6 Things to Do With Halloween Candy Besides Eat It!

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It’s only three days after Halloween, and I’ve got candy overflowing my kitchen cabinets – not to mention candy wrappers turning up in unusual places all over the house. (Why was there a Starburst wrapper in my bed last night and a Blow-Pop stick behind the sofa cushions?!?

The candy gorging was fun for a bit, but I’m over it now. The spontaneity and anticipation of getting treats that you rarely eat is gone. It’s a little sad, but those snack-size Snickers just don’t taste quite as good after eating four or five – something that I think is true for my kids too even though they’d never admit it.

So what do you do?  

There’s a feeling of obligation to finish all the Halloween candy off – whether than means to cram it in a few days or to play candy police and dole it out slowly for the next six weeks. Whatever the method, the concept of having to finish off the candy is a bit crazy – but one that I’d been following.  

 But what else do you do with all that candy?  It turns out there are lots of things – all of which are productive and/or appreciated by others which definitely helps ease my mom guilt when I pare down the kids candy tonight! 

Here are some ideas:

 #1: Pack it up.

Organizations like Soldiers’ Angels accept candy donations year-round to send to deployed troops, as well as to distribute to VA hospitals. Enter your zip code on their website to find a location or business near you that is taking candy donations. 

 #2: Decorate with it.

I guarantee you’ll start seeing kits to assemble gingerbread houses on shelves within the next week, and here’s a tip I learned the hard way a few years ago: most kits only come with the walls, roof, and icing – not any decorations.  Stash candy away (chocolate can go in the freezer) for when you need gingerbread house embellishments in a few short weeks!

#3: Donate it.

There are usually lots of places in your community that appreciate and take small candy donations. Check to see if local assisted livings, Ronald McDonald houses, or in-patient facilities accept candy. Also, college organizations or dorms are an option if you live in a college town. At the University of Alabama, there’s a group that puts together final exam care packages for college students who are foster kids or don’t have families to go to support them that gladly accepts donations. 

#4: Recycle It. 

Check the calendar for a class party or birthday that might be coming up. Extra candies are always needed for goodie bags or prizes. Need a treat to make for the bake sale in a few weeks? Here’s my favorite recipe for Candy Bar Brownies that calls for 10 snack-size or 18 bite-sizes chocolate bars of any type.    

#5: Cash it in.  

Trade in candy for money? I wish they’d had this when I was a kid! Many dentist offices and gyms offer Halloween buy-backs. Enter your zipcode on this site to find participating businesses in your area. 

#6: Toss it.

Remember, your kids are not obligated to finish that whole bag of candy. When candy choices are pared down to ones that your kids don’t even really like, consider going ahead and tossing it out.


What do you do with all of your Halloween candy after the hype wears off?