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Children beware: 82% of parents admit they steal Halloween candy from their children's haul


Last updated 10/28/2020 at 5:33pm

BERGEN COUNTY, N.J. – While 2020 has been a scary year, October’s spooky season is in full effect. According to Rebecca Gramuglia, a consumer expert at, 64% of Americans still plan to celebrate Halloween this year with 62% celebrating from home.

The survey “Trick-or-Treat... Steal My Treats?” polled a cross section of 1,637 adults, aged 18 and over.

Do you steal candy from your child’s Halloween haul?

Parents answered yes (82%) or no (18%).

On average how much of your child’s candy haul do you keep for yourself?

Parents answered 10% (57%), 25% (29%), 50% (8%), 75% (5%) and 100% (1%).

Favorite Halloween candy? Here are the top four responses: Reese’s at 44%, Kit Kats at 20%, Milky Way at 9% and Three Musketeers at 6%.

Lamest Halloween treat? Here are the top four responses: No such thing as a lame treat with 46%; Pencil, erasers and pencil toppers with 21%; Anything that’s not candy with 13% and Spooky accessories such as vampire teeth, spider rings, etc., with 13%.

Next, they were asked about getting in the spooky spirit.

Will you be decorating your home for Halloween this year?

Parents answered yes 79% or no 21%.

If decorating, will your decorating style be more spooky or fall-themed?

They answered: Both spooky and fall-themed at 50%, spooky at 26% or fall-themed at 24%.

Between stocking up on candy, buying costumes and ensuring they have the spookiest house on the block, Halloween can get expensive for parents. Yet the survey found that compared to 2019, respondents will spend the same amount (48%) or less (42%) this Halloween.

How much do you spend on Halloween decorations? Here are the top four responses: $26 to $50 (26%); $51 to $100 (26%); Less than $25 (23%) or $101 to $200 (16%).

Where do you buy the majority of your Halloween decorations? Here are the top four responses: Walmart (29%), Dollar Stores (26$), Target (19%) and Amazon (11%).

What will you spend the most money on during Halloween? The top four responses showed sweets for trick-or-treating at 36%, decorations at 25%, costumes at 17% and fall activities such as apple picking, pumpkin picking, etc. at 14%.

With Halloween creeping around the corner, it’s easy to spend a scary amount of money. But luckily, shoppers don’t have to play trick-or-treat with their budget. Here are six tips from to make the best of spooky season and save money.

Get crafty with decorations.

You don’t have to break the bank to give your home a charmingly spooky atmosphere inside and out. A lot can be accomplished with basic Halloween decor from the dollar store, some spray paint and glue. With a little creativity, a set of plastic pumpkins can become a tower of spooky pumpkins right out of a home decor magazine.

DIY your costume.

Buying new costumes for your crew can cost hundreds of dollars. Not to mention, you’ll likely only wear them once. To save money, raid your closet or the local thrift store for inexpensive, DIY costume pieces and material. If you can’t DIY the costume, don’t forget to look outside of the Halloween aisle. For example, if your child is set on being Cinderella, look in the dress-up section of the toy department. Chances are that the dress-up section is cheaper than a seasonal Halloween costume.

Stack the savings.

Score fang-tastic deals by bundling coupons, browsing sales and using credit card rewards when shopping for Halloween. Plus, make the savings extra-wicked by shopping through a cashback site like to score a percentage of your purchase back in cashback on all qualifying purchases from stores like SpiritHalloween, Walgreens,, Dollar Tree and more.

Check the supermarket.

While the supermarket may not give off the ultimate fall vibe that a pumpkin patch does, you can still score pretty mums and pumpkins for less. If you are looking to buy new fall decorations, always compare prices no matter where you are shopping to ensure you’re getting a great deal.

Buy in bulk.

Whether you’re counting on stealing a few Kit Kats from your child’s Halloween basket or want a sweet treat or two, candy is a Halloween-must regardless of how you’re celebrating this year. Look for deals at your local grocery stores, wholesale clubs and drugstores to stock up on your favorite goodies. And make sure to buy candy that you like. Candy has a decent shelf life so you can keep your favorite treats in stock for a while. Otherwise, if there’s a lot leftover once expired, you may end up throwing it out and wasting money.

Shop for Halloween 2021 in November.

While it might feel odd to shop for next year’s scary celebrations right after Halloween, doing so can save you a few hundred bucks. Retailers like Michaels, Kohl’s and Home Depot make room for Christmas merchandise in November, so you’ll find Halloween items marked down at more than half-off.

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