10 Things to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween candy gets pretty tiring after a couple of days. Here are some ideas for using it up.

1. Homemade flavored vodka

Some candies dissolve beautifully in vodka, creating "infused" booze. If you plan on making flavored booze for holiday presents or parties, now is the time to start. Besides candies, you can add coffee, rosemary, cinnamon, pepper, citrus fruits, or dried flowers. I'll bet that Wether's Originals dissolved in vodka make for some tasty shots.

2. Baking and sweets

Many candies melt in the heat of the over, leaving you with a wonderfully gooey treat. Here are some possible recipes:

  • Biscuits filled with tootsie rolls
  • Cookies with peanut butter cups
  • Candy corns chopped up and added to candied yams
  • Crushed Jolly Ranchers and Dummies on top of challah bread
  • Brownies with "fun size" chocolates
  • Popcorn balls with pretty much anything
  • Butterfinger cake
  • Peppermints (the red and white kind or Peppermint Patties) mixed into hot chocolate or coffee for a cheap mocha
  • Use as an ice-cream sunday topper
  • Freeze until summer, and add to homemade ice cream

3. Cooking

  • Sweet and sour sauce (any sour candy will work)
  • Pixie sticks for a porkchop glaze (red or white wine, vinegar, pixie sticks, salt)
  • BBQ chipotle sauce with Smarties or Red Hots
  • 4. Crafts

    If candies get stale and seem rather inedible, consider using them for fun arts and crafts.

    • Make Halloween wreath for next year 
    • Candy garlands or ornaments for the Christmas tree
    • Mosiacs
    • Candy necklaces
    • Decorate the holiday gingerbread house
    • Christmas cards and gift wrapping decoration

    5. Bribery/Doling

    If you are swift enough to grab your kids' candy while they sleep, it can be doled out for MONTHS as bribes. Need the leaves raked? Two Hershey's kisses per bag (not adjusted for inflation, that's what I used to get paid). OR, just slowly dole out a piece a day in kids' lunches. My parents used to throw it in our Christmas stockings, too along with nuts and persimmons.

    6. Donate it

    Nursing homes, doctor's offices, women's shelters - everyone loves candy, and spreading the sweetness can be a great way to avoid gorging on it all yourself.

    7. Send it to overseas troops

    Not so much for chocolate (which doesn't travel well), but other candy is appreciated as a part of care packages for the troops (US only, not sure about other nations' deployments).

    8. Take it to the office

    Adults are sometimes able to restrain themselves a little bit more than kids - share those sugary goodies with coworkers.

    9. Keep some in the car for emergencies

    I keep a small stash of sugary candies in my car. I'm diabetic, and every now and again, I go into insulin shock, meaning that I need to eat something sugary, fast. Car candy has been a saving grace a number of times. Also, you never know when you'll be trapped in the car for hours with no food or water - candy can be a welcome distraction or sustenance if caught on a moutain pass during a rock slide or the freeway behind a massive accident.

    10. Make an Advent Calendar, Pinata, or Holiday Centerpiece

    The countdown to Christmas used to be one of my favorite things about the holidays. Alpha Mom has some really great ideas for decorating during November (she counts down the month of November with her adorable advent calendar).

    What do you do with your leftover candy?

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    Guest's picture

    I don't know about you, but I'm eating all of my left over Halloween candy

    Guest's picture

    There is a local dentist in my area that buys halloween candy back from kids for $2.00 a pound, and gives it to a some charity organization.

    I would think he would want kids to rott their teeth. Conflict of interest?

    Guest's picture
    Mom of 6

    We stash it in our cold garage (in a locked box, thank you) until it's time to stuff Christmas stockings!

    Guest's picture

    Just make sure the candy doesn't have pictures of Frankenstein or Witches on it! My dad stole away the candy I had spent hours trick or treating for and put it in my Christmas stocking thinking I wasn't going to notice, but kids are smart and they'll know. Don't be a cheapskate, spend an extra ten bucks and buy some proper Christmas candy!

    Guest's picture

    I reuse Halloween candy for simple Christmas gifts. Take a clean Mason jar and fill it with the candies of your choice - rip open those packages and make your jar pretty and delicious - gummy candies look bright and colorful, as do smarties and M&M. Or dump in a bunch of mini chocolate bars and add in some red or green jelly beans to fill in the gaps. Then tie some Christmas ribbon around the top and you're done! The candy jars are perfect to add to a card to thank the people who do the little things for you. Just try to avoid very Halloween specific candies so not to make the jars look outdated.

    Myscha Theriault's picture

    We also use these in chocolate martinis.

    Guest's picture

    We always save extra Halloween candy in a big jar in the kitchen and label it "movie candy". On nights that we stay home and watch DVD's, each family member can take 1-2 pieces of "movie candy" from the jar to eat while we watch our DVD's. Of course the candy jar is continually replenished throughout the year with other "candy" holidays like Easter, Valentines Day, Christmas and Birthdays so we never seem to run out of "movie candy". We also use "movie" candy if we go to see a matinee at the theaters. Not only do we save money by getting the discounted "matinee" ticket prices, but we bring our own movie candy with us so we don't have to stop and pay the high prices at the concession counter. It is great way to stretch out the big supply candy accumulated throughout the year and keep expenses down too!

    Guest's picture

    To late, already ate it!!

    Guest's picture

    shove it right up in there.

    Guest's picture

    I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard...thanks for the laugh...and the visual...lol!!

    Guest's picture

    Love your posts, AG. Just a note for the health of everyone's teeth as cavities are expensive and no fun:

    1. It's better to eat the same amount of candy in fewer settings than spread out, dentally speaking.
    2. Sour and sticky/gummy candies are particularly bad for teeth. Sour candy has acid which can eat away at enamel. Sticky candy sticks to crevices in the teeth.

    Guest's picture

    I was laughing so hard lol

    Guest's picture

    Yea....like what left over candy???

    Guest's picture

    DO NOT give them to homeless shelters - if you saw the kind of food they're given you would know this is a horrible idea!

    Guest's picture

    Bribery made me laugh. The vodka was an interesting idea too.