Halloween is obviously a super fun holiday, but it’s not just “one night” if you’re chowing down on highly processed sugary candy for weeks or months to come. So I’ve got some fun ideas for you to help make sure you don’t “fall off the wagon” at the start of this holiday season!
5 Ways to Get Rid of your Halloween Candy
- Cash for Candy through the Buyback Program
This is a national program with thousands of participating dentists and orthodontists. Use their handy zip code locator to find a practice who will buy back candy (typically $1 per pound up to 5 pounds) near you! Most dentists send their loot on to the troops. Some health food stores also offer a trade in program.
- Operation Gratitude: Mail your candy to the troops
Another great way to reduce your overload of sweet stuff is to send your candy directly to the troops (they love care packages!). Be sure to check out their guidelines before packing it up. If you’re concerned about shipping costs you could also look into donating it locally to a homeless shelter or food bank.
- The Sugar Goblin
Do you have one yet? My girls were so excited when this little guy arrived in the mail. The Sugar Goblin will leave a little something for your kids in exchange for their candy (that they don’t eat) on Halloween night! This is a great way to keep candy consumption in check without spoiling any of the fun. To purchase yours check out their website, amazon or target.com. I’m told that target.com may sell out soon so if you’re interested don’t delay on this one!
- The Switch Witch
This is a similar concept to The Sugar Goblin. It’s pretty self explanatory if you read through the poem below, and if you’re a long time follower here you know we’re fans of the Switch Witch and her naughty cat! :) –
- Use it for Science Experiments!
Now how fun is this? My kids both love doing experiments, and I know using candy as their subjects would definitely up the fun factor. Check out the Candy Experiments website and books for loads of ideas!
I hope you get some use out of these ideas! Of course you can always just throw all the extra away, although I know that is not a very eco-friendly option. But this dilemma does remind me of one of my favorite Michael Pollan quotes …”it’s better to go to waste than to go to waist.” Very true!
I’d love to hear what you do with your candy after Halloween in the comments below.
29 thoughts on “5 Ways to Get Rid of Your Halloween Candy”
Set aside some of the colorful and interesting looking candies to decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas
Cute ideas! However, no one should be eating these sugary treats, not sure how I feel about sending to our troops. I am all for sending care packages, that is very important. Maybe you can put something healthy in those packages. I’m a fan of the candy “disappearing ” if you know what I mean, wink, wink…
My grandson has many food allergies, but he is a kid and loves the fun of trick or treating. He received lots of candy that he cannot eat. Out of the many items that he was given by his neighbors, he is able to keep only a bag of potato chips, an apple, and a small toy, aside from the allergy friendly candy I purchased for him. I belong to the group SLIDELL LADIES FOR LIBERTY (check us out on Facebook.) We ship care boxes to deployed soldiers with connections to our hometown, Slidell, LA. We love donations of extra candy that we use as packing material for our boxes. I purchased my grandson’s candy from him and will use it in our November packing. He then gets to make a trip to the toy store!
Gather all the chocolates and make a cake, brownies or cookies. Then give it away! :)
We keep some of the sweets to decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas.
My youngest has allergies ( avoiding corn, soy, diary right now), so Halloween is a struggle. We “offered” a candy exchange for the younger, so he’s looking forward to a trip to a toy store on Nov.1. My older son also took us up on the offer. We also spent the afternoon baking Lisa’s pumpkin muffins from the cookbook, and will dip pretzels in chocolate later, as it seems important to have something to offer when the ” can’t I have just ones?” ( an absolute no,no for the allergy child) arrive!
I love the idea of using candy in science experiments. I think we could have a lot of fun doing that.
I did this at work today with 30 grown-ups in two groups of 15:
Originally I found this on Pinterest. The lady on Pinterest did not use a bell and I did not use the industrial wrap because it was expensive. Plain saran wrap worked fine and our shipping department let me have about 3 feet of bubble wrap for each ball – an added obstacle and extra padding.
If we do this again next year, I will probably avoid peanut butter cups. Too squishy! Maybe next time the middle will have a bag of M&Ms of something biggish to bulk up the ball and give that last person a great prize.
But what a fun project this could be to use up some candy! Make it with your kids and use it as a reward to have some friends over to play. :)
I love this! I know a lot of local dentists do candy buy-backs, too! With the holidays around the corner, I know a lot of the candy that doesn’t melt might be good additions to those shoebox donation gifts, too! Take care!
Really like these ideas. I did a few videos dropping candy into a blender just to see what happened. Best use of candy yet! I really like the idea of substituting some healthier choices for treats to hand out to the little door ringers as well.
