Fall’s sweetest holiday has come and gone and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already pillaged your kids’ candy and taken some for yourself. Maybe you even ate most of the good stuff already. But…there’s probably still a ton left, right? Gia never met a candy she didn’t like and after a few days of her begging to eat it morning, noon, and night, I’m ready to get it out of here. So, what can you do with it? Turns out there are PLENTY of ways to use it up all that leftover candy without dumping it in the trash!
1. Bake with it
Chop up all those candy bars and bake them into cookies or brownies, or use them as toppings on ice cream or cupcakes. Need some inspiration? Check out Follow the Ruels for some easy and delicious recipes. Or try my favorite brownie recipe — Better than Crack Brownies — and get creative! Put in whatever candy you have on hand and be sure to report back on how delicious they were.
Have a ton of M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces? Make some homemade trail mix with them!
Homemade Trail Mix
Use a 2:1 ratio of nuts to everything else. So, if you have one cup of M&Ms, use 2 cups of peanuts and 2 cups of cashews and 1/2 a cup of coconut.
- dry roasted peanuts
- cashews or almonds (or both!)
- raisins or cranberries (or both!)
- M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces (or…BOTH!)
- flaked coconut
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.
2. Host a swap
Have your kids’ friends over and let them swap for what they like. And then revist step 1!
3. Pick what you want and donate the rest
First, give your child a sandwich size ziplock bag and let him or her fill it up with a few treats they want to keep. This way they still get to eat some of their loot, but your house is not overflowing with unhealthy treats. (Thanks to my dear friend Jodi for that tip.)
Then, pack up the rest and donate it. Check out Halloween Candy Buy Back to find out where to bring it. Also, many dentists will pay you per pound of candy you bring to their office so be sure to check with local dentists. Or make a care package and send it to our troops overseas. Or, you could always bring it to work with you or send it with your husband!
4. Craft with it
Save some of the leftovers for crafting! Use old candy corn to make a wreath for next year. Keep all those M&Ms and anything else small that you can use to decorate a gingerbread house next month. Don’t get rid of those Reese’s Pieces, Smarties, Skittles, Gobstoppers, Hershey’s Kisses, and Whoppers — just hide them with the Christmas stuff for the next month till you’re ready to use them.
5. Save some for later
Certain candy bars freeze very well–we’re looking at you Three Muskateers, MilkyWays and York Peppermint Patties. You can also stash a few in your bag or the diaper bag for when you need a pick me up–or a bribe 😉
What else do you do with your leftover candy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!