of costumes for 50 and 75% off. I got lots of things she could mix and match-cute scrubs, fancy dresses, wigs, play jewelry, leotards, and much more.

I then got a cute treasure chest from Hobby Lobby for 40% off. My daughter still talks about this present and says its her favorite. This year I am planning on adding more dress up clothes for my toddlers. My son loves all the super hero costumes and my youngest daughter needs some princess clothes. This was a fairly inexpensive present that had a great big impact! Even if you don’t want to go all out and do a whole dress up box, you could pick up one or two dress up outfits for someone on your list.

Looking to snag inexpensive costumes now? Check out these online deals & in-store coupons:

*BuyCostumes

*Costume Express

*Michael’s Store coupons

*Oriental Trading Company

*Spirit Halloween

*The Children’s Place


For more information on my new Hip2Save This Holiday series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!

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48 Hip Readers Commented

  • Ashley57 says:

    This is cute. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lucy Anne says:

    Thank you for the idea! Love this and might try it for my 3 yrs old nephew. Thanks again!

  • Noel says:

    I have already started this for my 4 year old this year. I ordered the Alice in Wonderland and Native Indian girl costume from Oriental Trading a week or 2 ago. $7.99 each and then I am going to try and get the movies ( alice & pochahontas ) to go with them. Probably on Amazon with some swag buck gift cards :) Maybe I will find a few more even better deals after Halloween!

  • Sherry says:

    Did this last year for my girls – I just happened to be at Target the morning they marked all the Halloween costumes 90% off – and before the signs were up and anyone knew about it. $20 went a LONG ways!!! Try watching for the Target clearances too.

  • chris says:

    We did this last year for my son–grabbed costumes at 90% off at KMART included a superman–so rather than a trunk, dad built a phone booth for him to change in with a hanging rack for all the costumes–it’s pretty awesome!

  • Mommy Mags says:

    I’ve stocked my girls as well with all the princess costumes. I got most of mine off the clearance online at JCPenny’s. I paid between $3-$6 for Aurora, Cinderella, Ariel and Tinkerbell. But I am always on the lookout for more!

  • kasia says:

    That’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing

  • Laura says:

    DId this one year for my neice for Christmas when she was 3 or so. Definitely on my list of possibilities now that my almost 3 year old is getting good at getting clothes on and off by herself.

  • Julie says:

    If anyone has Dirt Cheap stores nearby, Halloween costumes are $3 right now. I went to our store over the weekend and got Snow White, Ariel, Spiderman, a bride dress and another big hoop dress. Last year costumes were marked down to $1 the day before Halloween. I got an armful of stuff that day! My kids love to play dress up and our dress up box is overflowing!

  • couponsforc says:

    I love this idea. I am currently using a tote because I can’t find an affordable chest. I wonder how much the chest was you got at Hobby Lobby? I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled!

  • Emily says:

    I did this for my 4 yr old niece last year for Christmas. Instead of a treasure chest I bought a hot pink storage ottoman from a TJ Maxx kind of place. The under side of the lid was ugly so I bought a cheap pink mirror from Ikea, used liquid nails to glue it to the inside of the lid, put some really cool glittery pink ribbon to frame the cheap mirror and it was an awesome present. She could sit and apply fake make-up as if it were a vanity. It held a ton of clothes and even the wings fit pretty well. She liked everything but the orange Daphnie (scoobie doo) wig.

    I found the best after-halloween sale prices to be at Target and Walmart. The Halloween stores costumes are more expensive to begin with and they have a lot of the same things that they do at Toys R Us, Target and Walmart. I got her a little of everything from a bunch of different stores. It was quite the hit!

  • Tanya says:

    I do this every halloween. I usually end up getting a really nice costume for the next year for them to wear for halloween too. I always buy a size bigger then they are or more so that they can play dress up in the clothes for a long time to come. I usually hit Target’s 90% off clearance. I get costumes for $1. If you like the accessories but not the costume, just buy the whole costume for $1. No one says you have to use the costume.

  • Mallory Salazar says:

    !!! wow i absolutely love this idea! thank you! ill be on the look out for halloween clearance coming up :)

  • Debbie Auen says:

    I was thinking the same thing about the price of that nice chest……great idea, I want to do this for my grandsons for Christmas….so far I got the cape with mask at Childrens place…no luck finding Real cheap costumes for boys, fireman,cop,vet,dr. ect. not really wanting the scarey ones after Halloween…..let me know if anyone finds cheap….online costumes.Im in a rural area so no big stores near…..

    • Cindy says:

      Try Walmart the week or so after Halloween. I bought a lot of non-scary boys costumes at 90% off last year.

    • Beth says:

      Debbie, it is so hard to find boy costumes! My son is 4 and not ready for scary costumes. I got a few occupation “vests” from oriental trading center (free shipping online through tomorrow!) and amazon.com. They had police, fireman, chef, construction worker, etc.

  • Jen says:

    For more costumes, watch for the sales Collin has from Halo Heaven. I did this for my daughter’s birthday last year, tutu’s, fairy wings, shoes,etc. Really cute stuff!

  • Dawn says:

    Ok ladies……WHEN does Target usually DO the 90% off? I have 3 little kiddos at home and can’t run over there whenever I feel like it to check ;) I also hate calling because most of the time an employee has no clue and I”m on the phone forever. Is it a week after Halloween? 2-3 days? Nov. 1st? PLMK< thanks :)

  • Rachel says:

    love this idea!!!!

