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Halloween Candy Buy Back Program (+ What do YOU do with All That Halloween Candy?!)

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What do you and your kiddos do with all that Halloween candy that you collected last night?! Do you have a big bowl in the kitchen where all the candy is collected and then up for grabs? Do you stash the candy in a secret place and then allow each of your kids to have one piece a day? Well, if you want to do something different with all that Halloween candy this year, consider participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back.

Here’s how it works…

* Participating dentists “buy” back kids’ Halloween candy at a scheduled event (find a participating dentist near you by entering your zip code in the box here located at the top right)
* Candy is “bought” with cash, coupons, toothbrushes, creative exchanges
* Dentists can partner with local businesses to give away coupons for food, services, goods, etc. They can give away the Hygiene Kits, they can set up an Opportunity Prize–each kid gets a ticket per pound of candy for an opportunity drawing to win special prizes, etc.
* Dentists then send the candy to Operation Gratitude or other Military support groups
* Operation Gratitude sends the candy to U.S. Military deployed in harm’s way

[h2s_box]Here are some other suggestions on ways to make use of all that Halloween candy (these comments were left by Hip2Save readers last few years in a similar post)

* Donate candy to teachers

* Donate to a pediatric cancer center (many of the treatments that kids undergo leave a metallic taste in their mouth so sometimes the kids are given a candy like a lollipop to get rid of the after-taste)

* Use candy as prizes for potty training

* My kids eat a few candies, we pick out a few more, then we put all of the rest outside of their bedroom doors when they go to bed. While they are sleeping, the Halloween Fairy takes away all of the candy (which makes its way to daddyโ€™s office) and leaves a toy for each child.

* Re-use the candy in a Pinata for a November/December birthday.

* Use all the chocolates to make some AWESOME brownies (just make the standard box brownie then cut up various chocolate, sprinkle the top and stick it back in the over to melt a bit)

* Save candy for decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas.[/h2s_box]

What great ideas! Have you ever participated in a Halloween Candy Buy Back? Do you have any other creative uses for Halloween candy? Please share! ๐Ÿ˜€

(Thanks for the reminder, Military Wives Saving!)

Join The Discussion

Comments 49

  1. Morgan

    Thanks so much for the helpful link! Found a dentist and called them- they do a $1 per pound! Going to save a few things (like the gingerbread house idea!) and them try to entice my 4 year old with trading for a Dollar Tree shopping trip!

  2. erika

    On my way now to my local buyback dentist!!

  3. david

    We sort the candy and put the majority of it away to put in stockings we send to New York for inner city children that don’t get things for Christmas. 6 other families collect items all year to stuff stockings and use most of the Halloween candy our children receive to put in the stockings. We also use the great deals Collin posts about and the marked down candy after Halloween. We usually end up sending 250 stockings (sometimes more sometimes less)

    • Moria

      Wow that’s awesome! 250 stocking is amazing!

  4. Sarah

    I save most of the candy my kids get, and use some of it in their stockings at Christmas and use the rest in treat bags for their birthday parties (candy stays good for a long time and their birthdays aren’t too many months after Halloween)

  5. sarah

    I buy it from my children.

  6. Stacy

    Earthfare stores have Trick n Trade where you can exchange your candy for healthy goodies.

  7. Sarah

    I’m a teacher so I give candy out as a reward. lol

  8. heather

    maybe its just me but my brother is in the military and served over seas I don’t know how excited he would be to get picked over Halloween candy. Let’s face it people aren’t going to give away the good stuff :). I freeze some of mind and bake with it over the holidays. have you ever had peanut butter cup blondies. Yummy

  9. justme

    Yay so exciting, we just got back from selling it!

    • Jade

      were your kids as excited to have all their hard work taken from them? i BOUGHT a lot of candy to give to kids and hate to see that some people would sell something they got for FREE! thats just me

      • Anne

        I’m with you….why should I spend my money to buy candy for some husband to take to his office, or for Mom to sell it! How about you just don’t take your children out trick or treating? Or how about just taking them to a few places for a little bit of candy that they can keep? There is no need to get a huge bag full! Sounds like next year I’m just turning off the lights………………….

  10. Crystal

    I take it to work and put it in a candy bowl for staff.

