Can You Freeze Your Leftover Halloween Candy?

Halloween has officially frozen over and you're probably left with way too much Halloween candy. Of course, there are plenty of options for getting the most out of your candy. For one, you could always incorporate your Halloween candy into your next baking project. Or, you could take that bowl of mixed treats and enjoy it for yourself on your next movie night. However, if your sweet tooth is depleted for the foreseeable future and you're trying to save your baking strength for your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, you might want to try popping those devilish treats in the freezer.

Yes, freezing certain types of candy can help extend their shelf life, minimize food waste, and maximize candy enjoyment. Certain candies, such as the autumn staple candy corn, can stay fresh in the freezer for up to a year. This is compared to storing candy corn in your pantry, which would only allow for a shelf life of six to eight months. Chocolate-covered candy bars will be safe to eat almost indefinitely if they're kept continuously frozen, though they'll taste their best for up to 10–12 months. This is piled on top of these chocolate-covered candy bars' already lengthy shelf-life.

There are of course some exceptions to the freezer hack. Some candies, such as those containing nuts and fruits should not be stored in the freezer. Additionally, toffee candies should only be stored in the freezer for about two months, and although dark chocolate can be stored in the freezer if kept in a tightly sealed container, dark chocolate can be kept for two years at room temperature. Of course, there are other ways of handling leftover candy. It just takes a little creativity.

Other ways to make the most of your candy

Of course, if you know that you're not going to be able to conquer your sweet tooth surplus, there are other ways to use up leftover Halloween candy. As we head into the season of giving, you might want to consider donating some of your leftover candy to charity. Several organizations, such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, accept donations of unopened Halloween candy for sick children and their families who may not be able to fully enjoy trick or treating.

Treats for Troops, a program that helps send candy to service members, also accepts candy donations and even gives out prizes to children who donate some of their candy. If you're concerned about your child overindulging in their candy post-Halloween, you can always convince them to donate their haul to the Halloween Candy Buy Back, which allows children to donate their candy in exchange for healthier, tooth-friendly items such as toothbrushes and dental health hygiene kits. However, be warned that this might not make you the most popular parent in the world.

If none of these sound appealing, you can always go local and contact a food pantry, nursing home, hospital, or homeless shelter near you to see if they are accepting candy donations.

Buy the best candy

Yes, leftover Halloween candy can be cumbersome to store or disperse, and maybe you want to make sure that next year you don't have to deal with the same surplus. It might help to be more strategic in your candy-buying game. One trick that might help is to keep in mind the popularity of the candy you buy. Swedish Fish, for example, might not fare as well with trick-or-treaters as, say, Skittles or Starburst.

The most popular Halloween candies do vary by state, however, a report from grocery delivery company Instacart did indicate that there are some clear front runners in the most popular candy category. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and M&M Peanuts were the most popular candies sold by Instacart in October 2022. Also popular on the list were classic M&Ms, Tootsie Pops, and Twizzlers. These candies seem to offer just what most trick-or-treaters want from their candy haul, so make sure to include these evergreen treats in your next Halloween candy purchase.

Then again, you can always buy to your preferences, and leftover candy can then simply be a happy accident or a trick to help you better treat yourself at the end of a long Halloween night.