Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, you can take advantage of the abundance of candy that is now available. We all deserve a little treat, and having some sweets is sure to lift the spirits, provide extra energy, and give children something to really look forward to during scary situations.
If you do celebrate Halloween with your children, you may want to have candy on hand to try to keep things as normal as possible, should something happen within the next year. This could be anything from inflated prices to complete unavailability of the sweets.
Besides eating the candy out of hand, you can use it in your baking and cooking. Chopped chocolate added to pancakes adds only one step, if you use prepared pancake mix, and will offer variety. Melted, chocolate can be poured over quick biscuits for a rich desert.
Finally, candy can be used as a bartering tool, since it is likely to be rare. Most preppers don’t think of including it in their supplies. As for those who didn’t prep, well they won’t have much of anything and will desperate for the stuff.
To save money on Halloween candy, purchase some of it when it goes on sale and the rest right after the holiday when the bounty gets marked down up to 90 percent off. You can also try dollar stores and lot stores for inexpensive products.
Of course, knowing how to properly store your Halloween candy is essential. Otherwise you may be left with a stale, melted or even bug-filled mess!
Fortunately, candy is a high-sugar food, and this sugar can help preserve the products. Just make sure that you keep your candy cool and dry as much as possible.
Let us start with my favorite, chocolate. Because chocolate has cocoa butter in it, over time it can go rancid. This means that it must be stored with as little oxygen as possible. You can put it in a freezer, or vacuum seal it with an oxygen absorber inside. It is probably one of the harder types of candy to store, though. Still, it may be worth it. Just make sure to test a sample of your stored chocolate every six months or so to avoid any surprises later.
The best type of candy to store long term is the pressed sugar type of candy, such as Smarties or candy sticks. The density of this type of candy makes for a longer storage life. Hard candy, such as star mints,butterscotch, do well also, as long as moisture is kept away from it. Otherwise it will get soft. Separate the candy out into portions. Use mylar bags or vacuum bags for storage.
Exploding candy, or “pop rocks” for those of us who remember the 80s, consists mostly of crystalized sugar and citric acid. It is dry and another great candidate for long-term storage of Halloween candy.
Absolutely avoid any candy that contains liquid or cream centers or filling. While you may still be able to freeze this type of candy for up to a year, it won’t do well for longer storage. The same goes for soft candy, such as Tootsie Rolls or taffy, which are easily affected by heat.
Finally, if you have children or sensitive adults, consider avoiding gory-looking candy, such as eyeballs, or other body parts. If you are in a serious situation, scary candy could be traumatic.