I don’t know about the rest of you, but my kids certainly came home with plenty of candy from last night’s trick-or-treating. Maybe you, like us, also have some left over that you intended to hand out. If you have too much candy around your house today, here are some great ways to put some of the excess in your emergency supplies.
Hard candy, suckers, smarties, and other candies that are primarily sugar have an extremely long shelf life (as if any candy isn’t primarily sugar, but you know what I mean). These are great for adding to your bug out bags or emergency kits just as they are. They even do well in a vehicle kit where temperatures fluctuate.
Other non-chocolate candies like taffy, gummy candies, licorice, and tootsie rolls have a shelf life of 6 months to a year before they start getting hard. Some keep longer than others, and they are still usually edible after they harden, they’re just not as easy to eat. I like to keep a few of these candies in an undisclosed location in the house that I can pull from for spur-of-the-moment hikes, road trips, and kids’ activities where they need to bring a snack or lunch, like scout camp outs or field trips.
Any candy with chocolate or peanut butter should be eaten immediately! Just kidding. But candy made with chocolate, peanut butter, or nuts does not have the shelf life that non-chocolate candies do. They are sensitive to heat and cold, and contain oils that can go rancid over time. Having been given a super old snickers bar once by an elderly lady we knew, my son can vouch for the fact that the shelf life on these types of candies is not indefinite!
However, chocolate and nut based candies can be added to your food storage by packing them in jars and sealing them with a FoodSaver jar sealer or an oxygen packet. This will help them stay fresh much longer, although how long is uncertain as the jars at my house keep getting opened and eaten before a thorough test of shelf life can be concluded.
You may need to sneak it out of the sacks while the kids aren’t looking, but go ahead and use some of that excess Halloween candy to add a bit of sweet to your food storage.