13 Halloween Costumes for $25 and Under

Harry Potter/Rubie's/Forum Novelties
Harry Potter/Rubie's/Forum Novelties

If you want one of the best Halloween costumes at the party but have a strict budget to follow, then you're in luck. You don't always have to break the bank, because some of the spookiest—and funniest—outfits that Amazon, Target, and Walmart have to offer come with very reasonable price tags. Whether you want to look like a horror movie villain or are in the market for a funny Halloween costume, here’s your guide to hashtag tunics, elephant onesies, and other neat ensembles for frugal trick-or-treaters.

1. Pumpkin Slayer Costume; $16

Pumpkin Reaper Costume from Amazon

It’s fun to invent backstories for this black and orange getup. Is your character a pumpkin spice bandit? Could it be a jack-o'-lantern phantom seeking an audience with Linus van Pelt—or maybe Andrew Lloyd Webber? You tell us. A blend of polyester and spandex, the garb includes a mask, a hat, a cape and two long-fingered gloves.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Elephant Onesie; $23

Elephant Onesie Halloween Costume.
Spooktacular Creations/Amazon

Not only is this offering from Spooktacular Creations loads of fun, it’s also made of super-cozy plush fleece materials. And unlike a real elephant, the faux mammal comes with pockets.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Rubie's Pennywise Men’s Halloween Costume; $17

Pennywise Halloween Costume from Rubie's.

Tim Curry said that on the set of the 1990 It miniseries, his Pennywise makeup would take about three hours to apply in full. But now you can transform into Stephen King’s creepy clown in a fraction of the time. Throw on the mask, don the shirt, and get ready to terrorize the Loser’s Club. If you're just interested in the Pennywise mask, you can find it on Amazon.

Buy It: Walmart

4. Harry Potter Costume Robe; $25

Harry Potter Robe Halloween Costume.

Add a touch of wizardry to your Halloween festivities with this budget-friendly Harry Potter robe. Since the costume just contains the robe, you can customize your overall look however you’d like—perfect for finally bringing your dream wizard to life, if just for a night.

Buy It: Target

5. Statue of Liberty; $20

Statue of Liberty Halloween Costume.

This costume lets you become the embodiment of Lady Liberty for less than $25 this Halloween. Containing both the statue’s iconic dress and crown, all you’ll need is a torch prop and your choice of book to finish off the ensemble.

Buy It: Target

6. Inflatable Sumo Wrestler; $25

A sumo wrestler Halloween costume.

Bulk up in no time with this inflatable sumo wrestler costume that takes just 60 seconds to inflate. It comes complete with a battery-operated fan and headpiece to top off the outfit. All you’ll need are some AA batteries, and you’ll be ready to waddle through any Halloween party.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Piggyback Monkey Ride-On Costume; $19.95

Costume Agent/Amazon

Here’s a costume that’s worth going ape over. Show up to your next party on the shoulders of a smiling mini-Kong and let the banana jokes begin. By the way, one of the lil’ creature’s hands is dutifully clasping a built-in cupholder. What a considerate primate.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Hashtag Adult Costume; $16

A hashtag Halloween costume on Amazon.
Forum Novelties/Amazon

A foam tunic with straps, this quirky costume slides easily over T-shirts and sweaters. And just like its social media counterpart, the outfit is bound to kick off some conversations. Who knows? If you play your cards right, you might even get featured on one of Jimmy Kimmel’s hashtag segments. Stranger things have happened.

Buy It: Amazon

9. “Caught in the Rain” Costume; $12

A Halloween costume for sale on Amazon.
Rasta Imposta/Amazon

Here we have a three-piece prop ensemble worthy of Carrot Top or the Marx Brothers. With a slanted wig, an upturned necktie, and an inverted umbrella, this novelty costume is perfect for an Instagram shoot.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Women’s Mona Lisa Costume; $21

A Mona Lisa costume on Amazon.
Rasta Imposta

You’re gonna love this one—or should we say you’ll Louvre it? Simply slot your head through the hole and greet your adoring public as a faithful reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous work.

