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Halloween Costumes Mix Of Store-Bought, Handmade

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Ina Tsagarakis planned to use both store-bought Halloween gear and clothing from home to make her Tigger costume this year.

"Usually I like to make my own costume but I always buy something also like a wig or Halloween make-up," said Tsagarakis who was in the Halloween decorations section of Value Drugs last week with her husband and eight-month-old son.

Tsagarakis, who lives in Croton, planned to dress her son, Luke, in a plush Eeyore outfit, and to match him as Tigger with some black clothing, ears and a tail. Her husband, Phil Tsagarakis, planned to dress up as Scrooge.

There were 41 million potential trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in the United States last year, according to a 2010 report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 2009, there were 1,719 costume and clothing rental establishments across the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau also says.

A 2007 Gallup Panel survey found that Americans spent an average of $52 on Halloween merchandise, "spread about equally among costumes, decorations and candy." The total household expenditure jumped to $82 for households with children under age 18, "with a bit more emphasis on costumes."

But with the scarier-than-a-Halloween-slasher-flick prospect of a double-dip global recession haunting the homes and wallets of millions of Americans this October, it's easy to imagine more families spending less money on dressing up and choosing "Do-it-Yourself" costumes instead.

John Macko, the owner of the Chocolate Chalet in Briarcliff who was shopping at Value Drugs last week, said the sluggish economy is not affecting his Halloween spirit.

"(The economy) doesn't change Halloween for me because I don't go crazy overboard with it," he said. "I just have a few things to celebrate the holidays like a plastic and a real pumpkin and this little orange witch that I'm going to hang on the front door."

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