So, on to the topic. And this may be a series (if I can remember as the year goes by... hahaha!). When having a larger family how do you afford the holidays throughout the year? How do you afford all the stuff for the Halloween/Fall Festival season? As we have added to our family we have had to change how we handle Fall Festivals and such. We used to attend everything there was going on. Now, we avoid the high cost ones. That includes elimating the very Fall Festival that my husband helps put on each year. Every year the elementary school he works at does a Fall Festival as a fundraiser for their PTO group. In turn they purchase something big with the money for the school like playground equipment or a computer lab, etc.. It's a good cause, but at $15 a wrist band to play carnival games plus food on site that all kids want it can add up quick. I am not about to spend $75 at the school festival. When we had one or two kids I could get away with spending about $20 and it was not a big deal.
So, now we do the local free stuff. And I don't go looking for extra events like I used to. For the last few years we have attended our church Fall Festival on a Wednesday night and gone trick-or-treating on Halloween night. We also usually attend a nearby church festival but last year my kids came home with a bunch of creepy stuff from there, so we skipped that this year. We will also be attending a Costume Party on Saturday.
We also ate 50 cent corn dogs from Sonic with fries for a quick on the go dinner... topped off with way too much candy and soda, of course. This is not a night for being healthy!
You may look at all the costumes and wonder how on earth we can buy all those costumes and call it frugal. Well, I am glad you asked! I don't think I spent over $10 on the whole lot.
- First of all, Savannah is the Renaissance Princess and I had that costume. It is an adult medium that I wore several years back. It has five safety pins in it to bring it down to a girls size 14. I had scrap fabric and quickly made her headband for free. Total cost: $0
- Sierra is a butterfly. Most of the costumes you see here are from a local children's resale shop that is going out of business. The prices are already low like 5.99-7.99 and take off 75% and you are down to $1-$1.50 per costume!! The thing is you don't always get all the pieces when you buy resale, so then the details have to be added. This one was missing wings. We headed over to Goodwill and got wings for 49 cents which I took home and tore all apart since they were pink and rather old. I basically bought them for the wire structure. I wrapped the wire in orange satin ribbon (I would have splurged on a can of spray paint had I realized this need to be done, but I was not packing five kids back in the car to go to Wal-Mart. No way!) and... oops! I forgot... I also bought a yellow Princess skirt at Goodwill for 99 cents for the fabric. I cut it up and used the fine tulle to wrap and glue, and wrap and glue, and wrap and glue on the wing structure. It was time consuming, so this was my biggest "investment" on all these costumes, but she was so happy with her wings so it was worth it.
- Caden is the White Ninja which is a G.I. Joe Storm Shadow costume that we got in NEW packaging at the same resale shop. When we got home we realized it was missing the white mask. Yippee.... :( ... but I had white t-shirt fabric that was perfect for making one and it took just a few minutes. He kind of panicked when I put it on his head to size it and acted like he could not breath in a most dramatic way, but we talked, he got over it, and we moved on. That thing has been on his face for the last three days. Seriously, I have overly dramatic children.
- Sahara wanted to be a Princess... as every little girl her age does. And she would have been content with anything as long as it looked "pretty". The resale shop had this little Thumbelina costume which I am sure was missing a lot of pieces, but she did not care. Again, we went to Goodwill and picked up wings for 49 cents and it was done. This was the easiest costume. She is the most craZy child sometimes, but she is the easiest to shop for because she is content with what she gets... as long as she gets something. If she does not get something then, she is all drama about how she never gets anything... which is sooo not true.
- Sienna is the little fishy. The pictures do not do this costume justice. It is so sparkly and cute. She, of course, would rather be naked! This was also from the resale shop. I think I got it for about 75 cents. It has the cutest little fine popping up off the back and and legging that have tulle fins down the back. So stinkin' cute!
- I also picked up an afro wig and black straight hair girl wig just for fun at the resale shop because they were under $1 each and brand new in the packages. We hit the jackpot there!!!