Everyone's looking to save a buck or two these days, myself included. When I'm figuring out my costume year to year I'm always thinking, "How cheaply can I throw this together?" Here are some of the best ways to throw together a costume and do it without spending a lot of money. 

You'd be surprised and what you'll find when you just go through your closet. Do you have an old track suit? You could be a nerdy gym teacher. It's even better if the track suit is a little tight and you're a bit out of shape. Do you have an old ugly bridesmaid dress? Buy a cheap tiara and you're a prom queen. Zombies are very popular. Don't be afraid to rip up the clothes and throw some stage blood on them. Same with your kids. I remember my mom just made our costumes out of old clothing we couldn't wear anymore. My sister was a punk rocker with an old t-shirt she didn't wear anymore and a pair of jeans she couldn't wear because they were ripped. She put in different non matching earrings and she bought a Mohawk wig. Done. Old outfits from dance class also work.

Never underestimate the power of a cardboard box. Your cat uses it as a house or a hiding spot. Your kids can make it an airplane, a club house, or a boat.  One year I was a die. My mom cut holes in a cardboard box for my head and arms, covered it in white paint and spray painted the dots on it. I wore a white shirt, white tights, white socks and white shoes that I already had. The cost? About $5. If you have two kids you can make them a pair of dice. Easy. Household scissors and a little bit of paint can go a long way.

Thrift stores are a goldmine and you need to get in your car and go there right now because if you wait, there won't be anything left. You can walk in there with not a clue as to what your costume will look like, poke around for a little while and walk out with your costume. I've done it for a number of years. Same way with your kids. Overalls, a plaid shirt, some corn stalks or hay; add a hat and you have an adorable little scarecrow. Overalls, a plaid shirt and a hat and you have an adorable little farmer. Thrift stores usually have everything under one roof and you won't break the bank snapping up everything you need.

Do you have your costume? Do you go all out or do you turn out all the lights and watch TV?