Are you sick of it yet? The random candy wrappers found in odd places. The sugar-induced comas. The whining and negotiating for a piece of candy every hour. Or worse, the temptation to dig through your child’s candy stash in order to feed the sweet cravings at night. Let’s relieve ourselves from this sugar mayhem and consider other ways to put the leftover Halloween candy to good use.
Candy comes in handy many times throughout the year. Save what you think you’ll need, and then give the rest away. I give my kids a week to keep their candy separate and then I dump it all into one container. I use the Utz Pretzel container I get at Sam’s Club. We pull the container out of hiding when the kids want a treat over the weekend, or when we’re on our way to the movie theater. This year I plan to give away more candy than I keep. Here are five ideas I found helpful when it comes to managing the leftover Halloween candy.
#1 – DONATE IT
Many Tampa Bay area dentists participate in the Halloween Candy Buy-Back event where dentists give your child $1 for every pound of candy they bring into the office. The candy is shipped to Operation Gratitude, where volunteers send the goodies in care packages to our US Troops overseas. It’s a win-win for both parents, dentists, our troops and especially our kids. Just visit the Halloween Candy Buy Back website, enter your zip code and find a nearby participating dentist. If you have missed their collection date, don’t worry! You have until November 15th to ship your candy directly to Operation Gratitude. Visit the Operation Gratitude Halloween Candy webpage for all the details on what to ship, where to ship and even letter writing tips for you and your child to send a special note to the troops.
If you want to give locally and treat families to a sweet treat, drop your Halloween candy off to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay. Just call (813) 254-2398 x317 for details, or drop the candy off at the Tampa Ronald McDonald House on Davis Island during regular business hours.
#2 – SHARE IT
Sharing is caring. Ask your child’s teacher if they need Friday treats. Then send your leftover Halloween candy their way. Or save the candy to use at the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts popcorn and cookie sales tables. Or call your local fire department to see if they can use the extra candy. When all else fails, bring it to your office and share it with your co-workers.
#3 – REPURPOSE IT
#4 – SWITCH IT OR SWAP IT
Have you heard about the Switch Witch who visits your home, much like the Tooth Fairy, and collects your child’s candy in exchange for a toy? She usually visits on Halloween night, but there’s nothing like a few extra days for the kids to enjoy the treats of their labor. If you want to introduce the Switch Witch tradition in your home, visit the Switch Witch website for details. Personally I won’t be introducing another fantasy character to my kids. I already struggle with the fact my kids not only believe in the Tooth Fairy, but they also write her notes and expect a note back. I can’t add witch notes to my to-do list. However, the Switch Witch or even the Halloween Fairy is another creative option parents have when it comes to ridding our homes of the candy.
#5 – FREEZE IT
There’s nothing like a frozen candy bar on a hot day. Store your favorite candy bars in airtight containers, or in heavy-duty freezer bags, and they should last about 12 months. If you want to cut them up in pieces before freezing, then you can toss them on top of ice cream or into your next milkshake.
It’s a fun tradition to enjoy the sweet treats of Halloween. Now let’s do the trick of making the candy disappear. I hope these ideas help you put your candy to good use. Please add your own ideas for getting rid of leftover Halloween candy in the Comments Box below.