Buy It: Amazon

11. Cassette Tape Player Costume; $20

A cassette player costume for Halloween.
Karnival Costumes/Amazon

Calling all '80s kids: We found a Walkman that you can literally walk in. A yellow tunic designed to look like Star Lord’s music player of choice, the costume boasts a pair of oversized headphones. Plus, the manufacturer will send you a resealable bag so you can keep this Footloose-worthy throwback regalia nice and clean for future outings.

Buy It: Amazon

12. Vampire Cloak; $18

A vampire cloak on sale on Amazon.

For those of you who want to have a simple, timeless Halloween look, this vampire cloak is the way to go. It shows just enough effort to be considered a costume, but not too much where you'll be washing off makeup for hours after or paying top dollar for something you'll only wear once. And if you still want to stay budget-friendly with a bit more humor involved, check out this Despicable Me-inspired Dracula costume that's still under $25.

Buy It: Amazon

13. Whoopee Cushion Adult Costume; $20

A whoopee cushion costume sold on Amazon.
Forum Novelties/Amazon

What a gas. A large-scale polyester replica of every school-age prankster’s favorite accessory, this wearable whoopee cushion can accommodate pretty much anyone with a chest size of 44 inches or less. Flatulent sound effects not included.

Buy It: Amazon

Golden Girls Prayer Candles Are a Great Way to Say 'Thank You for Being a Friend'


Golden Girls fans have a new piece of kitschy memorabilia to add to their collections. These prayer candles, featuring all four of the leading ladies, make the perfect gift for devoted followers of the show.

The set comes with four candles depicting each of the Girls: Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. Standing 8 inches tall, they come with enough wax to burn for 100 hours. The pack of four is available for a total price of $60 on Amazon.

Shopping for the Golden Girls fan in your life should be easy this holiday season. If pop culture prayer candles aren't their thing, you could buy them Golden Girls Monopoly, socks, or even Funko Pops inspired by the beloved sitcom. And if they'd appreciate something even more offbeat, this Halloween-themed "Golden Ghouls" shirt should do the trick.

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12 Quirky Books for Imaginative Kids

Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster

Though childhood classics like A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are never truly go out of style, each year brings a new cache of funny and fantastical books that will feed the expanding imaginations of young readers everywhere. From a self-conscious sewer monster who wants to make friends to a gluttonous dinosaur who gobbled up Christmas, this guide has the perfect quirky story for every kind of kid on your holiday gift list.

1. Rumple Buttercup // Matthew Gray Gubler ($9)

This whimsical tale about a self-conscious sewer monster is written and illustrated by Criminal Minds star, and king of quirk, Matthew Gray Gubler. While cute characters and a simple message about embracing your individuality make it a great gift for very young kids, its absurdist humor makes it a laugh-out-loud read for older kids and adults, too.

Buy it: Amazon

2. President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath // Mac Barnett ($8)

president taft is stuck in the bath

Mac Barnett’s good-natured retelling of William Howard Taft’s infamous (though unconfirmed) bathtub blunder teaches children two things. One, history is far from a tedious list of names, dates, laws, and battles. And two, even the most stately world leaders have embarrassing moments.

Buy it: Amazon

3. It’s Only Stanley // Jon Agee ($15)

it's only stanley book
Dial Books/Amazon

When strange noises wake the Wimbledon family at night, they assume their dog Stanley is cleaning or fixing something; in reality, Stanley is transforming their house into a rocket ship that will carry them to an alien-inhabited planet. Fans of The Secret Life of Pets and Phineas and Ferb’s Perry the Platypus will love this rhyming read-aloud (and surely wonder what their own pet is up to when they’re not around).

