Where to buy Halloween stuff

While Chris and I obviously make most of our costumes, often it is considerably easier and surprisingly cheaper to buy some pieces premade.

This year we’ve gone to so many different stores that I wanted to take notes, so I’ll remember where the best deals are for next year. And if you haven’t finished your costume shopping, maybe you can benefit from this too.

Value Village

We always start with the thrift and vintage stores. While there are plenty of thrift stores that have better deals and politics than Value Village, VV always has the biggest selection of second hand stuff. So if we don’t have a full day to spend combing through the racks of Ottawa’s vintage shops and charity stores, Value Village is the best bet.

Starting in September, VV stocks a wide selection of brand new costumes and accessories, but you’re usually better off looking for the real vintage items. Case in point: this authentic military cap cost less than $3, the cheap vinyl costume version was closer to $30.

Spirit Halloween

These stores that pop up in the fall and then pack up and leave the first week of November have a great selection of accessories and props. The prices are fairly high and the quality is pretty low, so I usually only go there when I don’t think I can find what I’m looking for anywhere else. This year they’re offering a 20% off coupon on their website, but the best deals will be the day after Halloween when they usually mark everything down 50%.


While it has the best quality stuff, Malabar also has the highest prices to go with it. You can often find some of the same accessories available at Malabar for cheaper at Value Village and Spirit Halloween, but the really cool stuff you won’t find anywhere else. While you’re at Malabar you should pick up your tickets for the Great Pumpkin Ball.

Party Packagers

I always forget about Party Packagers until we’ve already gone everywhere else, and then I find out that I could have saved myself a bunch of money, since they carry many of the same things as Spirit Halloween and the Value Village Halloween section.

This year I looked everywhere for cheap toy grenades. The ones I did find at dollar stores were ridiculously tiny. After almost giving up I finally found the perfect set at Party Packagers.


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