I would not recommend donating to food banks. I have worked for a meal program for six years. Our partnering food bank is inundated with candy throughout the year, and it is a struggle to provide healthful, nutritious food to our guests every day. Many of our guests already experience dental issues and don’t have access (or have very limited access) to dental care. They literally can’t chew tougher candies, such as licorice or tootsie rolls. If you are thinking of donating to a food bank, please reconsider paying the shipping to cheer up one of our troops.
This year I let my son decide what he wants to “buy” with his Halloween candy. He chose a video game, which feels like trading one addiction for another! still, we have established rules for gaming already so I’m okay with it.
I would caution you against donating candy to local book banks and shelters, however. Some organizations will not accept candy, as their residents and visitors do not have frequent access to toothbrushes and toothpaste. Candy consumption would present a health hazard to people already living in a precarious situation. Just a thought! I love the idea of sending candy to the troops, though :)
Thanks for the great ideas. It seems like every year my kids get more and more candy for Halloween and we need to find something to do with it. We do eat some Halloween candy on the day of too but after that we sort the candy and save anything that might look good to use on a gingerbread house that we decorate in December. We also sort out a small bag for quick energy for hiking and cross country ski trips.
Another great use – save the hard candy to decorate gingerbread houses at Christmas time.
i have not given out candy for over 5 years. I go to the dollar tree and get small toys, hair barrettes, pencils, rings and glow worms, etc. the first year I was really afraid the kids would not like it but they now flock to my house to get their treats. not only am I saving my health, I am impacting theirs.
Love these ideas Lisa! We have sent it to the troops before, which was a win-win in my book. Now we don’t have one close by that sends the candy to the troops so we may donate to a food bank or homeless shelter. Thanks for the tips!
Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan’s Purse is another great way to give away candy. You can bag up the hard candy and put it in the shoeboxes to send to a child in need. We do this every year with my kids hard candy.
We do the Switch Witch to prep for the income of Halloween candy. They get so much candy from birthday parties throughout the year. They can have one piece per day but we get so much! Anyway, I am a science teacher, so we often use the candy for experiments. My high school students design the experiments, and then go to the elementary school to do the candy experiments for the students there. Donate to local science and art teachers! We make “homeless’ bags to keep in the car for the homeless with signs on the corner. We include candy and some fruit and bottles of water and toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Hi. Love your website I just had to pass along this idea we make haunted gingerbread houses with our leftover candy or Christmas ones a little early or you could always do Thanksgiving and then after the kids are done looking for a while we toss em.
We let them eat it the first night, and keep 1 piece per year of age.
Then we take the rest to work and trade it for a toy.
I save some of the good chocolate for Christmas stockings – chocolate freezes well, so long as there isn’t Halloween stuff on the packaging, they never know.
But most of it I bag and freeze. Then after Thanksgiving we decorate gingerbread houses with it! I had enough last year that my girl scout troop and family made NINE houses and only bought a tiny amount of additional candy (mostly peppermints to make it more festive).
A few years ago I started giving my kids a nickel for every piece they gave up right away…this really helped to get the stuff they didn’t even like out of the buckets. Last year my son only kept a few pieces because he was so motivated to get money…he’s already talking about it this year! It’s cheaper than buying a new toy or outfit and can be done right away that night or the next day if it’s late when we get back. We sometimes throw it away or give it someplace if we find a receiver. The nearest buyback program for us is 100 miles away so I simply started my own version. They’re a little older and my daughter still chooses to hold onto too much so I might raise it to a dime this year to motivate her. ;-) It works for now! Maybe in the future we’ll do it per pound and get a fractions math lesson included. Lol
Really? Homeless shelters? Here ya go, poors! Take all of my non-nutritious garbage! Have fun trying to find a dentist who takes low/no-income patients!
Whether or not you eat candy is obviously a personal choice. Sugar is not good for you, obviously, but – moderation, right?
So what do people in homeless shelters get to eat? I have no idea. But I imagine that candy might be a treat. Spread out over 50 to 100 people, it would probably not be too bad.
(The US, I’m sure, makes way too much candy for the people who are here, but that’s another story entirely).
Oh come on! No need to be rude. If you don’t like the idea, just move on. I personally think it’s a good idea for a treat for their kids. Not like it’s every day.
This is awesome! Thank you so much! We did the buy back last year but I LOVE the idea of sending it to the troops and the science projects. Between my two kids we should have enough to do both. :) Happy Halloween
We save a portion (read: almost all) of our Halloween candy to build our holiday ginger bread house!
Hi there! Your ideas are helpful thou. Halloween is around the corner. How’s everything goes about? Thanks for sharing your idea instead of halloween candy..