A Halloween and Refrigerator Twofer

Happy Halloween!

Boy Halloween  Girl Halloween

I wanted to be able to tell you this awesome story about how we didn’t buy our costumes, but rented them at a costume shop. And that we saved a ton of money and did something good for the environment. But I can’t.

Not for lack of trying, though. We went to a costume shop that had rental costumes. I was thinking we could save money, borrow some costumes and be done with it. But the costumes available for small children were, how shall we describe it, terrible. And when I mean terrible, I mean complete and utter crap. The options available went like this: a dalmation or someone from the Renaissance or 1800’s.

The kids were looking at me like I was smoking crack. Like, Mom has gone off the deep end and we need to help her but first – “Hey, there’s candy. Mom, can we have some candy?” And then we were done at that store.

So, we went to a retail costume shop. The Boy found his costume pretty quickly. The price tag? $51.96. Just shoot me.

The Girl didn’t find anything she liked. And, holy goodness, we looked at about a zillion costumes. She was not impressed. So we got home, searched Amazon, and found a costume that she liked, that fit her and that could deliver by yesterday. I was sweatin’ it. But it arrived yesterday around 2 p.m. Total cost for hers? $25.66.

I’m disappointed. But, we figured it out and everyone is happy with their costumes. I spent $77.62, which I suppose is not too bad as far as Halloween costumes go, but I really wanted to rent them. I mean, they wear them exactly twice: Once to school and once for trick-or-treating.

To mitigate the environmental impact, I’ll try to find friends with kids younger than mine and pass them along. I have two nieces that could use The Girl’s costume. And  The Boy’s costume? I’m sure I can find a taker.

The Frig

This morning I also decided the refrigerator had to get cleaned out. There was a lot of stuff in there that should have been tossed long ago. I hate food waste, but it makes no sense to have flour from three years ago just sitting there getting even more expired. It’s hard to see, but the top shelf was jammed full of old bags of flour and jars of I don’t know what. I went from this:

Before Frig

To this:

Frig After

I do my grocery shopping on Saturdays, so if all goes as planned, the refrigerator is pretty bare by Thursday and Friday. I’m trying to do a better job of using up leftovers and not throwing food away. I can still do much better. But looking at a clean refrigerator makes me happy.

Happy Halloween and Clean Refrigerator JuJu to all of you!

18 Responses to A Halloween and Refrigerator Twofer

  1. Your firdge looks great! I find I lose a lot less food when the fridge is clean — nothing disappears to the far recessed and death. Which inspires me to clean out my fridge…tomorrow.

    What is your daughter? I’m hopelessly un-hip, and I don’t recognize the costume.

  2. Costumes – we have a costume bin that I pull every year. My kiddos usually get something new, but neighbors and friends use the costumes in the bin on a regular basis because they’re new to their kids. It’s like a costume swap every year (I think I just stumbled onto something!). They’ve also been known to put something together from multiple past years, which is always fun. Food – did you see the Rachel Ray yesterday where two families swapped food budgets for a week? One fam had a $60 budget due to their situation and the other would spend up to $600 / week on food. Very interesting to watch! Fridge looks great . . . I totally need to do that . . . it is now on the weekend to do list 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. We’ve been eating out of the pantry and freezer so that we don’t have so much food in this house and buy more which mean some goes to waste. I’ll be glad for grocery week next week thou. I’ve been working on some new dishes and stuff for the food. To much goes to waste and there are to many people starving to waste food.

    I hope you can find someone who can use the outfits. I know when we were little they came in a box with a plastic mask and outfit. Now I can’t believe the prices on these things.

  4. I tried to find a used costume for my youngest this year as we have a few secondhand stores and I figured it would be no problem. Except! Total problem, even from the one advertising costumes. If you don’t really care what you are for Halloween, then I think it would work, but when you’re 8 and you want a cape and an Iron Man mask… it’s pretty much designed to fail. I ended up making her cape ($5 in material and 1.5 hours of my life) and somehow my husband found just a mask (she didn’t want the costume… that was another $10). Crisis averted!

    (We do what we can. Credit for trying, right?)

  5. You don’t need to sew to make costumes, and the Internet has lots of suggestions. We used to work with what we had in the house or you get at thrift shops: pirate, witch etc are pretty easy.

  6. I agree we spent a bit over $20 for a costume my daughter might be able to wear next year maybe and I feel that there has got to be a better way. So will probably end up donating it to Goodwill or something.
    Good job on cleaning out the refridge. I did mine yesterday only to have something explode in it today/last night. Not sure what is leaking all over my door and floor.

  7. I have never heard of keeping flour in the fridge! Really? I’m in the UK and we keep it in the cupboard. And it lasts for years (well, no-one’s died yet, so I guess it does)

  8. Next year hit a thrift shop earlier for creative costumes, and donate when done with them, or start a dress up bin for play and future costumes. I often hit halloween stores the day after for marked down dress up clothes and accessories.

    And menue planning, even in a vague form can help a lot with over purchasing of food. Buy for 5 days, you can always get more but I find that between leftovers and those days when we just have grilled cheese and soup instead of what I was planning, 5 days of planned meals always lasts the week plus. Oh and that Lea and Perrins and Sirracha don’t need to be in the fridge, at least I have never had them there?

  9. Our library has a program where you donate your child’s outgrown costume. Then others do also. You have first dibs to select a new costume for your child after all are collected. Then if any are left over, other members of the community can select a costume for their child without donating. Sometimes people just donate and don’t take another home, leaving extras for the ones that didn’t donate. Nice program.
    Your cleaned out frig looks so nice. Motivates me to start on mine. I bring my flour home and place it in the freezer for at least two days. Then I can take it out and store in the pantry until opening. Once opened I store in an airtight container on the shelf.
    Sure enjoy your posts and your being so open with us. Thank you.

  10. love, love your before and after pics!
    my grands wear their costumes during the year,often, mixing them up. dress up, have that super hero feeling,etc.

  11. As for costumes, my kids are both really involved in the process, and have a lotof buy-in to making their own. They were pirates this year (probably my favorite costume to make) and assembled their costumes from things we had and a $3 trip to the thrift store for a vest, and $5 in scar makeup. Of course, we start thinking about it after my son’s August birthday, and must make a final decision October 1, so there’s plenty of time for them to work on it. On the other hand, one year my husband made a WALL-E costume out of a box — my son had less involvement on that one! I think my point is, giving ourselves lots of time in the discussion phase makes it simpler on me.

    That said, any thoughts about what your simpler Christmas will look like?

  12. Just happened upon your site… It’s interesting to read as we have been living a VERY simplified life for the last five years. I applaud your efforts but $70something for two costumes? I can’t even begin to imagine… Your daughters costume is adorable…and actually seems to be a bargain! I’m not sure what your sons is and why it cost so much. Like Roberta above, our family tries to plan a few weeks in advance and look around the house for what could be made into a costume… Or we hit the local thrift shops. With a budget of $10 max the kids always make do and had a ton of fun designing their costumes!

    • Welcome Carol. He was a Zombie pirate. And the irony is that he got home and hated the mask. So he wore it once. Horrible, horrible, last minute decision making.

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