I guess it all depends on how many kids you expect. The last few years we've been prepping for 200 kids, started out around 30 when we moved into the newly built neighborhood but the area has been adding more housing developments so the crowds have grown with it (exciting to see the ToTers numbers growing). In the past we try to buy all the candy and do our zip lock treat bags during the two weeks before. We haven't even bought anything yet and still debating on what kind of treats to include. I just asked my husband this afternoon about getting started on them so we're not sitting there at the last minute. Easy to assemble some while your watching TV and not as bad if you spread it out over a couple of days.
I did mine this past week! I felt like doing something Halloween related and I didn't really have anything outside to do so I bought candy and bags, put on some Halloween movies and got it done. This is the first year in a long time that I've done treat bags. When our numbers grew to 600+ it was just too much to buy for and prepare that many bags so we cut back to two fun size pieces of whatever per kid. Now that our numbers have gone back down to the 250 range I decided to do it again. I did two fun size pieces plus a small handful of misc candies like smarties, tootsie rolls, bubble gum, etc. Kids always seem more excited to get a little bag of goodies and I had fun putting them together anyway.
I do the treat bags as well.
I fill mine with two snack size bars, thus year I got the Hershey glow in the dark Halloween wrappers and I got the fall snack kit Kats
As a bonus I found treat bags at good will ! I like the paper treat sacks
I get between 70-100 TOTers. We're expecting rain next week, so I'll clear the dining room table and set out all the goodies to assemble the treat bags. I got a great deal on sets of 10 color Crayola markers (50¢ ea) from Walmart. Because of the "dry-out" factor, I'll test those and make sure they go this year. Every treat bag will have a package of two Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies. There will also be full sized candy bars should older kids not want a treat bag.
Does anyone go back and figure out what the cost of each goodie bag is? Never stopped to figure it out before but sat down last night as we picked up what we were going to be using. Was curious how it compared to handing out a full-size candy bar. Interesting result at least for us.
Over the last few years hubby has wanted to hand out something "better" than the traditional popular candy bars. Thinks kids get too much chocolate and the chocolate isn't that great any more so he has picked up a variety of things over the years including higher quality chocolate to hand out. This year each goodie bag gets 4 pieces and they all fit in a sandwich size zip lock baggie: a halloween Rice Crispy Treat square, a Sweet Tarts Skull and Bones pack, a milk chocolate Dove Halloween treat bar (I insisted on some chocolate) and one snack bag from a selection of Halloween Cheez It or Nabisco's snacks (Chips Ahoy, mini Oreos, Ritz Bits, Nutter Butter Bites, mini Nilla, Teddy Grahams or Barnum's Animal mini cookies). All were purchased from either Target or Walmart. Tried to avoid gooey, sticky or hard candy for dental reasons.
When I worked out the numbers per bag it came down to essentially $.40, approximately the cost of a full-size bar of candy from Hersheys assortment pack of candy bars from Walmart. While we end spending time setting up all the bags (which typically I pickup from Dollar Tree), hopefully the kids (and maybe parents) like the assortment of snacks instead of just getting one larger candy bar. Certainly it would be simplier to just hand out one full-size bar. Have to admit I was kind of surprised to see it work out to be essentially the same though. Sure the candy industry has tried to keep things at a certain price point.
We do treat bags, too. I am going to try and get them done, soon, here, this week. I usually do them a week or two before so they are done and ready...and, also, so I can make sure I bought enough stuff and have enough with enough time to go get more if needed.
Last year was our first year in this new neighborhood, so we ran out of treat bags near the end. Thankfully, we had extra loose candy. I plan on making more bags, this year, and having loose candy in the house, again, in case our numbers are bigger.
I had considered not doing the bags, this year, but I had already bought some stuff on clearance, last year. We usually put some kind of chocolate in them, I think I have Kit Kats and Hershey bars, this year, and a couple little Halloween toys/trinkets/stickers in each bag. I want to say we have around 150 or so ToTs...but I only have one year to go by, so who knows for this year! At our old house, we only had 9-25 ToTs, lol...so this is a big jump for us!!
The candy bars are about 40¢ each. Those are stand-alone treats that don't combine with treat bags.
The treat bags are a combo of things I've bought over the years. Lollipops on clearance- 25¢ for a bag of 40, looping foam airplanes 48 for $4.25, 100 glow bracelets for $13, Crayola markers/colored pencil sets at 50¢, a dozen jumping spiders and scorpions for $3.50 a dozen, pewter skull rings 3 dozen for $5... plus lots more! Most treat bags will have a 2-cookie package in them (24¢ ea.)
Since not everything plays every year, the bags change a little at the stock rotates. Some things like markers and glow sticks must go in the current year. A bag with Crayola markers will probably only have a lollipop and some small toys (plastic spider, vampire teeth, etc.)
Then I have several big treats. This year, it is two Huffy Green Machine toddle bikes, a giant teddy bear, and a larger toy fighter jet.
I may do a fishing pond with dry ice under the treats this year - using the glow bracelets as the catch loop.
I'll also have some dollar store teddy bears with cookies attached for babies.
I will be making up my 100 treat bags this weekend. The kids have a PA day on Friday, so they'll go with me to buy the candy and we'll set up an assembly line. Treat bags will have a pencil, tattoo and Halloween ring, some chocolate, a lollipop of some kind and some other small candy. I don't bring candy home for them too early or it vanishes.
I keep trying to limit our treats to full sized candy bars, bags of chips, wine gums and a variety of chewing gums. But every year my wife gets possessed by the Halloween Spirit at the last minute and does up a bunch of treat bags. So the TOT's get a "double dip"...Oh, well, everything else is so over-the-top, why not the treats as well?
I usually do my treat bags a couple of weeks in advance so that I can make sure I have enough bags. This year I am putting in a bag of chips, a plastic toy (yo yo, stickers, witch fingers, spiders, Halloween pens etc), lollipops, and chocolates. I still need to buy my chocolate bars though so I am hoping to get the bags done before the end of this week. Really busy at work so we will see if that gets done before the weekend. I am hoping to set up some decorations on my deck this weekend.
Last year was my first year giving out treats in our new house. I made about 100 bags with pencils/erasers/stickers/bubbles, etc. Only passed out 20-30. SO, the extras from last year will be going out this year, with some skittles on the side! I'd kill to live in a neighborhood with over 100 trick-or-treaters!
We have always done the bags, my family did them when I was a kid. Problem was as the numbers grew and we made the haunt larger we started running out of time, so bags of candy were tossed in a big bowl and we gave each kid a couple of pieces. I think the biggest complaint we had for ongoing years since we stopped doing it was the brownies. Everyone went nuts over the brownies...everyone got one including all adults. One year I made truffles, caramels and caramel nougats from my candy business and we gave the adults a choice to pick one. Truffles had liquor in them so kids had to get their treats in the kitchen.
When we started having over 600 every year and I started running out of people to help us that was the end of the extra's. We still run the commercial popcorn machine and everyone gets a bag of popcorn>>>>>>but still they want those brownies. Every year I buy 6 big jumbo boxes of brownies just can't do it anymore...it's been probably 4 or 5 years since we have done them. Now the numbers are down ....last year we handed out only 250 bags and they had 7 pieces in each bag. Doing the same this year and they are done already. I would have attempted the brownies this year but with no help and the fact that Jerry and I are gonna run this thing ourselves, not sure if it's gonna work, can't add on any extra things we have to do that night.