My daughter is under there somewhere.  I spent zero dollars on her costume this year, and you can get off cheap too.  

At this point, most of the great Halloween costumes are sold out and it's too late to order one online and get it here by Halloween, so you might be digging through your closet searching for DIY ideas.

I can't take any credit for my 9-year old's costume because she came up with this all on her own.  Sometime's the best parental strategy is to sit back and watch, and let the creativity happen.  And besides, she's getting to the age where she thinks most of my ideas are terrible and she's going to march to the beat of her own drum anyway.  So she has become a squid.

The best part for me as a parent was spending zero dollars on this costume.  The costume wasn't free and we didn't steal it, but there are ways to win Halloween by getting off super cheap, and this is one of them.

Jen Austin - Townsquare Media

The all-black bodysuit is leftover from last year when her costume was "nothing."  She looked like a shadow and she was impossible to see at night, so I watched her like a hawk while she was out trick-or-treating so she didn't get trampled, or worse.  She loved that costume and was proud of her idea, and I was supportive of creativity.  And now I'm even more thrilled this year since the costume still fits and it provides the base layer for something new.  It cost us twenty bucks last year, but zero dollars this year.

I didn't spend a dime on the orange squid hat because she used her own money on that over the summer during a trip to the amusement park.  She earned it, she bought it, and she chose to wear it for Halloween.  And that's a win for Mama, who will have more money left over to put toward Dove chocolates.  She says she can see out of the black bodysuit, and the squid hat has an opening for sightlines too.  She just can't eat anything without taking the costume off, which helps lessen the sugar rush.

Anytime you have a solid color in your closet, that can be a base layer for just about any costume.  You might have two or three costumes in your closet, who knows, and that will save you big bucks this week.  Here's another idea.  If you cut out small colored rectangles using construction paper and stick them all over the top of a solid white base layer, you're a cupcake with sprinkles. If you don't have white, be pink or tan frosting instead.

Have a great Halloween!  Did you know you can fit 1600 pieces of candy in a pillowcase?  Next year maybe we'll collect candy in a squid hat.  That'll work too.