15 things to do with that leftover Halloween candy

Oh, the candy is everywhere in my house. The rain on Halloween meant that we didn’t have as many trick-or-treaters come to the door. And yet, my teenagers managed to find the one pocket of Austin where the rain was just a drizzle. They came home with candy by the pillowcase full.

What to do with all that loot?

If your pumpkin is overflowing, we have ideas of what to do with that candy. Thinkstock

Here are 15 ideas:

  1. The Candy Witch needs to come. What’s the Candy Witch? She’s like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause only slightly meaner. Ask your kids to pick out  their favorite 10 pieces of candy. Then the  Candy Witch comes to your house at the allotted time. It could be overnight, it could be a couple days from Halloween. Sometimes she leaves money or a toy. Other times she just takes the candy and runs. The Candy Witch (aka you) then disposes of the candy in any way she might choose.
  2. Dole it out a little at a time. One piece a night per kid can last you a long time. Plus it can be the reward for good behavior at school or chores done. The trick is to not eat all the candy yourself.
  3. Find the dentist or orthodontist who will pay your kids for their candy. Visit halloweencandybuyback.com/ to find the participant near you.
  4. Send your candy to a soldier. Visit soldiersangels.org/treatsfortroops for the drop off locations.
  5. Bring it to the office. Some of your officemates might not thank you because they will be bringing their candy, too. But for those who are single, living in an apartment, with no kids around, they might be very happy you did.
  6. Donate it to your school. If they have a carnival coming up, they might be able to use it. Sometimes teachers can use things like M&Ms and Skittles for math activities or for the winter holiday party.
  7. Donate it to your house of worship. They might be able to use it for religious school classes or an event.
  8. Make art with it. Make a collage using candy. Why not? You also can make holiday ornaments using it as well.
  9. Save it for holiday cookie decorations. Who doesn’t love a peanut butter cookie with Reeses’ Pieces in them, or a sugar cookie with frosting and bits of candy bars on top?
  10. Decorate a gingerbread house with it. You need candy decorations anyway. Now you have some.
  11. Gamble with it. The stakes of the next game of  Go Fish got higher with candy. Use it for the dreidel game at Hanukkah.
  12. Save it for the next kid’s birthday party. Fill the piñata with it. Use it in treat bags.
  13. Fill the stockings with it. It make excellent filler in between the trinkets.
  14. Hand it out in treat bags to the homeless. That guy with the sign you see every day on your way to work, doesn’t he need candy? Do something even better and add a bottle of water, dry socks, a snack with protein, some toiletries to that treat bag.
  15. Throw it out. Yes, we live in a land of excess. Yes, there are hungry people everywhere. But, candy doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value. If your family doesn’t need it in their diet and if you know you can’t dole it out over time without wanting to eat it all at once, give yourself permission to not have to have it in your house. If you really aren’t sure you can handle even knowing it’s in the trash can outside, put the kitty litter or some other gross garbage on top of it or spray it with cleaning fluid so you won’t be tempted to dig it out of the trash.