One of the things that continues to amaze me is how much candy both children accumulate over the weeks leading up to this ghoulish day that is Halloween. As soon as I pick them up from school, their book bags are filled with candy (either from class parties or their teachers and fellow students giving them out as gifts). No matter how hard we try to escape the candy… it’s there!
What do we do with it all?
Someone once told me to throw it away if I couldn’t figure out what to do it. I am not one to dispose of food, unless it’s expired. I am a firm believer in either saving or repurposing it. Maybe it’s just the frugal goddess coming in me, but I just cannot bring myself to throw away that candy, or anything else that graces our cabinets. If my children had their way, they would eat it all in one night. Luckily for them, mommy is the rule-maker when it comes to anything food related. After trick-or-treating, we sit them down and pick 3 pieces of candy from the ‘loot’ they raked brought home. The rest of it gets placed inside a big basket until mommy figures out what to do with it.
If you are like me and don’t want to throw out that candy, read on because I have compiled a list about what you can do to save it from hitting that trash can…
10) If you have candy accumulating before the actual day of Halloween, save it for Halloween night and give it out to the trick-or-treaters. Save the mints and any other “lame” candies for those teenagers who come to your door with no costume, holding a pillowcase!
9) Give the candy to your spouse to bring in to work. Everyone will enjoy munching on it during break times or when they need a little sugar rush. More importantly, it will be out of your house for those times when you get a break or “need” a sugar rush!
8) Send the candy overseas to our men and women who are serving. I can’t think of a better way to lift their spirits. This is also a great way to get kids excited about giving away some of their stash!
7) Donate the candy to places in need such as a homeless shelter or a half-way house. Children may not get a chance to go trick or treating so this may be a good way to bring trick or treating to them. (Make sure the candy you are donating are pieces that are packaged well… a caramel that is half-way opened might not be received in the spirit it was intended)
6) Give the candy to your children’s teacher. It could be the ‘energy pick me up’ they are looking for during the day or they could distribute it among their students as needed. Better yet, give it to another kid’s teacher… after all, we want to share the wealth and pass that sugar rush to other kids, not just your own… right?
5) Providing they aren’t Halloween themed, freeze them and save as gifts during the Christmas or Thanksgiving holiday. See #4… everyone loves a home baked treat from Santa Claus, right?
4) Spend an afternoon baking some sweet treats with left over chocolate candy. There are plenty of recipes on the internet that use candy as their main ingredient. Everything from cookies, cakes, and brownies can be made. Yum!
3) If you have children, use the candy as a learning tool. There is nothing like finding out the answer to what two plus three is, and then eating it afterwards. And what child could resist the urge to actually USE the potty if a few skittles are waiting for them when they are successful?
2) Stash the little mini candies in your purse just in case you find yourself at the car dealership for two hours and need a quick sugar fix. Or, if you are stuck at said dealership with two children and giving them a sugar fix will ensure that everyone at the dealership has a vested interest in you leaving as soon as possible!
1) Last but not least, if you are like me… just hide it, um, I mean save it for a rainy day and eat it.
If you find yourself in the kitchen baking with the left over candy, here are a few easy recipes to start you off on the right track.