In recent years, candy makers seem to have embraced the idea of "less is more" -- specifically, less candy for more money. The bars get smaller ("mini" has all but supplanted "fun-size") while the prices go higher. Don't they know we have an obesity epidemic to maintain?! (I'm kidding, of course -- but as a lifelong candy fiend and a cheapskate, I find this trend disturbing.)
At this time of year in particular, rising candy costs can really hurt the budget. Because in just a few short weeks, dozens of adorable little princesses, witches, ghosts and Spider-Men will be at your door, plastic pumpkin buckets in hand, demanding treats.
Have no fear. Here are some strategies for lowering your Halloween candy costs. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.
Buy in bulk. If you have a membership at someplace like Costco or Sam's Club, you should be able to find extra-large bags of candy at a much lower cost-per-ounce than buying smaller bags. Amazon, of course, also sells Halloween candy in bulk, but you'll definitely want to compare prices.
Skip the chocolate. I know: blasphemy! There's nothing stopping you from buying a few KitKats for yourself, but if you want to save money on the stuff you hand out, consider the non-chocolate options: Nerds, Starburst, Skittles and the like.
Time your purchases. According to consumer-savings expert Lauren Greutman, Halloween candy is priced the lowest two weeks before Oct. 31. If you've typically waited till the last minute so you don't end up eating too much yourself, well, see the above tip. Buy the easy-to-resist non-chocolate candy when prices are lowest.
Scan the circulars. This is one time of year when it really does pay to shop around. Drugstores, dollar stores and grocery stores want to get you in the door, so they often have pretty good sales on candy. Want to tell at a glance which stores have the best deals? Head to Flipp and search for "candy." You'll immediately see all the current circulars for the stores in your area.
Skip the candy altogether. Yeah, you might get a reputation as that house, but if it's mostly little kids coming to your door, consider something other than candy. At Amazon, for example, you can get a 50-pack of self-inking Halloween stamps for just $10. Or a 36-pack of Halloween-themed jigsaw puzzles for $12. The kids might scowl at you, but I bet you'll make a few parents happy.
Have you found any other tips for saving money on Halloween treats? (Other than turning off the porch light and pretending not to be home.) Share them in the comments!
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