Candy Overload? Repurpose, Recycle and Reduce the Trick-or-Treat Haul!

repurpose Halloween candy

Halloween is coming ... and so is the morning of November 1st! For parents, that's the time when the excitement of Trick-or-Treat night gives way to post-Halloween reality: what to do with all that Halloween candy?

Whether they're worried about tooth decay and nutrition, or simply want to avoid the stress of a week of candy-fueled behavior from the little ones, smart parents put strategies in place to handle the Trick-or-Treat haul.

Here are some of our favorite ideas to repurpose, recycle and reduce the amount of Halloween candy in your organized home.

Repurpose it: Seasonal Candy Crafts

Creative parents keep the fun rolling by incorporating Halloween candy into crafts projects. Upcoming holiday crafts projects are a natural recipient of the Halloween candy bounty.

Set aside colorful Necco wafers, hard candies and Smarties rolls to decorate a gingerbread house; foil-wrapped chocolate kisses can be recycled as Chocolate Kiss Christmas Trees, or added to Thanksgiving Blessing Mix or Snowman Soup.

We love this creative November calendar idea from blogger Brenda at Alpha Mom--and don't miss her Harvest Tree or pinata solutions, either:

recycle Halloween candy

Recycle It: Cook Up A Sweet Treat

A bulging sack of Halloween candy sees new life recycled into holiday-season cooking! Incorporating the Trick-or-Treat goodies into seasonal treats and holiday gifts not only spares tooth enamel, but saves money in the kitchen.

Crumbled Butterfinger-brand candy bars can be sprinkled over ice cream for an easy week-night dessert.

Plain chocolate bars, coarsely chopped, replace chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies, while M&Ms-brand candies are easy to recycle into M&M Cookies In A Jar gifts.

Reduce It: Clever Ways To Cut The Haul

Faced with a stubborn trick-or-treater with a death grip on the candy sack? Try the Halloween Candy BuyBack program!

Organized by an alliance of dentists concerned about tooth decay, the Halloween Candy BuyBack site will connect your family to a nearby participating dental office. They'll buy back your child's Halloween candy for $1 a pound, then donate the candy to send a taste of home to US service members serving overseas. It's a win-win-win all the way around!

Other families rely on the Candy Fairy to winkle away excess Halloween candy.

Just as the Tooth Fairy leaves an exchange for a fallen tooth, so the Candy Fairy comes on Halloween night and replaces Trick-or-Treat candy with a small--and healthy!--gift. It's a child-friendly way to bring an end to the sugar frenzy!

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