Organized Treasure: Blog
Katie McAllister, Professional Organizer
After Timmy was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes five years ago, we participated in Boscov’s Halloween Candy Trade In Program – they offered kids with juvenile diabetes the option to trade in a bag of candy for a modest gift card – it was about $10, which was enough to get a small toy. While T1D children can have carbs and sugar (they just need to count, and cover with insulin), it is better in moderation, so this was a really positive initiative, offering an incentive to reduce that carb load!
What a great idea!
In our house, Halloween candy (especially the less desirables) can stay around until Easter, tucked away in a drawer or corner of a closet. I have tried some options to discourage this candy hoard, but most have been “sticks” rather than carrots - whatever is not eaten by Thanksgiving comes down to the kitchen and is up for grabs for anyone. This seems fair, but is always met with groans, and since my kids stick pretty well to family guidelines for number of treats a day, it always seems to sneak up on them and is received as a NEGATIVE.
This year I’m trying the Halloween Buy Back – they will have 24 hours to set aside those items they really don’t want and get cold hard cash in return. This has been received positively – they can see the value of cash – and will incentivize letting go up front of those varieties that they just don’t love. This is a skill I want them to develop, and using incentives to instill good habits is useful for all of us!
I think we will go with 5 pieces of candy for $1 this year. You could make the buy back anything you want, but I think the sweet spot would end up between a dime and a quarter/candy. Stating it in terms of how many /dollar both makes it more valuable (A dollar still buys you something good) and gives you more flexibility in not having to land on an even number of cents (7/$1 makes more sense than 14c/candy). My kids love IceBreakers gum (me too!), and you don’t get a lot of good gum at Trick or Treat (maybe some Double Bubble here and there), so I know Megan is already mentally reminding herself that she is essentially trading for gum, which is what she would have chosen from a “Pick Two” bowl anyway!
Buy back candy can be shared with mom and dad, put out at a party, or donated (buyer’s choice).
I have heard of others who add in the mystery of the Halloween Fairy who accepts the donations and leaves toys or money in their place. That’s a fun twist as well!!
If your focus is to reduce carbs in your home, you may want to use a higher buy back.
If your focus is to encourage open hands and hearts, you may want to forego the money all together and take the time to “Reverse Trick or Treat” in an senior community that doesn’t get trick or treaters – dress up again, fill your bags with give away candy, and spend an afternoon opening the bags at each door for older residents to pick two of THEIR favorites!! Dressing up is half the fun, and what a surprise for a homeowner to open their door to your little cuties and their sweet offerings!!
May you find your own variations that help you reduce the sugar load and the secret stashes and encourage your kids to share from their abundance!! Have a safe and fun night of costumes, exercise, friends, and neighbors!
Embracing my love for organizing and the joy of encouraging others as we journey through the ups and downs together!
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