Getting candy for Halloween is often a last-minute thought. You’re not really thinking about how much it costs–it’s candy. How expensive can it be? You just want to grab a bag so the kids don’t catch you empty-handed on Halloween night. Not so fast, though! There are some cost-cutting tips to know before you go shopping to get the most sweet bang for your buck.
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Time It Right
A survey showed that the best time to buy Halloween candy is exactly four days before. If you wait until the day before Halloween to buy candy, you end up getting the most expensive prices, according to the survey. So, if you head out on Oct. 27 and keep the rest of these tips in mind, you’ll be saving yourself some serious cash.
Coupons Are Your Friend
It’s easy to toss the coupons that come in the mail, but during the month of October, those can save you a good chunk of change. Stores are all competing with each other to offer the best deal on candy, so you’re bound to see prices drop from the beginning of the month. Even if you don’t keep the coupons in your mailbox, you can search online for deals at your local grocery stores on all the premium brands so you can be known as the best house for candy on the block. Sites like Flipp.com allow you to view the coupons from stores in your area online, then “clip” them to save for use in the store through the Flipp app.
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Take Advantage of Rebate Apps
Rebate apps and browser extensions can get you cash back on your purchases, even when you’re shopping in-store. Ibotta is an app (that can also be installed as a browser extension), that enables you to get cash back on everyday purchases. Checkout 51 is an app that lets you earn cash back specifically on gas and groceries, while Fetch Rewards gives you cash back on any store or restaurant receipt you upload to the app. These can all help cut the cost of your candy shopping spree, so make sure to use them all on the next shopping trip.
Go Beyond the Halloween Aisle
Stores make their Halloween candy known with signs and specifically branded packaging, but non-spooky goodies are still an option–and often, they’re a cheaper option. Check the “regular” candy aisle and compare prices with the Halloween candy before you make a decision. Often, there’s a better deal on the candy that’s not seasonal. This can be especially true for full-size candy bars, which when bought in bulk, can cost less than a huge bag of Halloween sweets. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of all the kids talking about how cool you are for giving out full-size candy.
During the Halloween season, stores will offer a deal if you buy multiple bags, rather than just buying one. Take them up on it! Worst case scenario, you end up with candy all year round, and honestly, that sounds more like a positive than a negative.
Try the Non-Candy Route
It isn’t mandatory that you give out candy. Amazon, The Dollar Store and Oriental Trading sell small toys and Halloween-themed trinkets in bulk. Sometimes this ends up being as inexpensive as three cents per toy. Additionally, when you choose to give out toys instead of candy, you’re avoiding giving any potentially irritating candies to children with food allergies. There’s even a program where you can identify yourself as a house that offers something safe for kids with allergies. Through the Teal Pumpkin Project, you can place a teal pumpkin on your doorstep and put yourself on an interactive map to let trick-or-treaters with allergies know you have something they can enjoy stress-free.
Stock Up for Next Year
The absolute best deals? The day after Halloween. Though it won’t help you this year, you’ll be all set for next year after scoring up to 75% off candy when you shop on Nov. 1. Candy stays fresh for about a year, so as long as you store it in a cool place and give it out next Halloween, you’re in the clear.
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