With Halloween only a few days away, it’s time to begin preparation for the cavity-creating, wacky-wardrobe wearing, and disturbingly decorated holiday. Besides the costumes, candy is probably the most essential piece to Halloween. Americans purchase approximately 600 million pounds of candy each year for Halloween, resulting in nearly $2 billion in sales.
In 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 41.1 million children went trick-or-treating and we can only expect more in 2013. So if this is your first year as a trick-or-treat stop or if you continue to buy candy corn (more than 20 million pounds are purchased annually), Mary Janes and Dum Dums, here are a few tips on how to approach this year’s Halloween candy-buying season.
Chocolaty or fruity? Sour or sweet? Reese’s Pieces or Reese’s Cups? These are the tough questions that we all face every October. The solution – buy them all…in moderation, of course. Rather than buy five bags of Tootsie Rolls, spread the love with a nice spread that touches all of the taste buds. The best way to kill two birds with one stone is by purchasing a couple different variety bags that reaches across all facets of the candy spectrum. This way you’re not buying an entire bag of Hershey bars, a bag of Skittles, a bag of Laffy Taffy – you get the point.
Health tidbit: Food allergies are another good reason to have variety. You have to account for all of the unfortunate peanut, gluten, or any other type of allergies.
Fun-Sized vs. Full-Sized
Do you want to be the most popular house on the block or just another stop along the way? If you desire to be the former – go full-sized, the latter – go fun-sized. Despite the name, fun-sized candy is nowhere near as fun as full sized candy bars. It’s pretty simple – more candy equals more fun. So, maybe the best option is to go to your nearest warehouse store, buy a box of full-sized candy bars and when you run out (or decide to stash a few for yourself) you can make the switch to the fun-sized. It’s a win-win.
Health tidbit: Parents, if your child reaches into the candy bowl and grabs four fun-size Butterfingers (100 calories, four grams of fat apiece) and goes onto consume each one, wouldn’t you rather them just eat one full-sized bar (270 calories, 11 grams of fat)?
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Off-Brand
For those who are on a candy budget, this is definitely the option for you. Staying away from the big names usually gives you your best bang for your buck. For example – a Wonka Mixup Bag that includes 115 pieces of candy will run you about ten bucks. However, you can get a Farley’s Kid’s Mix Candy bag with 365 pieces of assorted candy for only five dollars more. In this case it’s quantity over quality, but in the grand scheme of things most trick-or-treaters have the same mindset.
Buy Candy You Enjoy Eating
Now of course you want to satisfy the customer, but you must think about the possibility of having leftovers. Buy candy that you like so it doesn’t go to waste post October 31. But, you also must respect your audience. Kids now-a-days probably have never heard of Necco Wafers. So if Necco Wafers or black licorice satisfies your sweet tooth, maybe find a mutually satisfying candy for you and the trick-or-treaters.
Use Coupons, Buy On-Sale, Be Disciplined
This one is pretty self-explanatory. But some people still don’t take advantage of discounts. Coupons are very easy to find, especially on the internet. Look for two-for-one deals or buy one get the second half-off. Before you make your purchase, go in with a plan. Don’t waltz around the store throwing bag after bag into your cart. Go in, get what you need and get out.
The average American spends $44 a year on Halloween candy. Follow these tips and you may be able to satisfy all your Halloween candy needs under the average American budget!
What are your favorite Halloween candies? Share in the comments section below!