Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Offer Your Kids A Candy Buy-Back For Excess Halloween Treats

Spend, Save, Eat Jars

If too much candy is the treat, a stomach ache and a mouthful of cavities will end up being the trick.

So how do you restrict your kid’s candy intake without being a Halloween buzz killer?

Offer your kids a candy buy-back program for their excess treats.

Pay by the pound, or come up with a chart of trade-in values for different categories of candies: mini to full size. I’d keep the trade-in details a secret until the next day. That way, your kids won’t run around the neighborhood trolling for specific items.

Last year, credits for Halloween candy exchanges on our family finance site were typically in the $3 to $9 range with the highest being $20. That’s quite a haul! Several of the credits were split between spending, saving, and giving. Impressive.

What can you do with the purchased candy?

  1. Eat it yourself. Probably not a great idea, but, hey, you deserve a treat every once in a while too. Save it for your cheat days.
  2. Save it for party favors. A candy stash can come in handy for your kid’s next birthday party. Add a few treats to each party favor bag.
  3. Foist it on your office mates. Why mess up your own diet? Sabotage your coworkers’ diets instead.

If you don’t want to buy your kid’s excess candy, a local dentist might. See if one is participating in the Halloween Candy Buy Back program founded by Wisconsin dentist, Chris Kammer. You can look up participating dentists by zip code on the program’s web page. I found two in my neighborhood. According to the FAQs on the site, the most common payout by participating dentists is $1 per pound.

Another organization, The National Financial Educators Council, is taking the candy for money exchange idea one step further. They advocate cutting out the middle man altogether. Stop handing out candy in the first place, and hand out money at the door instead. Yikes!

I’m not biting on that suggestion. Kids going door to door saying “Trick or legal tender?” Nah. Let’s keep the trick-or-treat tradition intact on Halloween night and moderate the consumption afterwards with a parental candy buy-back program.

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