Was Buying Our Halloween Candy At Costco A Good Deal?

We realized last year that we need quite a bit of Halloween candy.  Fall camping at many campgrounds in Michigan means that they set things up for Halloween, with campers decorating their RVs and campsites.  There are Halloween based activities for the kids, and of course trick or treating.

Least year was our first time at the nearby park, and we realized quickly how big this was.  We took about 9 bags of candy and it was gone in a flash.  Our kids came back with an enormous haul, which let us pretty much have enough to hand back out on the actual Halloween back at our house.

This past weekend was our planned trip, and this time we decided to be more prepared.  We doubled our purchase of candy, getting the equivalent of 18 bags.  I say equivalent because we bought it from Costco, where the bag sizes (like everything else) is bigger.  Much bigger.  We purchased two bags, each roughly 90 ounces.  One bag had candy based around chocolate, and the other was more the sugary sweet candy.

I decided to take a look to see if we got a deal or not.

Most bags of candy sold for the purposes of Halloween giveaway is around 10 ounces, so that was my assumption.

At Costco, we purchased two bags, each around 90 oz. each.  That gave us 180 oz. of candy, or approximately 18 bags.

Costco:
Total Price: $28.58 ($14.99 and $13.59)
Ounces of candy: 182 ounces
Cost equivalent per 10 ounce bag: $1.57

Random check of other prices:

Not on sale bag at Meijer: $3.39
On sale at Walgreens: $1.99
On sale at Kroger: $1.50
Amazon (equivalent pricing): $3.24

So, with doing a random check, Costco came in 2nd, a few pennies more expensive than the sale price available at Kroger.

However, if given the choice I would still pick Costco.  Here’s why:

  • No quantity requirements (except for it being Costco) – For the Kroger deal, you had to buy the candy in multiples of four.  Meaning, if we were hard and fast to our 18 bags of candy, we would either have to get two bags less (16) or two extra bags (20). If you’re buying that many bags, chances are you can be flexible here, but there’s always…
  • Availability – This is probably the key one for me.  I was basing the price comparisons by what Kroger advertised in their circular.  But, I’ve seen deals like this before and more times than not, when I go to the store to grab the candy, there’s an empty spot on the shelf where the candy was that other lucky buyers already purchased (or three bags, just enough to where you can’t get the deal).  You can go track someone down to ask if there’s more in the back, but if anybody has ever gotten anything other than a shake of the head, you’ve been luckier than me.   You could try a rain check, but who wants to chance them not getting more, and then having to rush out last minute, and settle for being the house that gives out the little wrapped pieces of gum that lose their flavor after 3.7 seconds.

Purchasing candy at Halloween isn’t for everybody. If you need less than the equivalent of nine bags, chances are it’s not the place for you.  But, if you do need Halloween candy in bulk, I would recommend Costco without giving it a second thought.

Readers, where do you purchase your Halloween candy?  How do you sniff out deals?

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10 thoughts on “Was Buying Our Halloween Candy At Costco A Good Deal?

  1. I think it is always worthwhile to check prices at Costco. I find some items at he same price at Target. At Target I get an additional 5% rebate. Halloween candy is as god example as any for price comparison.

  2. Wow, that is a ton. We moved in to a new neighborhood and was one of just a handful of houses for 5 years. No one came by. Last year we had about 200 so one to two bags is good for us. My sister has a store at the mall and they hand out candy that night and need about 2000-2500 and they buy in bulk at a local grocery store which is cheaper than the bags. Handing out last years candy and leftover valentines candy still works….right 🙂

  3. Thanks to Costco for having cheap prices compare to other store. This is really a big help for us for buying cheap Halloween costume for our kids. I will definitely share this information to my friends.

  4. I like the comparison! We’ve never done Halloween candy handouts but the kids are pushing it this year. Those candy bags from Costco are gigantic. I used to purchase those to pass out candy as rewards for my kids at school. They’d usually last awhile.

  5. Haven’t done more than a few Halloween handouts since the kid was actually a kid.

    Around here, it’s impossible to estimate how many kids are going to come through: one year you’ll have dozens, and the next year, just a couple. I don’t like being stuck with a ton of candy, which I don’t eat and just have to throw away. Since I think it’s unhealthful, I really don’t feel comfortable donating it to the Goodwill — would rather donate to a food bank so actual food could be provided to the poor.

    These days I turn off the lights, take the dogs, and go somewhere else for the evening.

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