Consumer Alert - Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Written by Kristen Miranda

Depending on your child, their Halloween costume can be creative and inexpensive, or elaborate and enough to nearly break the bank.

In today's Consumer Alert, three ways to get Halloween costumes for less.  We begin with a couple who want to make sure every child has something to wear for Trick-or-Treating.

Merritt and Adam Friedman were sitting on their porch one Halloween handing out candy when they realized that many of the children coming up their steps were trick-or-treating without a costume.

"We thought it was so unfortunate that there were children who couldn't afford a costume, so we started collecting," Merritt Friedman tells WBTV.

This is the third year of their giveaway program and this year they've collected 300 costumes to give to families in need.

"We have had moms come up to us with crumpled five dollar bills in their hands and they're so surprised when we tell them it's free.  We've had children tell us they've never had a Halloween costume before," Friedman says.

They'll be handing out the costumes from 9-11am on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at the Plaza Midwood Fall Crawl.  That's in Midwood Park off Mecklenburg Avenue or Winter Street in Plaza Midwood.

The Friedman's area also still collecting costumes, if you have a new or gently used costume you'd like to donate.  You can email to learn how to donate.

We received two other inexpensive costume buying tips from moms.  They say shop Ebay and Goodwill.

Along with all of the clothes at Goodwill that can be creatively used for a variety of costumes, the Goodwill retail stores also have gently used ready-made kids costumes.  Today we saw a bee, Spiderman, Sully from Monsters Inc, and Hanna Montana.

If you hop to it now, there's still time to find a costume on Ebay too.  Costumes worn once, or sometimes never worn at all, can be purchased for a fraction of the price you'd find them for in stores.