Buying candy for Halloween is a crapshoot.

If you overshoot, you’re stuck with five pounds of leftover candy in your cupboard and fifteen more on your hips.

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Undershoot, and you’re hightailing it to the all night convenience store to buy more Hershey’s bars before the next swarm of kids comes knocking on your door.

Instead of playing the candy card on Halloween, play the “get rid of some of the useless junk taking up space in your house” card.  You hate clutter, kids love stuff.  It’s a win win.

Here are eight ideas for household items to pawn off on kids this Halloween:

1. Ketchup packets from your fridge — Kids love ketchup!  Am I right?

2. Coupons — What kid doesn’t appreciate 75-cents off Grape Nuts?

3. Business cards — Couldn’t every young, energetic kid use a good personal injury lawyer?

4. Take-out menus — How many Chinese take-out menus do you really need?

5. Ice — A chance to purge those stale cubes that taste like freezer. . .

6. Pottery — Realistically, how many ceramic unicorns from “Paint-Your-Own” pottery store can your mantel hold?

7. Mini pads — They’re individually wrapped.

8. Tea bags — Nothing says “Trick or Treat” like Sleepy Time.

Warning:  Not responsible for houses that may get toilet-papered or egged as a result of this post.



When Jersey Girl Lisa Tognola traded her job as freelance writer for that of full-time mother of three children, it didn’t take long before her writing was reduced to grocery lists, notes to school nurses excusing her kids from gym class, and e-mails to her husband reminding him to call his mother.  Daily life as a suburban mom was fraught with challenges and unexpected dangers like adult dinner groups, town hall meetings and home shopping parties.  Rather than fight her fate, this mom embraced it by unleashing her inner columnist.  Her weekly column, Main Street Musings, reflects on life in the suburbs---the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Visit her blog  Follow her on twitter @lisatognola