Until this year, I’ve never had the opportunity to buy candy for trick-or-treaters. Wee ones didn’t trick-or-treat on our street when I was growing up (perhaps it had something to do with the lack of sidewalks) and ever since, I’ve lived in neighborhoods where nary a child has rung the bell on October 31. But now that we’re in a new area, the fun begins!
The fun (and learning) started when I recently purchased Halloween candy. I’d like to think that all Halloween candies are considered equal. But it appears that stores and manufacturers think otherwise. A few days ago, I walked into a store and was greeted by a l-o-n-g row of brightly wrapped mega-bags of candy. On this particular day, I wanted to get in and out of said store with efficiency, so I was thrilled that the candy was front and center and ready for me to grab and go. It took me a minute before I remembered that the products that are front and center often come at a higher price. And, indeed, most of these bags of treats were priced higher than what I had expected. Not only that, but just select brands were represented in this aisle.
So I trekked down the concrete path leading to “candy land” at this big box store. And I was greeted with an even more gigantic selection of sugary morsels. As I expected, most of the candy packages here were cheaper than those I’d seen upon entering the store. While walking through this aisle, I discovered plenty of well-known brands that were not included in the large display up front. I made a lovely selection for our trick-or-treaters to enjoy and off I went, grateful for this experience which reminded me of the following:
1. Products placed up front aren’t always the best buy, or representative of the store’s full selection of that product. Sometimes doing a “grab and go” at the front of the store will cost you more money.
2. Shop with a list in-hand, and stick to it! This practice helps curb impulse spending, and makes shopping trips efficient – even when you have to trek a few aisles over to find the items you wish to purchase.
3. Don’t try to keep up with the proverbial Jones family. Stick to your budget when making purchases. You’ll be glad you did!
Wishing you a candy-filled Halloween!
* Photo by Can Berkol