I find that after almost any holiday season, I have an overwhelming influx of candy! Who’s with me?! Halloween & Easter seem to be when the candy haul is at its greatest volume. Before you throw it all out, give these Genius Left-Over Candy Ideas a whirl!
Left-Over Candy Management
It has been my tradition to pause candy-eating regulations for a few hours on the actual holiday, but strict candy-eating enforcement returns the next day!
In year’s past, I’ve thrown out Halloween candy to make room for Christmas candy, which is quickly replaced by Valentine’s Day, and then Easter candy.
There is simply a lot of it. So let’s put it to good use!
Donate Left-Over Candy
Your local food pantry accepts fully-wrapped candy. Grab your kids, search your pantry for a few non-perishable items, and take a field trip to the food pantry. Depending on your child’s age, you might be able to volunteer for a few hours or take a tour.
I can not say enough about taking you kids to experience the magical things that happen at the food pantry. Even if your child isn’t old enough to officially volunteer, they can see what goes on and bring in their donation. Most food pantry staff members will make a big deal about it, and make it a memorable experience. It’s never too early to share the magic of giving.
Bake With Left-Over Candy
Many of my favorite baked goods are made even better with the substitution of candy for ingredients. Using hard-coated chocolate candy, in lieu of chocolate chips, or adding crushed candy bars to brownies can’t be beat!
Check out these yummy recipes and unload some of your candy:
- Blooming Baked Apples is a lovely recipe from The Gunny Sack. This sweet treat includes one of my favorite fall foods…apples!
- Popsicle Ice Pops are a surprisingly easy idea. The candy surprise makes this recipe one of my kids’ favorites.
- Skip to My Lou‘s Cookie Dip is another no-baking “baking” idea. It’s REALLY easy and so yummy.
- Candy Corn Cupcakes are the best, if you’re a candy corn fan!
- I could live on No Biggie‘s Apple Pie Caramel Apples. Serious heart eyes!
- Snickers Blondies are a fun and delicious way to empty that candy jar.
- Ooey-Gooey, No-Bake Chocolate Lasagna… need I say more? This recipe from Princess Pinky Girl will knock your socks off!
- Loving this amazing dessert from Something Swanky Desserts, over at Somewhat Simple! These Rolo Cookie Bars look so good that I might be sneaking them for breakfast.
- Princess Pinky Girl‘s Reese’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bites are amazeballs!
- Inside-Out M&M Cupcakes is another delicious recipe from Princess Pinky Girl. Yummy, and no mess!
- Your Homebased Mom‘s Marshmallow Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies basically give peanut butter cups a cookie makeover!
- Princess Pinky Girl‘s Milky Way Bites make for one sweet left-over candy solution. It’s even tastier than the original candy!
More Ways to Use Left-Over Candy
If none of those ideas for using up left-over candy strike your fancy, check out these other methods worth trying…
Share Your Left-Over Candy Baked Treats
Don’t feel like you have to eat them all yourself, take a plate of treats to a neighbor!
When I taught science, I always used Skittles each Thursday for our vocabulary bingo. I called out the definitions, and the kids would use the candy as a marker on their bingo card over the correct vocabulary word. It is a simple game to create, and Thursdays became everyone’s favorite day!
Math & Science Games
Using pieces of candy as math manipulatives can be a lot of fun. Being able to hold number concepts in your hand (and then eat them later!) makes a complex concept easier.
Here are a few educational candy ideas that we like:
Repurpose for Gifts
With holidays on the horizon that include giving all sorts of gifts, sort out the non-Halloween candy and get creative! A cute holiday container filled with candy and a small gift card makes a great teacher’s gift or a baking themed basket that includes a few candy ingredients is perfect for a friend.
You can also set out a DIY candy bar during your next holiday party or get-together, for a chic dessert table addition!
Yum! A little candy every once in a while is welcomed treat!
Ways to Cut Down On Candy for Holidays
When it comes to Christmas stockings and Easter baskets, Santa and the Bunny usually leave more small gifts than they do candy–just a few pieces of my kids’ favorites. Check out these stocking stuffer ideas and no-candy Easter basket ideas for some inspiration!
As far as Halloween, I know a couple families who do a “candy swap” after their children have enjoyed trick-or-treating. They can “trade their candy in” to Mom and Dad for either a small expereince gift, additional video game time, a new book, or something else small that they might want. The candy is then donated. I love this idea!
More Candy Fun
I never would have thought to use leftover Peeps to make holiday-themed, edible play dough! Check out the recipe, and these other candy ideas:
How does your family deal with left-over candy? Comment below!