The Best Week To Buy Halloween Candy Is Later Than You'd Think

Much to the delight of trick-or-treaters nowadays, Halloween candy trends have improved over the last few decades. Thankfully, the chances of a neighbor handing out toothbrushes, popcorn balls, or boxes of raisins are slimmer as adults hit the stores to stock up on fun-size, snack-size, or full-size candy bars (if the kids are lucky).

According to a 2022 survey from the National Retail Federation, 67% of Americans plan to hand out candy to all the ghosts and goblins in their neighborhood, amounting to $3.1 billion in candy sales. In fact, the average household spends roughly $16.45 on Halloween candy, although generous Oregonians spend more than twice that amount, averaging $40.29. 

But, while retailers start pushing Halloween merchandise as early as August, you may want to hold off on stocking up on candy that early as it may not be the best time to buy. The shopping app Ibotta found that consumers get the best deal on candy if they wait a bit. 

Although your options may shrink the closer you get to Halloween, the average price of candy is at its lowest the last week of October, especially on October 27, four days before the big day, at $1.94 per unit. However, prepare to pay a lot more if you procrastinate until the day before Halloween when the median price of candy rises to $2.75, $0.81 more per unit.

What type of candy should you buy?

So, what should Americans spend their hard-earned money on this year to make all the Barbies and superheroes happy? Well, that depends on where you live and what you enjoy since 50% of parents squirrel away some candy for themselves.

Candy popularity varies from state to state, but if you want to avoid toilet paper streaming across your front lawn, you may want to stick to one of the favored treats. Nationwide, Americans prefer Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, which is kind of surprising given our collective sensitivity to food allergies. According to online retailer, other chocolate favorites include M&Ms, Snickers, and Hershey Kisses. Sugary candies like Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, Starbursts, Tootsie Pops, candy corn, and Hot Tamales rounded out the list and are a good option if you are concerned about trick-or-treaters with a peanut allergy.

At the end of the night, if your kids have too much of a good thing, consider sorting through their Halloween candy to get a jumpstart on holiday baking supplies — just wait until the kids go to bed to avoid feeling the wrath. Small chocolates like M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, and Hershey Kisses work deliciously in cookies, like peanut butter blossoms. With a bit of chopping, full-size candies like Snickers can be added to bar cookies and brownies, and can garnish cakes, too.