  11. 3gmom

    WE EAT IT! Are we the only family that still just lets their kids eat their candy?

    • Ashley

      I let my kids eat it too. I think that a perk of being a kid is eating halloween candy

    • Michelle

      Let them eat it…I totally agree! Depriving kids of candy only makes them want it more.

      • Sue

        I’ve honestly always believed that! When I was a kid we could not drink soda and snacks were limited. When I moved out on my own, I swear I would drink a 2 liter a day! Now, with my son, I never deprive him of snacks and candy and he never devours anything. I think it’s the old adage, “When you want something you can’t have, you always want it more”.

    • tia

      We are on Snickers overload in my house! This is the only time of year we eat this much candy at once and we enjoy it. However, we all brush our teeth for an extra minute or so!

    • Kelly

      I let my kids eat it too. That’s kind of the point of going Trick or Treating for kids. Mine are pretty good at taking their time going through it. They like being able to have a candy stash. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen

      We eat it. The kids enjoy having a big old bucket of candy. It makes our whole
      House happy. And then when they’re tired of it (or I’ve eaten too much or it) I bring it to school (I’m a high school teacher and it’s great for prizes, it goes quick there!). I guess I don’t think getting a toy or money is “better” somehow than just having the candy. (We have too many toys! In fact is like to trade my kids MORE candy if they would trade their toys!)

  12. Ashley

    If you aren’t going to let your kids eat the candy I give them, don’t bother coming to my house.

    • Crystal


    • Anne

      Second Amen!

  13. Jennifer

    We eat the candy!! What’s the point if your not going to eat it.

  14. Jo

    We eat some and some we put in Franklin Graham Samaritan purse shoe boxes.

    • Ashley

      I also do this Jo ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Diana

    We eat it over a period of time (I *may* contribute to that process) or use it in baking or other things with our fam and friends. And we don’t let our kids trick or treat for a ton. I feel like it’s a little unfair for all the people that BUY the candy to for out to your kids if you’re just going to turn around and take it away from them. If you won’t use the candy, start a new tradition with your kids, or do more of the “fall festival” type events with games and stuff. I’m a military spouse so all for donating and making care packages for troops but it’s not really me sacrificing anything for them if I’m just passing off my kids Halloween haul. I have friends that have created family-night alternative traditions, or throw parties with their friends and kids to still dress up or LIMIT the number of houses their kids go to. And the kids still love it. And they’re not wasting other people’s money. Just my 2 cents.

  16. Kelli t

    We save it and just hand it out next year!

    • Lisa

      I let my kids eat a little each day. We don’t collect too much candy so it doesn’t take forever to use up. I usually buy extra in clearance for Christmas, valentines, birthdays. I don’t think it would stay good until the next year though.

    • Laurie

      That’s just gross. We’ve been the unlucky recipients of that year-old candy, and let me tell you the chocolate is crusted w/ white film/spots and tastes like garbage. Please just turn your light off if you can’t afford to buy candy within a few months of Halloween. I really don’t mean to be snarky. I am frugal as can be, and while I might save and eat yr old candy myself, I would never give it to someone else, especially my neighbors- ppl I know and care about. I have done about every one of the options listed here w/ my candy- so we make good use of it btwn gingerbread houses, stockings, and our Nov/Dec birthdays.

  17. Madsmom

    We eat it!! We don’t have to much, kids are small so we don’t trick or treat very long.. It is only once a year so a little candy will not hurt!

  18. Cara

    Yeah, I don’t get the appeal of trick or treating just to have to give it away. My 5 year old doesn’t get that much – especially once we take anything containing peanuts out since she has a peanut allergy. We made a deal that she can have one per day (without even having to ask mom or dad – fun!). She wants to see if it’ll last until Christmas;). It won’t if she eats one a day but so far today she hasn’t had one so who knows?:)
    To each their own – I don’t think it’s a moral issue one way or the other. I just know it would have been a bummer as a kid to have to get rid of it all.

  19. m

    I personally believe that if you are going to send your kids trick or treating and then turning around the next day to sell it you are just being greedy, why even trick or treat? that is inconsiderate to people who buys candy to hand out to kids, believe me we pass a ton of it and it is not cheap. Do you also take away their Christmas presents? just my opinion.

