What to do with your leftover Halloween candy (besides eating it)

Now that Halloween has come and gone, you may have leftover candy at home. But what to do with it?

While eating the mounds of Reese’s, M&Ms, Twix, Snickers, Twizzlers , and other treats is always a great option, there are other sweet ideas for how to repurpose Halloween candy. 

Use it in the kitchen, tuck it away in the freezer, or even give it away:

Donate Halloween candy to charity

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Halloween candy is pictured in a file image. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

Families can donate their candy surplus to military members, first responders, and even sick children unable to trick-or-treat themselves. 

Treats for Troops is a Halloween candy collection program organized by Soldiers’ Angels, which provides aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. The collected candy is then sent to service members and veterans.

Operation Gratitude also accepts candy donations after Halloween. For more information about its Halloween Candy Give-Back program and how to donate, email candy@operationgratitude.com.

Operation Shoebox accepts "any and all kinds" of candy donations throughout the year, and especially after Halloween. The nonprofit sends a bag of candy inside every care package sent to deployed troops around the world. Leftover candy can be mailed to Operation Shoebox, 8360 East Highway 25, Belleview, FL 34420.

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), which provides housing for families who are far from home as their child receives treatment at a hospital as well as other support, doesn’t have a universal Halloween candy donation program. But many local chapters will often accept donations of candy for families. Those interested in donating candy should call their local chapter to confirm. 

Get creative in the kitchen

Another thing families can do with leftover Halloween candy is turn it into desserts.

Mix up the classic chocolate chip cookies by adding chopped-up candy bars, M&Ms, or anything else from trick-or-treat night. You could also do this with Rice Krispies Treats, adding fun Halloween candy flavors. 

One recipe uses leftover Halloween candy on popcorn for a delicious sweet and salty snack. 

Freeze it

Leftover Halloween candy can also be put in the freezer and saved for a later date. 

Families can store the candy in an air-tight container, such as a plastic food container or a plastic bag with a zip seal. Label it with the date and type of candy, as recommended by The Spruce Eats, a food and recipe website.

Chocolate candy bars can generally last in the freezer for 10 months to a year, as well as hard candies. Other treats, like peanut butter cups, caramels, jelly beans, and candy corn can last about 6 to 9 months, the website says. 

Bring it to work

If all else fails, bring the extra holiday candy into the workplace. Your co-workers will thank you (or complain about not being able to stop eating it). 

This story was reported from Cincinnati.