Halloween costumes are more expensive, more complicated and somehow less imaginative than they used to be. Most of this is because they cost an arm and a leg. Seriously, a prom dress is one thing, but any article of clothing your kid wears only once should not put you back $50.
The smart dad solution? Start early and get your kids excited about making their own costumes. Ask them what they want to be now so that you've got a solid few weeks to help them put together the end product.
Beyond cost savings, here are a few more advantages to this method:
• Age-appropriate costumes: Browse a few retail options for "teen girl" Halloween costumes and prepare to be shocked. Your daughter's costume shouldn't make anyone blush, so work on something together that's both stylish and school-appropriate, which is a great metric.
• Imagination first: It's great that your 8-year-old son wants to be Batman, but you shouldn't need to essentially pay royalties to Warner Bros. so he can get some candy dressed as the Dark Knight. Work together to design a better, homemade option he can be proud of.
• Time with your kids: At the end of the day, this is what being a dad is all about. Spend quality time with your kids, then steal a few Kit-Kat bars from their haul.