9 Ways to Use That Leftover Halloween Candy

Because they can't eat it all in one night ... even with our help

By Erika Veduccio and Kara Murphy October 23, 2021

Halloween is all about the costumes, the boos, and of course the C-A-N-D-Y!

Going door-to-door (or trunk to trunk!) dressed in costumes with family and friends is fun and a great tradition, but let's be real — it's all about those fun-sized treats! 

Plus, did you know Halloween is the ultimate day to indulge without the guilt? (That's official.)

But all that candy may be overwhelming and, despite our best efforts, we can't eat all of those chocolate bars after they've gone to bed — right? But we'll give it the ol' college try!

If you do have leftovers, what can you do with the next-day sweets?

We have ideas! Nine to be exact. Here's what you can do with all that extra Halloween candy starting Nov. 1:

1. Donate to troops or first responders

Operation Gratitude distributes Halloween candy to deployed troops, local military units, veterans, and first responders all over the world — providing a sweet opportunity for grateful Americans to thank those who serve our nation. You can sign up as an individual, group, or business and send your candy to Operation Gratitude. Want something closer to home? A group called Soldiers' Angels lets you search by zip code to find a location near you to donate.

2. Support a good cause 

Many charities take candy, not just after Halloween but after Valentine's and Easter too. Call your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or nursing home to see if they would like a donation of unopened Halloween candy.

3. Find a candy buy-back program near you

There are businesses — it seems to most often be dentists —that have a candy buy-back offer post-Halloween. You can search for a Halloween candy buy-back program near you. Kids will love to make a little extra money or earn a new toy while you'll just be glad to have that candy out of the house!

 blueorangestudio via Canva

4. Get in the holiday spirit

Christmas is right around the corner. Store your leftover Halloween treats until it's time to decorate that gingerbread house!

 Getty Images Signature via Canva

5. Make trail mix

Just add chocolate, candy corn, raisins, pretzels, and other leftover goodies in with some pumpkin seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and/or popcorn and you'll have an instant afternoon pick-me-up.

6. Freeze it

Freeze leftover candies, then add to your holiday coffees or hot chocolates for a little surprise you and the kids will love!

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7. Sweeten up that sundae bar

Have a birthday or other special event coming up? Make a sundae bar with leftover Halloween candy! Simply unwrap the candies and divide them into bowls for kids (or adults!) to add to a DIY sundae. It's always sundae night somewhere.

8. Say goodbye to chocolate chips

Instead of adding chocolate chips to your favorite cookie, brownie, or cupcake recipe, cut or smash chocolate candy bars into similar-sized pieces. It'll be a surprise in every bite!

 Olga Kriger via Canva

9. Make a fondue

Yep, empty all that chocolate (don't forget the caramels too!) into a slow cooker. Add some cream, and let it get ooey-gooey. Just add fresh fruit on skewers to dip and you're set!