I’m a procrastinator. I wait until the last minute to do almost everything. I’m the lady running frantically around the store on Halloween night fighting over the last package of mini Snickers bars!

Waiting until the last minute to buy Halloween candy can be an unpleasant — and sometimes expensive — experience. Fortunately, I discovered frugal ways to score some spookily awesome deals on Halloween treats without spending a bundle.

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Saving on Halloween Treats

  1. Wait for it! Wait until the day before Halloween (or even Halloween day) to shop for candy. For once, being a procrastinator pays off! Although the selection might not be great, many stores start marking down Halloween candy on the day of the holiday to make room for Christmas merchandise. Pair the discounted candy with a coupon and score one frightful deal!
  2. Ditch the chocolate. Chocolate tends to be more expensive than other candy. Hand out individually wrapped non-chocolate candy like Starburst or Jolly Ranchers instead.
  3. Shop at discount stores. Stores like the Dollar Store and Grocery Outlet sell name brand candy and generic versions. At the Dollar Store, pick up a huge package of suckers or Tootsie Rolls for a buck each! Hand out one or two pieces to each trick-or-treater, and one bag could be enough for Halloween night. Feeling guilty about the lack of high-end Halloween goodies handed out at your home? If so, consider adorning each treat with Halloween stickers or orange ribbon.
  4. Use an app. Find the best price on Halloween candy by comparing grocery store prices with an app like Grocery Pal, Peapod, Google Shopper or ShopSavvy.
  5. Buy Halloween candy in bulk. Score huge bags of cheap candy at wholesale retailers like Costco or Sam’s Club. For example, I found a package of 360 Dum Dums for $8 at my local Sam’s Club. Or hit the bulk food bins for bags of pre-wrapped candy.
  6. Use a coupon. That’s an obvious one, but it’s never too late to find coupons and save even more money. Don’t get caught up in the last-minute urgency to pay any price for a bag of candy. Deals are out there! For example, the October issue of “All You” magazine has a $1 off coupon for one Mars brand product. Before you shop, check the KCL site for any last-minute deals and coupons on Halloween candy.
  7. Raid the family’s candy stash! My daughter tends to accumulate tons of unwanted candy this time of year, whether it’s from harvest festivals, class parties, or fall parades. I have her sort through the candy and pick out the ones she doesn’t like (let’s be frank: she’s a kid and she usually likes it all, so it can be a bit of a battle!) We hand out the unwanted candy to trick-or-treaters. I also like to dig through my daughter’s stash of toys, packaged candies, or packaged cookies that came in her fast food meals and include those in our trick-or-treat handouts for the evening.
  8. Consider creative candy alternatives. I’ll admit it: I’ve resorted to handing out handfuls of pennies, and have even given out walnuts from my tree! Dig through your stockpile of office supplies, and hand out erasers, pencils or colorful Post-it notes. Just be sure to dress them up with stickers and Halloween-themed ribbons!

Here’s hoping you have it all this Halloween: Minimal damage to the budget, the willpower to avoid all those tempting treats, and happy trick-or-treaters!

This is a guest post by Rose from Washington
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11 thoughts on “Last-Minute Halloween Treats on a Budget”

  1. Insurance Hunter says:

    Buying candy on the night before or at discount stores is a great strategy. Why pay full price when you don’t have to. This is also where a CostCo membership comes in handy, so look for a friend or family member that has one if you don’t have one yourself.

  2. clarkecoupon says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together! There are some great ideas!

  3. This was great, forwarding to my wife as well. Thanks.

  4. Momof 3 says:

    Thank you for this post. Turns out we will not be taking our kids out for trick or treat this year due to the weather (we live on the east coast), so it will be nice to utilize some of these ideas in case we get a few brave souls on our door step.

  5. SAN says:

    cheap candy?? no way, i wud rather hand out 1 or 2 chocolate to each child than even give them cheap stuff that cud make them sick or ruin their teeth.

  6. Eliz says:

    Um, I second the ‘walnuts’?

    As for the parent with a 3 year old with pencils; it is your job to make sure that your child is safe and I’m sure that parents that go around trick-or-treating need to make sure that all of the candy and other goodies the child receives is age-appropriate for their children. If your child shouldn’t be playing or eating it, then remove it from your child’s harm. An easy way to do this is to have/help your child place everything on a cookie tray, fanning it out so that everything can be seen. Then take a look at the candy/objects and remove any items that are damaged/tampered, or not age-appropriate. This is a good teachable moment to tell your child that not everything that you get is good for you and that we have to take a look at all of the candy just before biting into it. My parents started this ritual when children were getting sick from tainted Halloween candy and wanted to be vigilant.

  7. shellyo says:

    I have a 3 year old and he has already received 2 Halloween pencils this year. He was so excited and thought he was a big boy with a pencil. It was a nightmare to get it off of him. This is a terrible idea. If you are going to pass out pencils make sure its to school age kids only. All I need is my 3 year old running around and tripping and falling onto a pencil. Just think age appropriated. Didn’t we get a bunch of small crayon boxes for free this year during the back to school sales? That would be better.

  8. karen says:

    Dollar Store candy is often look-alike and made in China. And forget about the “generic” versions….more like unregulated versions. We have seen it MANY times with products at these stores….most recently I believe was toothpaste. I never allow my children to eat candy from here.

  9. roxdaug says:

    walnuts from your tree….are you kidding? frugal or just plain ridiculous?

  10. beastofburden says:


  11. crazycouponer says:

    A cheap and cute idea is to mash up some oreos in a bowl, print out little R.I.P images off google and attach them to lollipops so they look like a cemetary