    • Melanie

      The key words here are that YOU personally believe. I do let my kids eat it, but when they were littler I let them have one piece a day. You have to do whatever works for your own family. One of my kids came to me today and said that eating the candy made him feel bad, so he wants me to get rid of the rest. To each his own.

      • Jade

        maybe he ate one of those year old piece

  20. FHD

    A friend of mine gave me a great idea. She wraps the candy for each day leading up to Christmas in seran wrap. So it is a “count-down until Christmas garland”. I think my kids would go for this, but my kids just like to trick-or-treat for a little while, so we never gather much.

  21. Em

    We’re near raw vegans- except for breast milk & formula for the babies. We have the like minded families that we’re friends with come over early and let the kids trick or treat around our neighborhood (right at dusk) and they can eat whichever they want. They choose not to because “it’s to sweet- makes my tongue itch.” Yay! Then we dump it into our bowl and give it out to the trick or treaters. The kids play in the front yard and eat a late dinner and vegan junk snacks and enjoy looking at everyone’s costumes. We have a bean bag toss game and a few other Halloween activities. Everyone has a good time and there is no overload. Whatever is left over goes to the nurses at the ER. They always say they’ll eat anything and man they do. Happy nurses = happy everyone else.

  22. Dr. Giggles

    If I were a dentist, I would participate in such a buyback myself. And then at the end of every visit, each patient would be rewarded with some candy. “See you in six months, Billy,” I would say. Muh huh hah. MUHUAHUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    • Dr. Giggles

      And this is how Dr. Giggles puts the Giggles children through college.

      • Em

        Hehehe. Our hospital puts on a bake sake to fund diabetes research every summer. I, and most of my coworkers, find it hilarious. We call it the FDA sale (Future Diabetics of America). Of course it’s not really funny…but kind of.

        – ER Doc that gives the nurses candy to make them happy

  23. Jamie

    I am a teacher and I wouldn’t want students donating their candy to me. Teachers are surrounded by junk food in the teachers lounge, at holidays, meetings – it is just too much.

    Plus if a parent donated their kids haul to me I would feel very guilty, like I was taking something that the child worked for and should enjoy. If this happened, I would have to say thanks but no thanks.

  24. Simply Save

    My work was a drop off point for Operation Gratitude today. We received tons of donations!

  25. minde

    Donating to a cancer center is a wonderful suggestion. My son just finished 6 weeks of radiation. Every day after his treatment he got to pick 2-3 pieces of candy out of the treat bowl. I’m sure they go through a lot of candy in a week ๐Ÿ™‚

    • christine

      Best of luck to your son minde!

  26. syeo2013

    Our 2 children opted for the Buy Back program and wanted to donate their money to a friend (10 year old Chinese boy in China) whose leg was amputated and they are raising funds for a prosthetic leg for him. We adopted, our then, 7 year old son from China last year and this is his friend who is still at the orphanage.

    The also participated in a cake walk at a Fall Harvest festival at a local church and the bag of homemade cookies they won, they repackaged into fun baggies (from Oriental Trading as posted here! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and we are giving them out to homeless people we come across. We met 2 sweet men today who were the recipients of these cookies that have been paid forward, John and Edward. Please pray for them if you think of it! :). Little did the sweet lady, who baked these cookies for the church, know how she was blessing others! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shirley ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Amanda

    When we get done trick or treating I let my kids go through their candy and anything they don’t want goes into our bucket for trick or treaters. My daughter actually prefers handing out candy over trick or treating :). I also set aside Hershey bars for s’mores (we used up leftover pumpkin Peeps for marshmallows) and the small candies for gingerbread houses. The rest they eat over time.

  28. Jen

    I pack a candy bar in their lunch boxes for several weeks. They love that it is their sweet treat. And I take the candy we won’t eat into work. Nurses at 3 am loooove candy!

  29. shannon

    we do a float in the xmas parade. We buy a lot of candy at post Halloween sales but will also use extra candy for that. We throw it off the float and everyone loves it. I just make sure to pick out/buy candy that is generic and doesn’t have spiders or cobwebs on it. There are lots of candies that work for this purpose.

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