Who knew that Halloween was a billion-dollar holiday? $2.392 billion, to be exact. That’s the amount we spend on candy each Halloween, according to the National Confectioners’ Association*. That staggering amount of candy (and money) makes my teeth hurt and my stomach ache. While I won’t deprive my children of this miraculous holiday where neighbors give them “free” candy, I do have ways to manage the consumption and candy overload, you can enjoy trick-or-treating and the little ones aren’t crashing from too much sugar.
Sneaking Candy. No, this is not about skimming off your favorite chocolate bar or candy corns off the top of the pile (although this works just fine in my house with Reese’s). To keep candy consumption under control, bag up an assortment of candy in several bags, marked with each child’s name, and store in the freezer to spread out over a reasonable amount of time.
Baking Supplies on Hand. Many popular candy items double as great baking supplies. Find the M&Ms, Snickers, Heath and Hershey bars and stash them away for a few short weeks. When you start baking for Thanksgiving and the holidays, use the Halloween candy. You’ll save money and time buying on baking supplies.
Donate the Excess. The definition of excess will vary greatly between you and your children, but a great way to get the goodies out of your house is to donate them. There are candy buyback programs, collections for troops and more. Find a local group or ask around to find out how to donate the excess candy. (Some won’t take chocolate—it melts, so be sure to ask.) Older children and their trick-or-treating friends can separate the candy they would like to donate. You’ll be surprised at how generous they can be when they know where it’s going.
Among the numbers in a *Forbes article about Halloween candy consumption, the stats are almost unbelievable. Except for the ranking of the most popular chocolates: “Hershey Company’s Reese’s took the number one spot with sales of just under $510 million in the past year.” That’s so obvious.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween.