6 Fun Uses for Leftover Halloween Candy

Bake It, Save It, Donate It, Play with It!

Candy is one of the biggest draws of Halloween, but when the party's over, there can be a lot of it left! If you bought too much candy for trick-or-treaters, or your kids came home with more candy than you'd like them to eat, there are many things that you can do with all that leftover candy, and it doesn't all involve eating it yourself. Check out these ideas.

Bake It

M&M cookies
Iain Bagwell/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Halloween candy is a baker's delight! Use your leftovers to make cookies, cakes, pies and other delicious goods. Here are some things to try:

  • Use M & M's, Reese's Pieces or chopped up chocolate bars in place of the chocolate chips in your favorite cookie recipe.
  • Sprinkle crushed candy on top of cakes and pies for a unique finishing touch.
  • M&M cookies are always a crowd-pleaser. Tear open several packages, until you have enough for your recipe.
  • Turn those miniature candy bars into brownies! Fold them into the batter; sprinkle them over the frosting; or do both!
  • Bake a pie with Snickers and other caramel candies for the kids who shun pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Make crunchy oat bars with any variety of chocolates, and send them off to school in the kids' lunch boxes, or donate them to the next school bake sale.

Reinvent It

Cookie Bars With Candy
Cookie Bars With Candy. Novo Images/UIG/Getty Images

Find ways to turn your Halloween candy into something new,  useful and (mostly importantly) delicious!

  • Use milk chocolate bars to make s'mores.
  • Stir chocolate pieces or chopped up candy bars into the ingredients for homemade granola bars.
  • Use M & M's and other bite-size chocolates to make trail mix.
  • Grate up chocolate bars, and use the shavings to top off steamy cups of hot chocolate or coffee.
  • Use crumbled candy bar pieces and M & M's as ice cream toppings.
  • Blend candies into vanilla milkshakes.
  • Melt down candy bars and make chocolate covered pretzels, bark or chocolate fondue.

Save It

Gingerbread house
Gingerbread house. Jessica Holden Photography/Moment/Getty Images

Candy has a long shelf life, so don't feel like you have to eat all that Halloween candy right now. Save the leftovers, and you are sure to find uses for all of it before next Halloween.

  • Stash a bag of your family's favorites to use as stocking stuffers and vacation snacks throughout the year.
  • Bag up all the castoffs, and use them as party favors or pinata fillers at your child's next birthday party.
  • Save Skittles, Sweet Tarts, gummies and hard candies to use when decorating gingerbread houses.
  • Create candy bouquets to give as gifts.
  • Make candy baskets for Easter, May Day or as a nice gift for a neighbor or friend who could use a little pick-me-up.

Play with It

Boy playing with candy
Boy playing with candy. Steve Debenport/E+/Getty Images

When you're sick of eating Halloween candy, play with it instead. There are many ways that you can have fun with candy without eating a single bite. Okay, eat it after you play!

  • CandyExperiments.com has a variety of fun science experiments that you can do with candy.
  • Create candy crafts for the holidays, birthday parties or just for fun.
  • Challenge yourself to games, like Candy Elevator from the game show "Minute to Win It." It's a ton of fun at parties.
  • Show your kids how to make candy bracelets and necklaces.

Trade It

Gift Cards
Gift Cards. Photo © Flickr user LaniElderts

Did you know that you can trade in unwanted Halloween candy for gift cards? It's true! 

Many dentists have programs that will pay your kids for their candy stash the week following Halloween. It helps promote healthy teeth, and may save you money during their next dentist visit, so it's a win-win for everyone.

Programs like HalloweenCandyBuyBack.com can help you find a participating dentist. Also, check with your personal dentist or keep an eye out for TV and newspaper ads leading up to and right after the holiday.

Donate It

Food pantry
Food pantry.  KidStock/Getty Images

Do you just want the temptation out of your house? Consider donating your extra Halloween candy to a cause that will use it to brighten someone's day.

There are many charities that are willing to accept candy donations:

  • Food pantries
  • Homeless shelters
  • Operation Shoebox - They send care packages to military troops, who are overseas.

Teachers also need candy donations to use as classroom incentives. Send a bag in, and your kiddo may even earn extra credit for their contribution.