The old saying goes….
Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat….
But nothing in there says that the “good to eat” part needs to be candy. And while candy is fun, it might not always be practical. It is expensive, it has a limited shelf-life and we probably all dread the pressure to avoid eating the leftovers.
One way to stay on budget this year is to give the little door knocking ghosts and goblins a “treat” of something you usually eat in your home. Instead of giving candy this year, give bags of chips or pretzels. Do you put a fruit roll-up or those gummy fruit chews in your kids’ lunches? Give those to trick-or-treaters instead of candy. It is still taboo to hand out anything homemade or anything raw, like fruit. But if you give away something that you would normally keep stocked in your pantry, the leftovers won’t leave you feeling obligated to eat the remaining candy for the next few months.
Other ideas are little bags of marbles, matchbox cars, temporary tatoos, hair clips and individual containers of play-dough. These things can usually be purchased at stores where everything is a dollar or in bulk at a big box store or wearhouse type store. The nice thing about this sort of trick-or-treat – treat – is any remaining items can be packed away and handed out again next year. Or you can package up the remains and give them to a church or other charitable orginzation that gives to needy kids around the Christmas Holidays.
And just for a little personal experience. While trick-or-treating last year, TJ (then 5) was equally excited to recieve a “cool car” (Matchbox car) from one house as he was to get candy from other houses. One friend of mine told me a story of her parents that used to give bags of chips every year until one year they switched to candy. The kids’ reactions – “oh – no chips this year”. Just because candy has become the norm, doesn’t mean that kids don’t appreciate the variety of a treat. I’m giving out “Fruit by the foot”. I typically have this on hand to stick in TJ’s lunches, we buy it a bulk box of 100 from Costco, this year I used a coupon and saved $2. Less expensive than candy and I’ll feel (a little better) about giving these to TJ as a snack versus candy.
Be safe this Halloween! And have fun!