Author Topic: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats  (Read 934 times)

LifeHappens

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Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« on: October 10, 2018, 10:11:05 AM »
I just moved into a neighborhood where we expect quite a few Trick-or-Treaters. I'm happy to participate, want to give out good stuff (no apples! Nobody likes those people :), but would like to avoid over spending. What are you tips for finding good candy sales, and what types of candy do you like for kids with nut allergies?

Stachetastic

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 10:40:54 AM »
I try to mix in some cheaper candy with the good stuff. My 6yo loves Dum Dum suckers, so I always load up on those and he can have the leftovers (not all at once!). I picked up a few bags of things at the Dollar Tree recently-- Sugar Babies, Dum Dums, War Head mixed sour thingies. I choose the bags with the highest number of items, as some of them only have like 8 pieces, but others have 30+.

Another thing we do every year, having young children, is attend community trick or treat events (the kids LOVE getting to wear their costumes multiple times), and we just use the candy they receive at those to hand out at our house. We started doing this when we realized our kids had way more candy than they should ever be able to consume. Win/Win!

Frankies Girl

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 10:46:46 AM »
I do Halloween in a big way. This year, our house is a haunted pumpkin patch and I'm slowly adding pumpkins each day, and just finished turning our garage peak into a giant jack o lantern face and we've got skeletons climbing the tree and will end up with about 6 skeletons wandering around a patch of 30+ pumpkins and blow molds with a custom made pumpkin fence and lots of lights.

Many years I do full size candy bars but this year is going to be fun sized with other popular candy mixed in - we do 3-4 pieces each kid (we give it out, we don't let them grab their own). I usually wait til they start the sales (which is starting up already) and then figure out the cost per ounce of each bag I'm considering and go for the one that is cheapest. I get chocolate for around 19¢/oz and the other candy (usually ends up being Wonka mix of sweet tarts, nerds, bottle caps and laffy taffy) for under 12¢/oz). I usually look for the absolutely largest bags of name brand chocolate/name brand regular for the best pricing. I don't buy candy based off of what exactly is in it - I mean I get name brand mix like this year is Milky Way/Snickers/M&M/Twix/3 Musketeers - but that's because this particular bag was like 96 ounces and around $19.

My best advice? Get candy that isn't your favorite so you don't eat most of it and have to go buy more. I'm not kidding. Took me years to figure that one out... bad for the budget and the waistline. :D

I try to stack discounts. I have a Target card, so that's 5% off every day purchases. Then they run an sale (right now, there's a buy one, get one 50% off on many of their large bagged candy). The husband and I got our flu shots there and Target gives you $5 gift cards for that, so $10 on there too.

But Aldi's candy actually beat the regular sales on Target this year! So I saved the Target gift cards for other needed stuff this year.

Dollar stores are not good deals for candy to hand out. They have stupid small amounts in their bagged candy, and the best way to figure out if it is a good deal is once again price per ounce. Unless you've got a super deal, they're going to be more expensive overall. But they could be nice for small toys if you don't plan on handing out toys to EVERY kid - check out the stickers/tattoos and other little things if you don't want to order online.

And I always get a bag of the cheapy candy to bulk up the offering. Usually it's the PlayTime bags for under $8/70 ounces, and they have dum dums, tootsie rolls, charleston chews and dots. All are still good candy, but that is the cheapest non gross candy we've found.

I do Teal Pumpkin as well. That's the thing about non-food items for kids with allergies. I get toys in bulk throughout the year that work, or I go to Oriental Trading (owned by Berkshire Hathaway!) and order some cute stuff in bulk. I usually do glow bracelets, spider rings, whistles (I scored a super cool vampire lips whistle one year that made a zippy kazoo like sound that was AWESOME and you could hear kids for hours up and down the neighborhood after coming by my house!), oh! SLAP BRACELETS were absolutely a hit last year - OT has Halloween versions too. You can find tubes of glow bracelets in the dollar stores most of the time for 8-10 for $1, or check Michaels or the Target dollar spot sometimes they have them too. I spend about half an hour snapping, shaking and putting them together during the early part of the night before the TOT-ing gets going so I have them all set to go, or else the other stuff I throw into a separate bowl (whistles/slap bracelets) and hold out a few options to each child to allow them to see and pick their own if there are different choices. If we get a mad rush, I hand out the toys while the husband does candy and it usually works out well.



« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 10:50:46 AM by Frankies Girl »

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 10:49:15 AM »
Another thing we do every year, having young children, is attend community trick or treat events (the kids LOVE getting to wear their costumes multiple times), and we just use the candy they receive at those to hand out at our house. We started doing this when we realized our kids had way more candy than they should ever be able to consume. Win/Win!
Great idea, but I don't have kids and people have strong opinions about costumed 40-year-olds asking for candy!

I will definitely check out Dollar General for suckers and other hard candies. I tend to forget there are candies without chocolate.

