10 Best Things to do With Leftover Halloween Candy (2024)

Halloween is a dream for every candy-loving kid.

But after the post Trick-or-Treat sugar rush is over, there’s still so much candy to be reckoned with.

Piles of candy.

In some cases, unopened bags of candy.

Here are some of our favorite ways to use up all of that extra candy leftover from Trick or Treating:

1. Eat it (within 6 months)

You worked hard for it! Or at least, your kids did. Now it’s time to enjoy a sweet treat on the daily.

Store your excess Halloween candy properly in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

Milk and white chocolates last eight to 10 months when stored correctly. Chocolates with filling (including peanut butter, nuts or caramel) typically have shorter shelf lives, around six months. Hard candy can last up to a year when properly stored.

If you’re looking for a hard and fast rule, 6 months is a good bet. That means you have until March 31st to eat up your candy!

More ideas:

  • Pack one a day in your child’s lunch for a delicious treat
  • Put out a candy bowl at after-school play dates
  • Enjoy an after-dinner dessert
  • Top your ice cream with your favorite treat
  • Make your own trail mix with the chocolates
  • Give your kids rewards for chores done around the house.

You can also freeze your candy to extend its life. Chocolate bars like Snickers, Twix, and Reese’s taste especially good slightly thawed out of the freezer.

2. Send it to the troops.

Soldier's boots and American flag.
You can send your candy in care packages to troops serving overseas.

Sending your leftover candy to the troops is a great way to spread the Halloween love. There are a few nonprofit organizations that will help you do just that.

Soldier’s Angels’ Treats for Troops program allows you to send sweet to military service members. Find a local drop-off site and get a tax deductible receipt for your donation. Some donations sites allow kids to earn buyback prizes like a small toy.

Another good way to get your candy to the troops is through Operation Shoebox. They send candy with every care package they send to troops overseas. They are accepting excess candy donations this year! Any candy donations can be sent to Operation Shoebox at: 8360 East Highway 25 Belleview, FL 34420.

Locally, Bradley Corporation is collecting candy to send to troops between November 1 and November 30th, 2023. Candy can be dropped off at their headquarters in Menomonee Falls. THey’ve partnered with Soldier’s Angels for this Treats for Troops campaign.

3. Donate it to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

The Ronald McDonald House is great place to donate your leftover candy.

Ronald McDonald House programs are located near top children’s hospitals. They allow parents who are far from home to stay close to their hospitalized child and benefit from the comforts of home without incurring hotel and food costs. Ronald McDonald Family Room programs offer a quiet respite for all families right in the hospital. And Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs bring fundamental medical and dental care to underserved communities.

Many Ronald McDonald House locations will accept unopened candy donations to offer the families who are staying with them. 

Our local Ronald McDonald House is ccepting candy donations, only of new, unopened bags (not individual candies obtained during trick or treating). Donations can be dropped off at the main entrance (8948 Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee WI 53226) anytime between 9am and 8pm seven days a week, or mailed to the same address.

4. Halloween Candy Buy Back

Halloween candy buybacks are a fun way to re-purpose your Halloween candy for a good cause. They are traditionally held at local businesses, typically at local dental offices.

Dentist offices will “buy back” kids Halloween candy at a scheduled event with coupons, toothbrushes, prizes, etc.

The many pounds of candy that they collect are then sent to non-profit Veterans organizations.

Here are some local Halloween Candy Buy Backs happening in southeastern Wisconsin.

5. Donate to a local food pantry or homeless shelter.

Contact your local food pantries or a local soup kitchen to see if they are accepting Halloween candy donations. Be sure to reach out first because many places do not accept candy donations.

Some local homeless shelters will accept Halloween candy leftovers. Call first to confirm.

The Guest House of Milwaukee is accepting Halloween candy donations this year. You can ship it to them or drop it off at anytime of the day. Ring the buzzer on the main front door.

6. Donate to teachers.

We asked our readers what parents can do with their leftover Halloween candy, and several teachers reached out to let us know that teacher would probably love the candy donations to use in their classrooms.

7. Stuff Your Christmas Stockings.

Four Christmas stockings hanging from a fireplace.
Your leftover candy will make a great addition to your holiday stockings!

Your leftover pieces of candy are perfect additions to bulk up those Christmas stockings. Keep them in a safe place, stored in an air-tight container. Then when the holidays roll around, pick out everyone’s favorite kind of candy and add it to their stocking. Your December self will thank you!

8. Use it at your next birthday party.

Birthday goodie bags that say "thank you"
Put your candy in goodie bags at your next birthday party.

Another clever way to put your leftover candy to good use is by using it for your next birthday party. The candy will be the perfect thing to fill those goodie bags for your guests. You could also stuff your piñata!

You can also save the candy and tape it to future wrapped gifts as an added treat for the birthday child.

9. Invite the Switch Witch to your house.

Switch Witch Halloween candy
The Switch Witch will turn some of your treats into gifts!

Have you heard of the Switch Witch? It’s kind of like Elf on the Shelf, but for Halloween.

Every year, in the beginning of October, many young Switch Witches say goodbye to their parents, hop in their flying cauldrons, and go visit kids for a long sleepover play date.

During the weeks leading up to Halloween, you get to be a kind host to your own Switch Witch. In exchange for a wonderful visit, your Switch Witch will turn some of your leftover sweets in to a surprise gift.

10. Decorate Your Gingerbread House.

Gingerbread House decorated with candy.
Save your candy to decorate your gingerbread house this year!

The holidays are right around the corner, and soon you’ll be decorating your gingerbread houses.

Save some of your candy to make your gingerbread house epic this year.

Good candies for gingerbread houses include chocolate chips, leftover candy corn, Dots, reese’s peanut butter cups, gummy bears, skittles, and jolly ranchers.

We hope you loved these creative ideas for using up all that leftover candy. Let us know if you have any other great ideas! Our email is hello@mkewithkids.com

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