Tips for Saving Money on Halloween Candy

Fill Your Candy Bowl Without Spending a Fortune

Handing out candy to trick or treaters is fun and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. If you make wise decisions, shop at the right time and even do a little recycling, you will find that filling your candy bowl can be surprisingly affordable.

Wait to Buy

Young woman standing in a supermarket in front of a shelf with sweets
Ginouse Gohar-Pour

Stores are in such a hurry to get their Christmas merchandise out that they often start marking down Halloween candy before Halloween even arrives. Take advantage of this bit of retail craziness by waiting until a day or two before Halloween to buy your candy.

Tip: By waiting to buy candy, you also reduce temptation and your family will not wipe out the candy stash before Halloween!

Use Coupons

Woman clipping coupons in kitchen
Mango Productions

Look for candy coupons in the Sunday paper and online in the week's leading up to Halloween. If you combine coupons with a sale, you might be able to get some of your candy for free or nearly free.

Tip: Take advantage of store loyalty programs by shopping at just a few stores regularly. If you time it right, you can combine store coupons with loyalty rewards and sale prices!

Don't Buy Candy That You Like

Blond woman eating chocolate bar
Getty Images

If you load up on bags of your favorite candy, you're apt to eat some (or all) of it before Halloween! That means you have to buy more to keep the neighborhood ghosts and goblins happy. 

Fortunately, avoiding temptation is easy: just buy those ooey-gooey candies that only a kid could love.

Tip: Buy your favorite candies the day after Halloween (or any holiday). They are often immediately discounted 50% or more.

Ignore the Pressure to Supersize

Mother purchasing groceries while shopping with daughters
Steve Debenport

Flip through a sales flyer in October and you'll see lots of pressure to buy full-size candy bars for trick or treaters. What madness!

Stick to the fun-size candy bars (they were good enough when we were kids) and leave the overspending to the Joneses.

Buy Whatever is Cheapest

Ken Welsh

There's no prize for being the house with the best candy, so buy whatever is cheapest when you head to the store. The kids are not going to remember (or care) that you were the cheapskate on the block.

Good bets: lollipops, sweet tarts, Tootsie Rolls, bubble gum. Everyone loves these old-school favorites and they cost a fraction of the other options.

Recycle Unwanted Candy

boys trick or treating on Halloween

Kids accumulate a lot of Halloween candy before they even head out to trick or treat – from class parties, fall festivals, scout parties, etc. It's overkill!

Cut back on the excess (and save some money) by having your kids sort out all the stuff that they don't like. Then, use it for the trick or treaters who come to your door.

Tip: Cutting the amount of candy your own kids eat will also save money at the dentist.

Declutter Your Kids' Rooms

Toys in a dresser
Getty Images

Scoop up all those long-forgotten kids' meals toys that are taking up space in your kids' rooms and give them out in place of candy. It's almost like getting paid to clean!

Tip: Be sure to clean the toys before handing them out. It's as simple as filling a bucket with soapy water, letting them soak and giving them a quick scrub. Rinse them off and let the toys dry.

Collect Yard Sale Freebies

Suburban yard sale
David Sacks

Sort through free boxes at yard sales for small toys that you can hand out to trick or treaters (you know: the kids' meal toys that other moms are trying to get rid of).

Tip: Look for plastic toys without a lot of wear and tear. Clean these up before handing them out as well.