Filling those trick-or-treat bags may be a lot more costly this Halloween, as inflation hits many of the ingredients used to make popular candy. But you can keep those costs down based on what you buy and where you buy it.
Kelly Schneider understands what shoppers are facing. She runs a candy shop her family has owned since 1939, Schneider’s Sweet Shop, in Bellevue, Kentucky.
“You are definitely seeing big inflation in cream, sugar, and our other ingredients,” she said.
Schneider says prices of key ingredients have gotten “scary” since the pandemic.
“Sugar skyrocketed a lot. I would say we have gone up 30 to 40 percent on our sugar costs,” she said.
So what can you do?
Buy in bulk, look for coupons
We did some early trick-or-treating ourselves, not for treats but for Halloween savings tips. Smart shopping expert Trae Bodge says buying in bulk is the way to go if you typically have a lot of Halloween traffic at your home.
“If you have a wholesale club membership,” she said,” now is the time to use it.”
Bodge also suggests combing through coupons and online coupon sites.
“I love Paypal, honey. I love Slick Deals and Coupon Cabin. If you search Halloween candy, inevitably they will have good deals,” she said.
Check the price per piece
The Krazy Coupon Lady suggests you look at the cost per piece of candy (not the price per bag).
In a blog post, KCL says you should aim to pay 12 cents or less per piece and says you will often find those prices during candy sales at big box stores or even drugstores like Walgreens and CVS.
If you are not watching for deals, however, you can pay 18 cents or more. Another secret? Their report also says variety packs are cheaper than a full bag of one type of candy.
Meanwhile, the savings site Money Crashers says to skip the most popular candy and buy whatever is cheapest. It says most trick-or-treaters won’t care if they receive fine chocolates or Tootsie Pops.
The Penny Hoarder says if you are on a very tight budget, nix the candy and swap in non-candy alternatives like stickers, spider rings, or glow sticks. That can be a nice change for kids with a pillowcase full of M&M’s and Reese’s cups.
At Schnieder’s Sweets Shop, Schneider still insists on making top-quality candy, even if it costs a little bit more.
“We try to be very reasonable,” she said, “and just raise prices enough to keep our doors open and our lights on.”
She says her customers don’t mind paying a little bit more for real, hand-crafted milk chocolate.