OtherJen

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 11:35:42 AM »
If you have an Aldi store, I think they usually sell bags of candy and may have better deals than many other stores.

Usually, you can find updated lists of candies safe for various allergies online. I know I’ve seen celiac-safe gluten-free lists, so I’m sure there are lists for peanuts and tree nuts. If you’re going by ingredient lists on packages, products listed as “manufactured on shared equipment/in shared facilities with peanut/tree nut-containing ingredients” are best avoided.

Things like small bags of plain potato chips can be a good alternative to candy, if you can find a good price. The Wonka line—Gobstoppers, Nerds, Bottle Caps—seems like they may be a safe bet.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 11:36:46 AM »
We use costco fruit snacks- nut and gluten free, have always been well received by neighbors. I take them to work with me for lunch if I have leftovers.

Cranky

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 12:13:29 PM »
Aldi has big big bags of candy - I usually buy a mixture of stuff. Sams Club has the same kind of giant bags.

Sometimes we get loads of kids and sometimes not. Dh takes the leftovers to work.

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2018, 12:15:51 PM »
We do have Aldi, so I will check them out. Panda, I just can't do fruit snacks. I guess I just believe in my core Halloween is about getting kids jacked up on sugar and sending them home with their long suffering parents.

ketchup

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 12:22:58 PM »
In the past I went with a giant bag from Costco.  Now we live down a long scary near-mile-long driveway so I don't think we'll have to worry about it this year.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 12:56:19 PM »
We do have Aldi, so I will check them out. Panda, I just can't do fruit snacks. I guess I just believe in my core Halloween is about getting kids jacked up on sugar and sending them home with their long suffering parents.

We started doing them a year that we thought we'd be gone but early trick or treaters caught us off guard.  Kids were super excited about them.  I was shocked. I've been asked "Miss panda- are you going to have fruit snacks again?" by neighborhood kids at our Oktoberfest party.

They're like 900% sugar anyway.

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2018, 01:08:12 PM »
In the past I went with a giant bag from Costco.  Now we live down a long scary near-mile-long driveway so I don't think we'll have to worry about it this year.
Yeah. I think you're safe. You can add another 0.000001% to your savings rate.

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2018, 01:09:01 PM »
They're like 900% sugar anyway.
In that case, I might need to investigate. If the local supermarket has some on BOGO the price would be reasonable.

Dragonswan

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2018, 02:24:20 PM »
In the past I went with a giant bag from Costco.  Now we live down a long scary near-mile-long driveway so I don't think we'll have to worry about it this year.

Set up a table and chair at the end of your driveway.

TrMama

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 03:54:42 PM »
As the parent of a kid with a food intolerance, thanks for thinking of these kids. My little spawn is dairy intolerant so we always buy a box of these https://www.amazon.ca/Maynards-Halloween-Candy-Count-1120/dp/B017TXO2TU for her.

She goes trick or treating and collects whatever's being handed out. When she gets home, she "trades" any candy she can't eat for her box of sugar gummies.

However, we also really like the tiny tubs of Halloween Play Doh. Costco carries it this time of year. My kids have also received juice boxes in their bags. I think those are a fantastic idea.

Stachetastic

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 06:47:26 AM »
I'm donating candy to a local group at a Trunk or Treat this year, so I am buying much more candy than I typically do. I just found 315 piece (99.78 oz) Skittles, Lifesavers Gummies, and Starburst for 23.99 on Amazon. They also have a 150 piece for 15.99. That's the best deal I've seen so far, after checking ads for Walgreeens, Kroger, and Dollar General.

FireHiker

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 10:37:53 AM »
We try to make sure we have a mix of things so that kids with allergies aren't left out, but we try to balance cost as well. I try to go reasonably early in the season, when things aren't entirely picked over, but not so early that nothing is on sale yet. This year we went to Target; it may not be the cheapest, but it's  very close to our house, much closer than any of the other cheap places mentioned here. It seems like I priced Costco years ago and it wasn't a  very good deal; I didn't even check this year. We pay careful attention to cost per unit but I usually let the kids pick within reason as opposed to buying the absolute cheapest item. I was pleased to see that my 8 year old weighed cost and qty this year in his selection. :)

I think this year we have sour patch zombies, some sort of Hershey's multi-pack, and ring pops. The ring pops were an indulgence for my daughter who begged and begged and I relented. She and her brother will each get one and the rest will be a big hit with the trick or treaters. The ring pops are top 8 allergen free and so are the sour patch; we always make sure to have at least one item that is top 8 allergen free each year. Past years we have had dum dums or nerds.

We don't really get THAT many kids on our street because we're way in the back of the neighborhood, so I'm willing to let the kids pick out what they want within reason, even if it isn't the cheapest option. If we lived a mile closer to the neighborhood entrance we'd go from having 20-30 to more like 150-200+ kids, and I would be more selective.

pressure9pa

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2018, 11:14:31 AM »
In my old neighborhood, it was mainly the Dads that took the kids door to door.  Many of the homes would give a small handful of treats to the kids, and a beer to the Dads.  YMMV.

