The spookiest night of the year is almost upon us. Soon, little ghouls and goblins will roam the streets in search of doors to knock on and candy to consume. If you plan on doling out sweet treats, knowing how to let trick-or-treaters know you have candy can mean the difference between offloading copious amounts of chocolate to neighbor children in costume and ending up with a Costco-sized bag of candies leftover that you'll then have to hide from your own children and eat by yourself on your closet floor. (I speak from experience here, folks.)
When Oct. 31 rolls around, you can bet your bones I'll be out scouring the neighborhood for candy with my kiddos. Because I won't be home to answer the door when the other trick-or-treaters come knocking, I'll likely leave a bowl of candy with a note to please take a piece (or two, maybe three depending on how good of a deal I can score on candy) on my front porch for trick-or-treaters who come by while we're out.
Although this tactic does leave the door wide open for someone to swipe the entire bowl's worth of candy for themselves, relying on the honor system allows me the opportunity to take my own kids trick-or-treating while still letting me contribute to making someone else's Halloween night just a bit more spooktacular with some delicious candy.
If you or someone else in your home will be able to man the door on Halloween night, there are several ways to let trick-or-treaters know that they are welcome to indulge in the candy you have to offer. The rule of thumb that never fails — light the way to the candy. "Turn your front porch lights on. Put a jack-o-lantern on your steps with a candle burning," Lauren Gruetman, a consumer savings expert, tells Romper. "You can also leave your front door open if you have a storm door, so that trick-or-treaters know they can come to your house. You can also take brown paper bags and put battery operated tea lights inside and line your driveway or sidewalk leading to your house."
Aside from illuminating the way for kids in costume, welcoming trick-or-treaters with a plethora of Halloween decor will typically signal to passersby that you have candy to hand out. "A couple of our favorite low-effort ways to turn on your 'open' sign for Halloween trick-or-treaters is to decorate your front door or windows with repurposed items that you probably already have sitting around," Andrea Fowler, entertainment editor for party planning website The Bash, tells Romper. "For example, if you have a broom or two, set them next to your front door and wrap them with string lights. Create a sign for your door by taking a sharpie to a piece of large paper and write — in your spookiest handwriting — something like, "The Witches Are: IN."
The fall season can an absolute flurry of business, so if you just don't have time to do all of the decorating before Oct. 31, Fowler recommends keeping it low-key and simple. "You really only need one piece of obvious decor (that can be seen both during the day and at night) to say, 'We're here and we've got candy,'" Fowler says.
Of course, no matter how you let trick-or-treaters know that you're open for business, you'll need one key thing to keep them coming — All. The. Candy. The cost of which can can add up quickly, but it doesn't have to. "Saving money on candy involves a little bit of research, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. To save money, easily download the Flipp App and search for candy using the search bar. The app will show you candy prices at all your local stores so you can easily pick out what the best deal is," Gruetman tells Romper. She also adds that searching your Sunday newspaper for coupons to use or purchasing less expensive fruity candy in bulk at wholesale club stores can be a money-saving route to take.
No matter which type of candy you buy, make sure to let trick-or-treaters know that you're ready to stuff their treat bags with handfuls of goodies by lighting the way, adding a sign, and putting out some sort of decor — the kids (and their adults) will be glad you did.