You Had Us at Glow-in-the-Dark Fangs: 9 Cheap Halloween Candy Alternatives

Don’t let November 1 wind up being a day of regret.

Having tons of Halloween candy left over because you overestimated how much you’d need for trick-or-treaters ends two ways. You’ll either be eating way too many fun-sized candy bars or you’ll eventually end up trashing them by the dozens — and wasting money.

Why not try out something different this year? Plenty of goodies to give out to trick-or-treaters don’t involve chocolate, artificial fruit flavors or sugar.

I recently visited two dollar stores in my area — Dollar Tree and Dollar General — to find Halloween treats of the non-candy variety. I ended up spending only $ 9 (plus tax) for 213 individual trinkets.

The best part about these treats is whatever’s left over can be reused next year.

9 Halloween Candy Alternatives

1. Glow-in-the-Dark Vampire Teeth

A person holds glow in the dark vampire teeth over Halloween trinkets.
All the better to bite you with, my dear — and nobody will get hurt from glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, which cost $ 1 for 10 at Dollar General. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

It doesn’t matter what a kid’s costume is — it can always be enhanced by a pair of vampire teeth. The fact that these glow in the dark is an added bonus.

Price: 10 for $ 1 at Dollar General.

Cost breakdown: 10 cents per set of teeth.

2. Sparkly Foam Stickers

Glittery foam Halloween-themed stickers on concrete.
Glittery, colorful foam stickers in Halloween shapes are 75 for $ 1 at Dollar General and make an inexpensive alternative to candy for trick-or-treaters. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

These glittery foam stickers are substantial enough to give one out per trick-or-treater. They come shaped like skulls, bats, jack-o’-lanterns and other classic Halloween characters.

Price: 75 for $ 1 at Dollar General.

Cost breakdown: 1.3 cents per sticker.

3. Mummy Army Figurines

2-inch-tall plastic mummy army figurines are a good candy alternative for Halloween.
This army of 2-inch-tall plastic mummy figurines, 10 for $ 1 at Dollar General, can act as a candy substitute when little goblins and ghouls come calling. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

These 2-inch-tall plastic figurines are the Halloween version of toy Army men. Perfect for a make-believe battle of the undead.

Price: 10 for $ 1 at Dollar General.

Cost breakdown: 10 cents per figurine.

4. Halloween Pencils

No. 2 Halloween pencils photographed on concrete.
No. 2 Halloween pencils will almost make taking a test (does anyone use them for tests anymore?) fun. You can buy 10 for $ 1 at Dollar General. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

No. 2 pencils will never go out of style. These “treats” are practical, but the designs keep them fun.

Price: 10 for $ 1 at Dollar General.

Cost breakdown: 10 cents per pencil.

5. Sticker Boxes

Small boxes that contain Frankenstein, skeletons and black cats in sticker form are 18 for $  1 at Dollar Tree.
You can’t go wrong with stickers — and you can’t buy Halloween treats for much less. These Frankenstein, skeleton and black-cat stickers are 18 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Frankenstein, skeletons and black cats — in sticker form — will greet your trick-or-treaters when they open these little packages. Each box contains eight Halloween-themed stickers.

Price: 18 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree.

Cost breakdown: 5.5 cents per sticker box

6. Creepy Creatures

Four-inch glow-in-the-dark centipedes are 12 for $  1 at Dollar Tree.
These 4-inch-long glow-in-the-dark centipedes, 12 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree, will make wee trick-or-treaters say “eek.” Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

The kids get enough treats on Halloween. Go for a fun trick with these 4-inch glow-in-the-dark centipedes.

Cost: 12 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree.

Price breakdown: 8.3 cents per bug.

7. Halloween Spinning Tops

Halloween Spinning Tops are 8 for $  1 at Dollar Tree.
Halloween-themed spinning tops, eight for $ 1 at Dollar Tree, will amuse the neighborhood kids. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

All the sugar kids consume on Oct. 31 will have them running in circles. These Halloween-themed trinkets will spin right along with them.

Price: 8 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree.

Cost breakdown: 12.5 cents per spinning top

8. Rings

Plastic Halloween rings shaped like spiders, skulls and bats are 50 for $  1 at Dollar Tree.
Plastic rings shaped like spiders, skulls and bats are 50 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree and add an extra touch of the holiday to Halloween costumes. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Trick-or-treaters can show off their love for all things Halloween with plastic rings shaped like spiders, skulls and bats. Let the kids pick out their favorite.

Price: 50 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree.

Cost breakdown: 2 cents per ring.

9. Glow-in-the-Dark Bracelets

Glow-in-the-Dark Bracelets are 20 for $  1 at Dollar Tree and a good alternative to Halloween candy.
Trick-or-treaters will be more visible wearing glow-in-the-dark bracelets on Halloween. They’re affordable, too: $ 1 for 20 at Dollar Tree. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

These bracelets will be the highlight of your trick-or-treaters’ night — literally — by adding a touch of neon to kids’ Halloween costumes. Wait until there are visitors at your doorstep before you snap and shake the bands to activate the bracelets’ glow.

Price: 20 for $ 1 at Dollar Tree.

Cost breakdown: 5 cents per bracelet.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She still has candy in her house from Easter that she needs to throw away.

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This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.


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