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Frugality Tip: Recycle Halloween Candy

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Okay, the title sounds gross but I assure you the explanation isn’t. Back when I was a child, my sister and I would usually start Trick or Treating relatively early (like right after dinner time, but when it was still light out) with a few of our friends. We would make it around our little block in a pretty short period of time, collecting about a bagful of candy, and then return home. On this first little excavation trip, we would collect enough unwanted candy (that is, candy that was good but we weren’t necessary a fan of) to supplement the small amount that my parents had purchased to give away from our house. Throughout the night we’d check in at home (mostly for safety’s sake, back then only Gordon Gecko had a cell phone), dumping our unwanted stash into the giveaway bin, until we were exhausted from the fun of Trick or Treating. This little strategy of ours worked out nicely for a variety of reasons:

  1. we could save a little money by not buying a ton of candy,
  2. candy we didn’t like wouldn’t go to waste since we picked out the undesirables, and,
  3. give away as much as we wanted since there was no reason to try to keep any of it for ourselves.

Personally, I’m not a huge sweets type of person. When I do eat candy, I generally enjoy chocolate with some nut component involved (almonds, peanuts, etc). That means that all the sugar heavy candies were of little interest to me as a kid (candy necklaces = gross) and so I would usually take those and toss them into the giveaway pile. What if you’re the type of person who loves absolutely everything? Well maybe this idea isn’t for you. :)

I think we arrived at this process after a few years of “oh great, it’s November 1st and we have a ton of candy no one will eat.” After a couple years of having a ton leftover, you start to think about ways to reduce the waste and our little recycling process seemed to work out. Too bad I can’t go out Trick or Treating anymore, I’m probably a little too old now.

Anyone else have any good Halloween frugality tips? And do be safe out there tonight!

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Frugality Tip: Recycle Halloween Candy”

  1. Chris says:

    I’m conflicted on this story. On the one hand, you save money by giving away the candy you get from other houses. On the other hand, you were the house that gave away nothing but yucky candy that no one wants :D

  2. jim says:

    Hahahah, it’s not yucky candy! It was just candy I didn’t like, like those stupid Smarties or whatever. :)

  3. JC Carvill says:

    I always hate Halloween because of the candy thing. I try to not keep the candy in the house because I would eat it all. These are great tips thanks.

  4. Very risky to give out bad candy on the night where pranks are basically allowed…

    That said, I think the idea is appealing in a theoretical sense: you’re trying to make a better allocation for every one and you save yourself some money. In a theoretical economy of N agents, if all agents pursued this strategy, and trick-or-treating had no transaction cost, I think you might end up with a Pareto efficient allocation…just trivia for thought.

  5. donna says:

    I like Smarties – I’m eating them right now. ;^)

    And we have lots of candy left over – all the kids went to the mall this year….

  6. Saving Freak says:

    We usually attend a few parties the week before halloween. We will use a large percentage of the candy we get for trick or treaters. We just don’t need extra sweets around the house to be consumed.


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