Having bags of candy left over from Halloween can be extremely frustrating. After looking for good deals and jumping on sales, not getting many trick-or-treaters can be disappointing. However, leftover candy does not need to be a waste of money. There are ways to store your candy for later or even for next year. Whether you found a great deal on candy and stocked up before the Halloween season or if there is too much candy leftover after the holiday, freezing is a frugal way to make the best of it.
How to Store Candy
Store candy in an air-tight container, such as a plastic food container or a plastic bag with a zip seal. Label the canister with the date and type of candy inside so you know when you put it in. Below are guidelines on how long you can store candy for optimal taste:
- Chocolate candy cars: 10 months to one year
- Peanut butter cups: six months to eight months
- Hard candies: One year
- Caramels: Six months to nine months
- Jellybeans: Eight to 10 months
- Candy corn: Six to eight months
- Chewing gum: Eight to 10 months
These times are just broad guidelines to consider. If frozen, candy can be safely eaten after that date, but may not taste as good as when you eat it within that time frame.
What to Do With Leftover Candy
If you do not think your candy will hold until next year or you think you will not get many visitors, there are still frugal and creative ways to use the candy yourself. If you froze your stores, you can have tasty treats for many months ahead:
- Stir it into ice cream: You can use leftover candy to jazz up even the plainest ice cream flavors. Pick out your favorite ice cream, then set it out to thaw for several minutes until it is soft enough to stir. This can be anywhere from ten to thirty minutes, depending on the ice cream and the temperature. You want it to be soft, but not melted enough to be a liquid. When it has reached the right consistency, stir in your favorite candies. Try vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups or chocolate ice cream with chocolate-covered candies.
- Add them to trail mix: Candy can add an extra kick to trail mix. If you've bought a bag of plain trail mix or are making your own, adding chocolate to the mixture of nuts and dried fruit can make a tasty treat.
- Give yourself a lunch treat: Remember when you were a child and you found a piece of chocolate with your lunch? Give yourself the same mid-day treat by bringing a piece of candy to indulge in at lunchtime. It can be a nice way to reward yourself for hard work.
While you may feel disappointed if you have bags of candy leftover from Halloween, luckily, you do not have to waste the money you spent. Freezing the candy for future holidays or other uses throughout the year can be a frugal way to make the most of your purchases.