Healthy Halloween?

Make the Most of All Those Treats!
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(AP Photo/Knott's Berry Farm)

(AP Photo/Knott’s Berry Farm)

Written by Brooke Wagner

Halloween doesn’t have to be Cavity Central. In fact, you may be able to use it to your advantage — and to pad your wallet a bit!

On Halloween night, I’ve noticed my kids typically eat three pieces of candy and then give up and get ready for bed. Every child is different, but to me, two or three pieces seems reasonable.

As soon as they go upstairs, I swoop in and divide the candy into two bags — one for each child (so they don’t argue over who got what). I use the mini candies for homework incentives, treats for a job well done, and to pop into their lunch box as a little treat.

My kids rarely ask where their candy stash went (I hide it) and if they do, I tell them if they’d like something specific, I can get it for them AFTER DINNER.

In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed healthier Halloween offerings, like pre-packaged pretzels and 100 percent fruit snacks.

I buy these after Halloween, when they’re 25 cents for a pack of 20 and they make great, healthier school snacks kids love to receive and they are easy on the wallet!

Also after Halloween, I’ll pick up some fun stickers to put in the kids’ lunch boxes. It’s just a little something to connect with your child when you’re not together, and make them feel good for the rest of the school day.

Another option for candy — in the past, some restaurants like Noodles & Co. have offered a Halloween candy donation day, when your child can bring his or her candy stash the week of Halloween and donate it (sometimes for the troops, sometimes for at risk kids) in exchange for a free meal. Kids seem more than willing to do this! You can tell them it’s a way to help someone and contribute to the family finances, and see how they react.

On a holiday side note — if you’re into festive decor, check out the Dollar Tree — I couldn’t believe how fun their Halloween decorations were! We all had a ball decking out the house and we only spent $10! What a fun family activity for these beautiful Fall days. It answers the question, “What does a dollar buy these days?”

Happy Haunting! I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.

About The Blogger

- In her Brooke’s Bargains blog Brooke Wagner writes about finding bargains and saving money for her family. She calls it one of her favorite hobbies. Blog entries cover everything from the latest steals, deals, and freebies to cheap family activities, saving for college, and what to buy right now.

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