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The Prudent Pantry: Recycling Halloween Candy

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by annika.barranti)
at 10:55AM Sunday October 31, 2010
under Money Saving Tips

Okay, you can't recycle junk food, but I was trying to think of things to do with the inevitable haul of sugar, corn syrup, and red dye #5 once the initial buzz wears off.

Most of my ideas involve more sugar, but what can you do?
  • M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, and other small, chocolate-y bits: use in place of chocolate chips in your cookies. (I'm hoping for some Reese's Pieces to use in a batch of Trader Joe's Peanut Chocolate Cookies.)

  • Skittles, gummies, gumdrops, candy corn, Smarties, lollipops, and Starburst: You could use these to decorate cupcakes, or save them for a month and decorate your gingerbread house with them (Bonus: this means you won't have to eat them).

  • Snickers, Hershey bars, and all those other not-so-fun fun size candy bars: I haven't tried this yet, but I'm thinking of cutting some up into even smaller bits and baking them into brownies.

  • Any of the above: this might be a weird idea, but I kind of love it. Decorate for Thanksgiving (or just for autumn) with a horn of plenty (a.k.a. cornucopia) and fill it with candies. When I looked for instructions online, nearly everyone suggested starting with a cone-shaped basket, but I bet you could make one out of construction paper.
If you're not going to recycle your trick-or-treat loot, how will you be doling it out? My children are still pretty small (four and a half and ten months), so I haven't really figured it out yet. Some of my friends dole it out one or two pieces at a time, while others allow a one or two-time gorging.

What do you think? Have you done any of these? Do you have another suggestion?

Annika Barranti is a writer living in Los Angeles and blogging for the personal finance blog as well as her personal blog, Through the Looking Glass. She and her husband are raising two children and trying to eat well on a tiny budget.