Candy corn may be your best hedge against inflation this Halloween

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If you aren’t watching prices carefully when buying treats this Halloween, you could be left feeling tricked.

Anyone with a wallet knows that inflation has been abnormally high lately. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when consumer prices increased 9.1% from June 2021 to June 2022, it was the largest increase in costs in 40 years. That was the peak, and while prices have come down a little since June, they’re still high. In September, for instance, the price of everything — shelter, food, medical care and so on — was 8.2% higher than it was in September 2021.



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So, where does the cost of Halloween come into all of this? MoneyGeek analyzed Halloween candy, costume and decor prices from 2021 and 2022 to understand how much more expensive everybody’s favorite spooky holiday will be this year amidst increasing costs.

To learn more about how inflation is impacting the cost of Halloween in 2022, MoneyGeek gathered prices for candy, costumes and decor and analyzed how prices have changed over the past year. Here’s what we found:

  • Celebrating Halloween will be 7% more expensive this year, thanks to inflation. Candy will cost you 17% more, up $1 per pound.
  • For a family of four to celebrate, it could cost between $166–$401 for candy, costumes and Halloween decor. Individuals could pay up to $266.
  • Gummy bears and jawbreakers saw the largest price increases (20%), while candy corn and mini chocolate bars saw the smallest (15%).
  • To limit your overall candy spend to $40, MoneyGeek recommends giving each trick-or-treater two ounces of candy.

Which Aspects of Halloween Have Become More Expensive? All of Them

MoneyGeek analyzed the cost of costumes, candy and Halloween decorations currently being sold in stores across the United States and compared them to 2021 prices to learn how inflation has impacted these items.

Perhaps not surprisingly, costumes are the most expensive Halloween tradition. In 2022, the average family of four will spend between $86 and $184 on them. Candy had the highest percentage increase in inflation (17%), while Halloween decor had the lowest (3%).

All of these expenses add up. If you’re single and without kids, you can expect to pay around $266 if you are serving trick-or-treaters, purchasing a costume and decorating your home for the season, which is 7% more than you would have spent the year before.

The National Retail Federation reports that the number of consumers planning to participate in Halloween-related activities is consistent with pre-pandemic levels. However, planned spending is slightly down from 2021, when consumers expected to spend $103 per person; in 2022, the average consumer plans to spend $100.

However, what consumers hope to pay to celebrate Halloween and what they actually pay may end up being far different. MoneyGeek’s projections are significantly more expensive than what consumers believe they’ll pay, likely because of the higher costs of in-store prices for candy and costumes and the popularity of Halloween home decor.

Candy Inflation Analyzed

At 17%, inflation has hit the candy counter harder than any other Halloween category; this percentage far surpasses inflation rates for costumes and decor, which were 7% and 3%, respectively.

However, the price of candy didn’t increase uniformly. Our analysis found that you’ll pay more if you give out Haribo Gummy Bears or Jawbreakers — prices for both are 20% higher now than last year.

But while your jaw may drop at the cost of Jawbreakers, prices for other types of candy haven’t increased as much. For instance, Jolly Ranchers and Reese’s Pieces are 18% more expensive than last year. We found that Hershey’s Mini Chocolate Bars and Candy Corn had the smallest price increase from 2021 to 2022; those both went up 15%.

Halloween candy prices

How Much Candy Should You Serve Trick-or-Treaters?

If the average trick-or-treater consumes 1.2 lbs of candy on Halloween — a figure calculated by the Mayo Clinic — and visits 10 homes, MoneyGeek recommends doling out around two ounces of candy per visitor. That’s around the size of one bag of Sour Patch Kids or Reese’s Pieces per trick-or-treater.

That should help keep your trick-or-treating budget to around $40 for the evening, especially if you’re buying candy in bulk.

However, be sure to consider where you live before purchasing your holiday treats. Our estimate assumes that 50 trick-or-treaters will visit your house; if you live in a large subdivision where hundreds of children trick-or-treat, $40 may be more of an aspirational number than anything else. If you live in a quieter, smaller neighborhood or in housing where kids are less likely to visit — for example, an apartment — you may be able to get away with spending less.

You’ll also want to keep in mind that trick-or-treaters are more likely to flock to homes with more outdoor decorations, so you may be expected to dish out candy to many more visitors on Halloween if your home is well-adorned. But, hey — at least outdoor (and indoor) Halloween decorations are only 3% more expensive than last year.

How Families Can Save on Costs this Halloween

There is no getting around it: Halloween will be significantly more expensive this year than last. If your family tends to go all out for the holiday, you might have to tackle Halloween more carefully than usual. That might include utilizing a few savings strategies like the ones listed below.


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Shop for Bargains

You know the drill. Look for discounted candy. Flock to the stores that seem to have the best Halloween sales for costumes and decor. When possible, buy costume components and decor from secondhand shops.


Use What You Already Have

If possible, re-use old costumes, or get creative and put something together with clothing items you already own or can buy secondhand for cheap. Instead of decking out your home in new decor, get more mileage out of your old decorations.