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 11:27:37 AM »
In my old neighborhood, it was mainly the Dads that took the kids door to door.  Many of the homes would give a small handful of treats to the kids, and a beer to the Dads.  YMMV.
We're kind of horrible people, so we plan to sit outside our front door with a 6 pack during Trick-or-Treat time. Hm. I'll make that a 12 pack in case any parents want one!

AMandM

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 11:41:08 AM »
The other allergy-free option is to give out non-food items like stickers or pencils. Some people like those, some don't. But then some people don't like Kit-Kats--go figure.

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2018, 11:47:08 AM »
Watch your local supermarket weekly ads. Last week QFC (our local Kroger affiliate) had fun-size chocolate bars for $2 per ~20 bar bag. I spent $8 on four and that should be more than enough. You have to go up a bunch of stairs to get to our front door, so we only get maybe a couple dozen trick-or-treaters.

lbmustache

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2018, 12:30:39 PM »
Buy a huge bag from Costco.

Go to the Dollar Tree and buy a few bags of the cheapy candies (lollipops, whatever).

Mix em together and give the kids 1 handful each. Should be approx 4-5 candies per handful.

Unless you are spending massive amounts of money (like, getting full size bars) or expect hordes of children, this has got to be an "extra" $25 a year max.

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2018, 12:40:53 PM »
In the past I went with a giant bag from Costco.  Now we live down a long scary near-mile-long driveway so I don't think we'll have to worry about it this year.
Yeah. I think you're safe. You can add another 0.000001% to your savings rate.

Lol. Took a few seconds but I got that. 

My house will be dark this year. I need new sidewalks and it looks like I won’t have them done in time.  If so I might make a last minute run to Aldi. I’ve seen some good prices there.

On a candy note I do like to grab clearance Reece’s but now that Costco has their Kirkland PB cups back I stick to those, so much better. I recently discovered Sourpatch kids watermelon.  So good.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2018, 12:49:16 PM »
I'm donating candy to a local group at a Trunk or Treat this year, so I am buying much more candy than I typically do. I just found 315 piece (99.78 oz) Skittles, Lifesavers Gummies, and Starburst for 23.99 on Amazon. They also have a 150 piece for 15.99. That's the best deal I've seen so far, after checking ads for Walgreeens, Kroger, and Dollar General.

Aldi beats that deal by a mile. Really should check them out if you have one nearby.

Mars chocolate assortment (snickers/3 musketeers/M&Ms/Milky Way fun size), 96.2 ounces, 250 pieces, $19.49 - this is the best price per ounce for chocolate I've found anywhere.

Wonka MixUps (laffy taffy, nerds, bottle caps, sweet tarts), 53.3 ounces, 200 pieces, $9.95. So two bags = 400 pieces, 106+ ounces and 4 bucks cheaper than your Skittle Amazon dealy.

The favorite for filler candy is also a great deal there: Tootsie Roll Child's Play/Play Time monster sized 3.5 lb. bag (tootsie rolls, dum dums, dots, charlston chew, etc...) like 200+ pieces, $7.89.


Stachetastic

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2018, 02:15:19 PM »
Aldi beats that deal by a mile. Really should check them out if you have one nearby.

Mars chocolate assortment (snickers/3 musketeers/M&Ms/Milky Way fun size), 96.2 ounces, 250 pieces, $19.49 - this is the best price per ounce for chocolate I've found anywhere.

Wonka MixUps (laffy taffy, nerds, bottle caps, sweet tarts), 53.3 ounces, 200 pieces, $9.95. So two bags = 400 pieces, 106+ ounces and 4 bucks cheaper than your Skittle Amazon dealy.

The favorite for filler candy is also a great deal there: Tootsie Roll Child's Play/Play Time monster sized 3.5 lb. bag (tootsie rolls, dum dums, dots, charlston chew, etc...) like 200+ pieces, $7.89.

Good to know! We do have an Aldi, which I will be going to this weekend. I hate that they do not have any prices on their website beyond the weekly ads; makes it hard to comparison shop from my couch!

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2018, 03:16:27 PM »
My frugal moment was I bought two large boxes of Hanukkah gelt (foil covered  chocolate coins) for very cheap after Hanukkah one year and stuck them in the freezer and used them the next year for Halloween. I taste tested and they were fine.

LifeHappens

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Re: Saving Money on Trick-or-Treats
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2018, 03:19:50 PM »
My frugal moment was I bought two large boxes of Hanukkah gelt (foil covered  chocolate coins) for very cheap after Hanukkah one year and stuck them in the freezer and used them the next year for Halloween. I taste tested and they were fine.
I admire your discipline. Chocolate of any kind would never last 10 months in my house.