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Costume swaps: An 'eek-o-friendly' alternative

Instead of buying and discarding costumes each October, trade last year's model for a new Halloween look.

By Donna_Freedman Sep 16, 2011 11:29AM
So your kid finally outgrew that dragon costume he's worn two Octobers in a row, but there's no room in your budget for a new costume.

Trade in last year's look for a brand-new alter ego on National Costume Swap Day, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 8, in 24 states and Calgary, Alberta.

It's a frugal alternative because you'll be trading. And it's also green -- or, as the organizers put it, "eek-o-friendly."

According to the Green Halloween website, "Costume swaps not only mean less resources are used to make new product, it also means less packaging, less transportation of the product and less waste (from products being trashed as they sadly often are)."

Green Halloween, which is sponsoring the event along with and Kiwi Magazine, has a swap finder tool on its site. If no such events are planned near you, why not create and register your own event?
This might seem daunting, but the site points out that a swap can be "as simple as getting together with a few neighbors," and spells out exactly what you'll need to do.

A third option is the online costume swap. Green Halloween comes through once more, with the following list:
I'd also suggest checking your chapter of the Freecycle Network, and doing an online search for parent groups in your area that might be planning swaps or that have forums where you could look for costumes for your kids.

No luck? Try watching's "Lightning Deals" section and other deal sites. For example, My Bargain Buddy recently highlighted $3.99 children's costumes based on the original "Star Trek" series -- perfect for your frugal little fanboy. No doubt other low-cost deals are on the way.

Search sites such as Cheap Uncle, Rather Be Shopping, RetailMeNot and for percent-off and free-shipping coupons. Cash-back shopping sites such as Ebates, Fat Wallet, Mr. Rebates and Shop At Home offer both coupons and rebates -- and as Halloween gets closer, the cash-back rates will probably go up.

More on MSN Money:

Sep 22, 2011 1:23AM
For Los Angeles there is a big costume swap happening on October 9th at Mar Vista Farmers Market  go to www.LosAngelesCostum​   for all the information 
Sep 16, 2011 2:31PM
Thanks so much for this. Kids want new-to-them costumes. Parents want to provide them. Swaps are the perfect no-cost solution.
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