Make That Candy Last!

Reese'sPieces-asaurus Rex?One way of approaching Halloween in a frugal way is to make your candy last! Storing away those Halloween sweets is a great way to enforce encourage moderation and make your candy last beyond a few days. But, how long will that Halloween candy last? And, how can you make sure it stays fresh? These are some great tips for keeping Halloween candy alive long after your ghosts and goblins are resting in peace.

  • Pantry protection. While different types of candy have different storage requirements, generally your pantry is a safe place to stash sweets. Airtight storage in a cool place will ensure a longer shelf-life and a number of candies may be frozen as well.
    Did you know: Freezing is a popular method for keeping candy over long periods of time. However, not all sweets are suited for the freezer. While toffee and truffles can be frozen for up to 2 months, avoid freezing candy with fruits and nuts.
  • Wrap it up. Soft candy treats such as taffies, caramels and nougats should be protected from moisture during storage. Before storing away, make sure these sweets are wrapped individually in clear cellophane.
    Did you know: Candy is made simply by dissolving sugar in water. Different heating levels determine the types of candy: Hot temperatures make hard candy, medium heat will make soft candy and cool temperatures make chewy candy.
  • Avoid moisture issues. Certain candies absorb moisture such as caramels, mints and hard candies, so don’t mix them with candies that lose moisture and tend to dry out such as fudge and creamy candies. Storing these sweets in the same container will cause the harder candies to become sticky and the softer ones to dry out. To make sure that hard candies stay that way, sprinkle with finely ground sugar and store in an air-tight jar.
    Did you know: Halloween is the holiday with the highest candy sales, followed by Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
  • Chocolate, oh, yes chocolate. Dark chocolate can be kept for 1 to 2 years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. A pantry or basement is an ideal location. Milk and white chocolate have a more limited storage time—no more than 8 to 10 months.
    Did you know: Parents admit that their favorite treats to sneak from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags are snack-size chocolate bars (70 percent sneak these), candy-coated chocolate pieces (40 percent), caramels (37 percent), and gum (26 percent). Parents least favorite goodie to take from their kids’ trick-or-treat bags is licorice (18 percent).
  • Hard candy (lollipops, lifesavers, butterscotches). Hard candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature or in a cool, dry location.
    Did you know: Eighty-four percent of kids say candy and gum are their favorite treats to receive when trick-or-treating.
  • Soft or jellied candies. If the packaging has been opened, soft candies should be kept in a covered candy dish, away from heat and light at room temperature (68 – 72 degrees). Stored in this manner, the candy should last six to nine months. If the packaging has not been opened, soft sweets will last approximately 12 months.
    Did you know: Salt water taffy was “invented” in Atlantic City in 1883 and modern machinery now allows confectioners to produce 1,000 pieces of taffy a minute. In one hour enough pieces of taffy are made to cover one third of the length of Atlantic City (about 1.3 miles).
  • Candy corn. If the packaging has been opened, candy corn should be stored under the same conditions as soft candies and will last approximately 3 to 6 months. Unopened, fresh packages will last about 9 months.
    Did you know: More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to 9 billion pieces—enough to circle the moon about 4 times if laid-end-to-end!
  • Gum. As long as the packaging remains sealed, most gum products have a shelf-life of 6 to 9 months. To maximize product freshness, keep chewing gum packages in a cool, dry place and out of any direct sunlight.
    Did you know: Americans will spend around $2.7 billion on gum this year. That’s right, we annually spend more on GUM than on the Presidential election! Now, if only the worst thing that could happen with the election was a toothache …

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Note: Check out the other great Halloween posts from the Life Skills Network:
Monday: 8 Tips for Saving Money at Halloween @ My Dollar Plan
Tuesday: This post at The Wisdom Journal
Wednesday: Frugal Dad scares up a great Halloween post!

photo credit: dyanna
Source: National Confectioners Association

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