I know, I know. Halloween hasn’t even happened yet and already I’m telling you what to do with your unwanted pumpkins and leftover candy?
But if you’re like me, you’ll need to make your game plan NOW, with a clear head, because on Sunday morning you’ll be waking up in a fog of too much candy and weird Halloween punches.
Oh and it’s also Daylight Savings Time on Sunday so there’s that whole “kids’ sleeping schedules” hot mess you’ll have to deal with.
So here’s the issue. Last year I left my Halloween pumpkins (uncarved but decorated) sitting on my front steps into December. That is not the impression I want my new neighbors to have of me, so this year I’m trying to be timely and appropriate with my home decor.
But what can you do with your pumpkins besides saving them until December and then throwing them out?
Turns out, lots of things! Here are your options:
1. Make pumpkin puree and use it in any one of the ten million pumpkin recipes floating around, like pumpkin martinis, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin hummus, or a boozy pumpkin-pie milkshake.
2. Jillee of One Good Thing says you can use it to fertilize your soil, make a bird-feeder, or even make cut-out stamps for your kids to use!
3. Make a pumpkin face mask and get a glowing complexion.
4. Have you heard of Punkin Chunkin? It’s a competition where people see how far they can launch or throw their Halloween pumpkins. Have a DIY Punkin Chunkin in your yard with your neighbors. Person who throws their pumpkin the farthest wins the Halloween candy jackpot!
5. Attract animals with cut-up pumpkins in your yard. Ummm…not sure who wants to attract animals to their yard, but if that’s your thing, go for it! Typically I try to repel animals from my yard.
6. Exercise with the pumpkin. LOVE this idea! Think of it like one of those big exercise balls and follow these moves.
7. Or maybe you want to save those pumpkins to use as festive, unique holiday decorations. If so, here are three great ideas I came up with last year.
Now. The candy. Those yummy delicious Twizzlers and Kit-Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…
Conventional wisdom says that letting your kids eat one or two candies each day is better than pigging out on as much as they want in one sitting, right? WRONG.
Ever since I read this article that confirms dentists would rather your kids pig out in one day rather than eat a piece of candy every day, I have totally rethought my Halloween candy-eating policy.
So here are some options if you want to rid your house of all the excess Halloween candy.
Eat it all yourself. It’s called “the Mom Tax” and it’s an annual perk of motherhood, despite the fact that it won’t exactly help your waistline. But it will make you happy! (Until you crash from the sugar.)
2. Send it to the troops through Operation Gratitude.
3. Find a dentist office near you that will “buy it back” or give your child a prize when he trades in his candy. Dentists participating in the Halloween Candy Buyback will then donate the candy to the troops, also through Operation Gratitude.
4. Some nursing homes, food pantries, and children’s hospitals will also accept candy donations. Just call your local one and find out if they will take it.
5. Bring it into work.
I still haven’t decided what we are going to do with ours, but I know it’s not going to stay here where I eat it all. All day. Every day. Until it’s gone.