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8 Fun (and Cheap!) Halloween Candy Alternatives for Trick-or-Treaters

LED Finger Lights

Every year at about this time I start keeping my eye out for alternatives to give our neighborhood trick-or-treaters instead of candy. I’m not opposed to candy, but since most kids are going to end up with more than enough, I figure I could just as well spend that money on something unique. In the past that’s meant items like mini play doh (Costco), party bubbles (Target), and last year’s pack of miniature crayons (Michaels). This year I just placed an order on Amazon for LED Finger Lights. I’ve purchased them before on a flash deal. They’re pretty fun. Besides using them for these Valentine cards earlier this year, we’ve taken them camping and on trips, but even recently I’ve seen the kids playing with them around the house. This time I paid $11.99 (free shipping with Prime) for 80, making them less than 15¢ a piece. This is fairly comparative for what I would pay for certain snack-size candy bars anyway.

While I was looking around I spotted other possibilities for fun and/or useful alternatives. Here are some of my favorites (all free shipping with Prime), but be sure to check out your local dollar, party, and toy stores if you don’t want to buy online (or see my previous Cheap Halloween Alternatives post for more ideas).

foam toy glider kit

Foam Glider Assortment 12¢ each (Pack of 72) for $8.65. I almost decided to do these, they look so neat. Maybe next year!

neon zoo erasers bulk

Neon Zoo Animal Pencil Top Erasers 4¢ each (144 pc) for $6.17.

glowing bouncing balls

Glow-In-The-Dark Bouncing Balls 9¢ each (144 pc) for $13.45.

friendship bracelets bulk

Nylon Friendship Rope Bracelets 7¢ each (72) for $5.25

mini insect erasers

Mini Insect Erasers 4¢ each (144pc) for $5.52

rhinestone party rings
Colorful Rhinestone Rings
8¢ each (72pc) for $5.85

vinyl paratroopers
Vinyl Paratroopers Assortment
12¢ each (72pc) for $8.99

 


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Make-Your-Own Cauldron Bubbles!


Download Halloween_bubble_labels 213 kB

Every Halloween I try to keep my eyes out for something out-of-the-ordinary to give away to our neighborhood trick-or-treaters. When I was a kid, I remember thinking, when I grow up, I’m going to give out full-size candy bars! That would be so cool! Except full-size candy bars now cost a lot more, and kids these days seem to be getting enough candy as it is. So I challenge myself with finding an alternative.

This year, we’ll be handing out “Cauldron Bubbles.”

I’ve considered mini bubble bottles before since they are so easy to find, except the ones I bought this year were not individually labeled. As I tend to over-think things, I began to worry that some kid without parental guidance might not realize what it is, or that it might be something to drink. So I whipped up these labels.

Feel free to download and print a set of labels to use for yourself – they’d be cute at a Halloween party, too!

Note: Keep in mind that these items might not be suitable for especially young children, so it might be good to have some candy on hand, just in case. 🙂
Skull image by WickedSunshine.com and used under the creative commons license.


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Japanese Variety

I seem to be stuck in a procrastination phase. I was hoping to be more productive this weekend, but I don’t think I was. Actually, I can’t even remember how I spent it all. Some of it was watching a few netflixed Alias episodes (great eye candy, although the mini anxiety attacks from all the suspense and drama are rough), surfed the net, a little gardening, attended a baby shower and put together some swap packages. I did get a little work done, too, so that’s good.

……….

Not far from my house is a Japanese supermarket called Uwajimaya. It’s a great place for exotic foods and asian gifts like ceramics, specialty papers, and traditional art supplies. We had an asian theme to our wedding (red tablecloths, paper lanterns, chopsticks, etc) and most of our food was ordered from here. I picked up the packages of candy shown above this weekend for some swaps (as well as some Haribo candy for myself). The whole side of an aisle is devoted to sweets, and of course I want to try them all.

Next door to the supermarket there is a Tokyo-based bookstore called Kinokuniya. Besides their unique office supplies and selection of kawaii, I love to browse the imported craft books. Their fine aesthetic and clean photographic style really appeals to me. Sometimes they’re written in English, too. My budget has pretty much limited me to only looking, but someday I’d love to bring a few home with me. For now I just try and soak up the inspiration while I’m there.


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Unique & Funky Halloween Candy Alternatives

eye balls bowl
Last year we did not give out candy for Halloween. Instead we found a package of 80 mini play-dohs in a variety of colors at our local Costco. It was nice to give out something different for a change, and the neighborhood kids were really excited to be getting items other than the same old traditional candy.

This year I was hoping to find another interesting, yet affordable alternative. If only I had stocked up during some of the back-to-school sales this fall! There were bins filled with fun pencils, erasers, mini-notebooks, crayons, and stickers for cheap. Now, they’re no where to be had. Party store favors would be a good place to check – a flyer that came today featured a 60ct bag of plastic spider rings for 99¢ (although these might be a possible choking hazard). And Target sells this pack of 24ct party bubbles for $3.99.

party bubbles

play-doh

eye balls candy

Anyway, today at Costco, I decided to revert to candy. Despite this post, I’m not against candy. I’m just against the boring, uninspired kind. For $8.99 comes this pack of 90ct individually wrapped Absolute Sweet “Eye Ballzz” gummy candy. Aren’t they so funky and gross? David tried one, and yes, they’re edible. I don’t know how many parents will actually let their kids eat them, but I’m sure the kids will get a kick out of getting them!

Meanwhile, for those of you who would truly like to give candy alternatives, here is a list compiled from nationalserviceresources.org and palmettohealth.org.

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Pencils
  • Fancy erasers
  • Pencil toppers
  • Crayons
  • Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
  • Small novelty toys
  • False teeth
  • Superballs
  • “Slime”
  • Miniature magnifying glasses
  • Plastic jewelry/decoder rings
  • Necklaces
  • Glow-sticks
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Tiny decks of cards
  • Plastic medals
  • Fake money
  • Origami paper & instructions
  • Bubbles
  • Granola bars
  • pretzels
  • cheese and cracker packs
  • sugar free gum
  • packets of instant hot chocolate or cider
  • miniature raisin boxes
  • single serving nut packets
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