Utilize Rewards Credit Cards

If you have rewards credit cards for what you spend at the supermarket or on Amazon or department stores, buy the candy from there and reap the rewards of your card’s benefits.

If you have a credit card with rewards for grocery spending, that’s likely what you’ll want to use. If you can get 3% or even 5% cash back on your Halloween candy, that will at least offset some of the financial pain of seeing the price of your beloved Jelly Belly Jelly Beans go up by 18%.

Double Check Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

At this, you’re probably thinking, “Right! We’ll jump right on that — wait, what?”


Look, you’re about to have swarms of children rushing up your driveway to your house. Halloween can be an accident-prone, crazy holiday, followed by holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or more periods where you may have neighbors, friends and families descending upon your home. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to re-examine your coverage and make sure you have the best home insurance plan to protect you if some litigious-happy person gets injured on your property.


MoneyGeek researched the cost of bulk candy, adult and kids’ costumes and indoor and outdoor Halloween decor and used the Wayback Machine to find 2021 prices for those same items to explore how costs changed from 2021 to 2022.

We used Candy Warehouse to source the prices of bulk candy; to research prices of costumes and Halloween decorations for the home, we used HalloweenCostumes.comParty CityMichael’sWalmart and Target. We researched product prices for 10 items per type.

For costumes, we analyzed prices for five kids’ costumes and five adult costumes.

We calculated the amount of candy needed for a family of four and 50 trick-or-treaters by using the Mayo Clinic average of 1.2 lbs of candy consumed on Halloween per person.

If you have any questions about our findings or methodology, please reach out to Melody Kasulis via email at

Full Data Set

The data points presented are defined as follows:

  • Product: Items we researched for each category.
  • Type: Category of item, either Candy, Costumes or Decorations.
  • 2022 Price: Prices recorded from online inventory.
  • Units: Number or amount of product.
  • 2021 Price: Researched using the Wayback Machine.
  • Price Change (%): Percentage change in price from 2021 to 2022.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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Love an old fashioned? These variations are perfect for spooky season


The idea to put whiskey, sugar, and bitters together was probably one of the earliest ways to enjoy whiskey, dating back to the late 1880s.

Some people say that it used to just be called the “whiskey cocktail” and that once the Manhattan (or another cocktail, depending on who you ask) came along that shifted to an “old fashioned whiskey cocktail” and later just an Old Fashioned. In parts of the Midwest an Old Fashioned is made with brandy, and if you’ve never tried the brandy variation (see below) it’s well worth your time.

The great thing about the Old Fashioned is that you can switch it up easily using different kinds of syrups or bitters, so have fun with it, and of course it doesn’t have to be consumed only one week of the year (though please contribute what you can to the cause if you have the means), or even just in autumn.

To get the recipe for the Elijah Craig Old Fashioned, and discover other fall charity cocktails, please click here.

Here are some fall-inspired Old Fashioned recipes to inspire your home mixology hobby (and don’t forget to freeze some large format ice cubes for them!). Cheers!




Recipe by Dammara Kovnats Hall, Founder & CEO of Jewish Cocktails

  • 2 oz. / 60ml Jim Beam Single Barrel (Double Gold, 2020 New York International Spirits Competition)

  • 1 oz./ 30 ml Pumpkin spiced simple syrup (recipe follows)

  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

  • 1 dash orange bitters

  • 1 large ice cube

  • Garnish: Cinnamon stick and orange twist

  • Stir all of the ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over 1 large ice cube. Express the orange twist over the drink, then gently rub the rim of the glass with the twist and place it into the drink. Add a cinnamon stick for an additional garnish.

Pumpkin spiced simple syrup

  • ½ C. / 113.4g cup water

  • ⅓ C. / 75.6g brown sugar

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 cloves

  • 2 pieces of freshly cut ginger

  • 1 nutmeg kernel cut in half (or you can use 1/2 teaspoon / 2 ¼ g powdered)

  • ⅓ C. / 75.6g cup pumpkin purée

In a small pot, combine water, brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add cinnamon sticks, cloves,bginger, nutmeg and pumpkin purée. Whisk all ingredients together and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain the mixture and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Related Slideshow: This 1730 restaurant is the oldest in the US


photo courtesy Dammara Kovnats Hall


Recipe by Heather Wibbels, Bourbon Women board member and The Cocktail Contessa

  • 1 ¾ oz / 52.5ml Wild Turkey Russell’s Reserve 10 year (Double Gold 2020 NYISC)

  • ¼ oz. / 7.5ml Ballotin chocolate whiskey

  • ½ oz./ 15 ml toasted marshmallow syrup (homemade or store-bought, recipe follows for homemade)

  • 16 drops Bittermen’s Xocolotl Mole chocolate bitters

  • 1 barspoon peated whiskey or mezcal

  • Garnish: torched marshmallow or s’more, or be extra and make a melted chocolate and graham cracker crust rim

Combine bourbon, chocolate whiskey, toasted marshmallow syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass with one large cube. Garnish with a torched marshmallow or a full-on s’more.

