Budget Halloween suggestions

Americans spend more on Halloween than any other holiday save Christmas. This year, however, the gobling may be a bit leaner, the Frankensteins a little shorter, and even Vampira might be a bit..deflated.

If you're looking to trim your Halloween budget but don't care to hide in the dark as trick or treaters make their rounds, here are a few treats for the budget-minded. Think individually wrapped, for the peace of mind of your budget and the children's parents.

YummyEarth Organic Lollipops. Yes, I know the name suggests they're made of dirt, but au contraire. Flavors like Pomegranate Pucker and Wet-Face Watermelon should delight your devils, and at $25 for a bag of 350, you can afford the largess. ($.07 per sucker).

Creme Savers Hard Candy Chocolate and Caramel Creme. These hard candies last a long time, and have a remarkably balanced, pleasing flavor. Best of all, they're individually wrapped, a key to cost-containment. They should not, however, be given out to the very young, as they could cause choking. ($.09 per piece)

Tootsie Rolls Midgees. The old standard brown fudgy stuff with a taste somewhere between chocolate and asphalt, with the tensile strength to rip out a filling faster than you can say Trick or Treat! At $.02 cents apiece, you can shower these on your visitors.

Candy Warheads Extreme Sours. For the children of your local ordnance fanatic, these mouth-puckering treats will go nuclear on their tongue. $.13 apiece, hazmat gear not included.

Jolly Roger Twist Watermelon. My favorite. The Jolly Roger people have a knack for intense flavor and that burst that puts a lie to the concept of too sweet. (.04 apiece)

For sake of comparison, here's what you'll be out of pocket if you choose to give out full-sized checkout line candy:

Snickers, Mars, Milky Way or Three Musketeers: $.77 apiece

Lifesavers, by the roll: $.51 apiece

Oreo Candy Bites: $50 apiece

The money you save could help pay to fill the cavities born from eating the leftovers.

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