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

A toddler reaches into a jack-o-lantern filled with halloween trinkets, alternatives to Halloween candy.
Penny Hoarder senior writer Nicole Dow spent $9 (plus tax) for 213 individual Halloween trinkets at Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

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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