It’s already time to stock up on Halloween candy! But how do you know you’re getting the best deal? There’s a bewildering assortment of brands, package sizes, and prices. Those big Halloween candy bags boast about how many pieces they contain. You’ll see this information displayed prominently on the front of the package: “55 PIECES”, “200 PIECES”, “250 PIECES”, and so on. Dividing the selling price by the number of pieces will give you the cost per piece of Halloween candy. But the size of the pieces varies greatly. Some are mini-size or fun-size bars while others are only bite-sized. How do you determine the best sale price for bags of Halloween candy? Simple. CHECK THE WEIGHT!
By law, all solid food items sold in the U.S. must contain the net weight near the bottom front of the package. This is the only true measure of how much product you are receiving. Do the math. Divide the price by the weight indicated on the package. Move the decimal point 2 places to the right if you’re using a dollars and cents amount as the price ($9.88, for example.) This gives your cost in cents per ounce of Halloween candy. Now, you can compare different sized bags of the same candy and find the best value. This works whether you’re comparing bags from the same store or competing stores.
How much should you pay? In previous years, I have recommended around 20 cents per ounce for the popular assortments. Due to 2021’s rapid food price inflation, I have increased this to 25 cents per ounce. This includes Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Kit Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, M&Ms, Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, Almond Joy, Whoppers Malted Milk Balls, Skittles, Starburst, Heath, and Milk Duds. You’ll have to hunt around to meet the 25 cents per ounce price point, but it’s out there. Good sources of cheap Halloween candy include Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Kmart, RiteAid, CVS, Sam’s Club, Costco, Kroger, Cub Foods, King Soopers, and Osco/Jewel.
The absolute BEST Halloween candy deals are found on November 1st. That’s when the half price clearance begins at most stores! But who wants to wait that long? Remember to check the weight, do the math, and shoot for a per-ounce cost of around 25 cents. It’s not the size that counts. It’s the weight of the bag that matters.