Like many of you, I’m waking up this morning, eying the huge pile of candy in my house and thinking, How can I get the darned stuff out of my house? We’ve got 5 great ways to help may your home a little less sugary over the coming week.

Donate Candy to Children in Need
Hospitals, shelters, food pantries and even churches often accept leftover candy, as we pointed out in last year’s post about donating leftover Halloween candy. All the ideas here are still relevant; just be sure to call them before you show up with bags of candy to make sure they have a way to use it.

Donate Candy to our Troops
Operation Gratitude allows you to box up your candy, separating chocolate from other candy (chocolate melts in places like Iraq).  Then ask the kids to write or color a note to the troops, and send it to its headquarters in California. Include an extra $15 donation if you’d like to help them pay for mailing the treats overseas.

Sell it to a Dentist
If the only thing your kids like more than candy is cold hard cash, check out the Halloween Candy Buyback website which makes it easy to find a local dentist who is participating. I love that kids can turn over sacks of treats in exchange for a little money and probably a new toothbrush. Dentists in this program then send their candy windfall to Operation Gratitude themselves.

Trade for Discounts at Local Retailers
Call your local toy store to see if they are running a program like Magic Beans does around Boston – they’ll donate your candy to a couple of worthy organizations, and in exchange give you a coupon for 20% off a new toy–to soften the blow, I suppose.

Eat It!
If you can’t bear to part with all of it, Real Simple has put together some delicious dessert recipes that incorporate your favorite sweets into something you can proudly serve at your next playgroup or moms night out. Dulce De Leche and Snickers Terrine sounds pretty impressive; more so than just sneaking the minis out of your kids’ Halloween bags a week from now.

Have any other ways to get rid of the Halloween candy (other than throwing it away!)? Please leave your idea in the comments.

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