Buy it: Amazon

4. Frankie Sparks and the Big Sled Challenge // Megan Frazer Blakemore ($6)

frankie sparks and the big sled challenge

Third-grade inventor Frankie Sparks is back for the third book in her STEM-inspired series, and this time, she’s about to learn that the hardest part about creating a competition-winning sled is less about sled-building and more about team-building. Great for elementary school kids who love to create anything—be it art or architecture—as well as anyone who’s ever had to work on a group project.

Buy it: Amazon

5. The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! // Mo Willems ($10)

the pigeon has to go to school
Hyperion Books/Amazon

Mo Willems’s original pigeon book was Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, a thoroughly riotous, award-winning tale about a pigeon trying to convince readers to let it drive the bus when the bus driver asked them not to. In the latest story, the headstrong pigeon pivots to something it very much does not want to do—go to school. It sends a message about the value of doing things you don’t want to do, but, most importantly, it’s also really funny.

Buy it: Amazon

6. The Glass Town Game // Catherynne M. Valente ($11)

the glass town game
Simon & Schuster/Amazon

Catherynne M. Valente spins a riveting fictional tale from the true story of Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and Branwell Brontë’s childhood in a Yorkshire parsonage, where they passed the time dreaming up an intricate fantasy land populated with toy soldiers. In Valente’s novel, the fantasy land comes to life, complete with whale-sized flies, Champagne flutes that play music, and fire-breathing porcelain roosters, and the siblings must use all their wit and imagination to figure out how to get home. It’s a little like Alice in Wonderland meets The Chronicles of Narnia, and perfect for fans of both.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Lambslide // Ann Patchett ($13)


The internationally bestselling author of Bel Canto and Commonwealth is just as clever when it comes to writing for kids. In Lambslide, a group of lambs mistakenly hear lambslide instead of landslide and begin a farm-wide campaign for an actual slide for lambs. With quaint illustrations, endearing characters, and an engaging plot, this is the type of book that ends up in the family for generations.

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Book With No Pictures // B.J. Novak ($9)

The Office alum B.J. Novak turns storytime into a full-fledged comedic performance with The Book With No Pictures, a book filled with nonsense words and phrases like blork and blaggity blaggity, which the reader has to read aloud. For parents, it’s a blueprint for embracing their silly side. For kids, it’s a chance to see their parents not seem so parental.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Spencer’s New Pet // Jessie Sima ($14)

spencer's new pet
Simon & Schuster/Amazon

The author of Not Quite Narwhal returns with another adorable story, this time about a boy who must avoid sharp objects in order to protect his balloon-animal pet dog. The mostly black-and-white illustrations (except for the dog, which is red) give Spencer’s New Pet a refreshingly old-fashioned feel, and the tale itself is sweet, evenly paced, and timeless.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Serafina and the Black Cloak // Robert Beatty ($8)

serafina and the black cloak

When children begin disappearing from the Biltmore Estate, Serafina, who secretly lives in the basement, knows the culprit is a mysterious man in a black cloak who prowls the corridors at night. This novel has everything a quality middle-grade fantasy needs, including secret passageways, a forbidden forest, unknown magic, and a scrappy heroine. And the chills and thrills don’t stop at the end—it’s the first in a series of four (so far).

Buy it: Amazon

11. The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas // Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter ($18)

the dinosaur that pooped christmas

This jolly, strange story about a ravenous pet dinosaur who gobbles up all of Christmas is hilarious enough on its own—and perhaps even more so when you consider that it was written by British punk rockers Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter from the band McFly.

Buy it: Amazon

12. This Is a Taco! // Andrew Cangelose ($16)

this is a taco
Lion Forge/Amazon

A high-spirited, unique squirrel named Taco provides color commentary on regular squirrel facts in This Is a Taco!, a book that is much more than a factual guide to squirrels. In it, Taco embellishes, acts out, and sometimes completely changes the facts to be truer to his personal experience as a squirrel, which involves being opinionated and eating lots of tacos.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!