Toasted Marshmallow Syrup


Both Torani and Monin make this toasted marshmallow syrup to be used for coffee, cocktails, hot chocolate, desserts, etc.

Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Add 12 toasted marshmallows (toasted only, not completely charred). Heat until the marshmallows are melted, and all the sugar is dissolved. It will still look foamy and creamy from the marshmallows but should be fully liquid. Let cool fully. Strain through a metal sieve to catch the charred bits and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You may need to strain off the foam at the top of the syrup, it will make your cocktail cloudy. Or you could just serve it in a mug.



Cocktail Contessa


Recipe by Brian Petro, Smart Guy In A Tie

  • 1 oz./ 30 ml brandy

  • 1 oz./ 30 ml apple brandy

  • ½ oz./ 15 ml cinnamon brown sugar simple syrup (recipe follows)

  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

  • Glass: Old Fashioned

  • Ice:  Large cube (or sphere)

  • Garnish: Orange peel

Pour all of the ingredients over the ice ball in the Old Fashioned glass. Stir well until the glass is chilled and the ingredients are incorporated. Peel the orange, express it over the cocktail, then garnish and serve!

Says Petro: “Once I saw that brandy was on the table, I knew that was the direction I was heading. While whiskey was popular in the 19th century, brandy still had the hearts and minds of many people in the country. The cinnamon syrup was already made, and I will use any excuse I can get to play with brandy of all stripes. Splitting the brandy between apple and standard was my big jump, but there was some precedent. Does this make it “enhanced?” Maybe. But no one is losing any of the brandy goodness in this cocktail.

While lemon is traditional for a garnish, orange has just as much cache with the Old Fashioned. And it paired better with the apple and the cinnamon.

Brown sugar cinnamon simple syrup

  • .5 c./ 120 ml light brown sugar

  • .5 c./ 120 ml water

  • 3 3″/ 7.5 cm cinnamon sticks

First, put the cinnamon sticks in a small pot over medium heat. Heat the sticks until they are fragrant. Stir together the brown sugar and water until the sugar is incorporated. Then add the cinnamon stick and bring close to a boil. Once the water comes close to boiling, reduce the heat, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain out the cinnamon and cool.


Brian Petro/iStock


Recipe by Denise Petty, Tasting Room Manager, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co.

  • 1½ oz. / 45ml Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Cask Proof

  • ¾ oz. / 22.5ml saffron simple syrup (2:2 sugar:water, pinch saffron)

  • 3 drops of Liquid Gold bitters

  • Garnish: orange twist

Build in a rocks glass with ice and stir. Add orange twist for garnish.


MaximFesenko / iStock


Recipe by Lauren Strasser, assistant general manager, Bouquet Restaurant

  • 2 oz. / 60ml Elijah Craig small batch (Double Gold 2020 NYISC)

  • .5 oz./ 15 ml smoked simple syrup (recipe follows, or use regular simple syrup)

  • 2-3 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters

  • Sorghum syrup

  • Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt

  • Garnish: flamed orange peel

Start by lining an Old Fashioned glass with sorghum on 1/3 of the inside rim and sprinkle Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt on the sorghum. Place a large ice cube in the glass then add bourbon, simple syrup and bitters to the glass. Stir with a bar spoon or chopstick. Top with a torched orange rind.

Smoked simple syrup: Heat a smoker grill to 180º. Pour 2 cups granulated sugar and 2 cups water into a 13×9 pan and stir. Smoke for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


Courtesy Bouquet Restaurant


Recipe by Tory Pratt, founder of Pratt Standard Cocktail Co.

  • 2 ¼ oz. / 67.5ml Uncle Nearest 1820 whiskey (Double Gold 2020 NYISC)

  • ½ oz./ 15 ml Pratt Standard Cocktail Co. Earl Grey Vanilla Syrup

  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters

  • Cinnamon stick

  • Add bitters and syrup to the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass and swirl to combine. Pack the glass with ice and pour whiskey over ice. Stir gently around the inside of the glass, making little to no noise, for 15-20 turns of the barspoon. Garnish with cinnamon stick.


Pratt Standard Cocktail Co.


Recipe by Brandon “Habi” Habenstein, Beverage Director of The Kitchen & Bar at Bardstown Bourbon Company

  • 2 oz. / 60ml bourbon (Habenstein used Bardstown Bourbon Company Fusion Series #2 whiskey)

  • ½ oz./ 15 ml Apple Honey Syrup (recipe follows)

  • 3 dashes Hella Cocktail Co. Apple Blossom Bitters

  • Garnish: lemon Peel / cracked black pepper

Stir all ingredients except garnish in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass, garnish with lemon peel and a bit of black pepper.

Apple Honey Syrup

200g roughly chopped apples

100g white sugar

Combine apples and sugar in a bowl. Cover. Allow to rest 12-24 hours. Strain syrup from solids.

Next, make a honey syrup by combining equal parts honey and water.

Combine 2 parts of the syrup from the apples with the honey syrup. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (add to tea, other cocktails, as dessert topping, etc.).

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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