  • paula says:

    About two weeks after Halloween our Walmart marks everything down to .25!I stock up and give a lot away!My nieces and Nephews love coming to my house and I save my family money. Love it!

  • Susan says:

    claire or anyone…can you tell me what time of year trunks like that go on sale at hobby lobby? how do i get it at 40% off–is that an after holiday/christmas sale or preholiday sale? do they regularly carry trunks like that or was that a one time clearance item? are there other stores that carry trunks for a reasonable cost that you know of? i just did a web search for trunks and the price range was a bit beyond me. was the 40% off a coupon and where can i get one—is it a mailer coupon or a website sign up coupon? ive never been to this store before so would appreciate as much info as i can get

    this is a wonderful idea–thanks to collin for the holiday series, claire for sharing, and all the coupon moms out there for sharing ideas. i love this site. hip2save rocks!

    • Melissa says:

      You can often print a Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon! I just printed one yesterday. Just run a search.

    • MommySpendsLess says:

      You could try Craigslist or thrift stores too. Don’t forget to look beyond it’s original condition. A little sandpaper and paint can go a long way, especially when you’re decorating for kids. I even saw some really pretty spray paint colors the last time I was at Lowe’s (like light pink) priced around $5.

      You could take something like this: http://orlando.craigslist.org/atq/3338989972.html ($15), paint the outside and then cover the inside with fabric – if you can sew, it seems like you could even make a quilt-like pattern on the inside with old clothes, scraps and cheap leftovers from the fabric store.

  • Beth says:

    I am in the process of doing this right now. We are redoing the playroom, and I wanted to add a pretend play section for the kiddos. I got a little tikes toy chest for $35 off of craig’s list (retails for over $100), and am keeping my eyes peeled for cheap costumes or parts of costumes. I found a few pretty cheap on craig’s list. I also got some items off of Oriental Trading center and from Shindigz. Lots of stuff on sale and clearance there. I will also hit up Goodwill after Halloween, in addition to Target and Walmart.

  • Victoria says:

    I’ve found that garage sales are great places to find all sorts of super-cheap accessories—play jewlery, crazy hats, belts, boas, purses, wigs, etc.

  • shelaghc says:

    Actually, you can save even more money and help out a good cause by buying things at Goodwill or Salvation Army Thrift Stores.

    A friend of mine did that for his daughter many years ago. They bought a little two-drawer dresser and picked out all sorts of “big girl” clothes, including shoes, at a local thrift store.

    The little girl always loved dressing up in her Mom’s clothes so this was a great gift.

    • Em says:

      Our Goodwill is priced crazy high!! They have stuff priced higher than retail! They had little packs of spider web priced for $3, when it clearly was retailed at $1 at Target!

    • falloutmommy says:

      The problem that I find with buying costumes at thrift stores is you often can’t wash them. Most commercial costumes these days are not meant to be worn more than once or twice, or more than spot cleaned. I personally LOVE thrift stores for every day clothes, but stuff that can’t be washed or dry cleaned (such as formal wear) I tend not to purchase second hand because you never know how clean it is, even if it appears clean, and they almost always hold on to that thrift store smell. My 9 year old won’t even go thrift store shopping with me anymore because she can’t stand the smell of the place, but she does like the clothes I get her. After they’re washed, of course.

    • Kelly says:

      You also can find the old “Samsonite ” type hard case luggage in thrift stores. My daughter has a vintage suitcase she uses for her dress-up…and it easily slides under the bed.

  • Rebecca says:

    The BEST place to find costumes for dress up year round is thrift stores! And they are always priced at 90% off retail!

  • bunged says:

    We just bought colorful storage bins and my sis-in-law who does vinyl lettering put “Dress Up” on the bins plus added some cute vinyl cut outs. Got costumes at Walmart for 90% off and bins at BlackFriday for about $3. Made 6 dress up kits with about 5 costumes plus tons of accessories for less than $10/ea.

  • falloutmommy says:

    I did this for my daughter a few years ago. Not for Christmas, and not a whole trunk, but a few costumes that I would not otherwise have bought. I managed to get 2 “fancy” velvet dresses (1 with the hoop skirt underneath) for about $10 for both on clearance. They were normally $35 a piece and they fit her for a couple of years. One of the dresses she wore for Halloween the next year, along with some scary makeup and was a Vampire Queen for trick or treating.

  • Sarah Welch says:

    I did this for some kids I know one year. I also got a ton of toy accessories like toy swords, too. I brought them to the big, crazy Christmas bash that their family held. It was a huge hit!

  • I have a huge bag of costumes and dance recital costumes that my girls 9 and 14 still dress up with their friends and put on shows for us with.Hey at 75.00 a recital costume, let them play

  • Kathy says:

    I bought Halloween Costumes at Toysrus 75% off last year, (Star Wars ones) and yes they were dress up clothes for my son that Santa brought him :)

  • Joy says:

    If you have limited space our funds another option is a suitcase instead of a trunk. I paid $5.00 total for both pieces at a thrift store. I got an old hard-side suitcase and stenciled the word “Imagine” on the outside and put all of the dress-up clothes in that. It has a silk lining and pockets for the smaller items. We also got a small travel/make-up case with the hard sides and we put the wigs, crowns, etc. in there. The kids can pull them out to play with them and then store them under their beds when they are done :)

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