Here's How Long You Can Save Your Halloween Candy Before It Goes Bad

quavondo/iStock via Getty Images
quavondo/iStock via Getty Images / quavondo/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you'll be trick-or-treating this Halloween or buying discounted drugstore candy the day after, this is the season to pig out. It can be tempting to burn through your Halloween bag in one sitting, but if you exercise patience around the Reese's Cups now, you'll thank yourself later. These are the expiration windows you need to be aware of to stretch this year's Halloween haul into 2022.

According to , the Halloween treat with the longest lifespan is dark chocolate. The lack of dairy content in dark chocolate means it will last up to two years, while a regular Hershey's bar goes bad after eight to 10 months. Both chocolates can develop pale, chalky "blooms" over time, but this doesn't make it inedible; it just means the product is drying out.

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Hard candies and jelly candies like jelly beans stay good for up to a year, so you can keep them around until next Halloween. Softer candies like gum, candy corn, caramels, and peanut butter cups are good for roughly six to nine months. After that, it's time to take them out of your plastic jack-o'-lantern and toss them away.

The caveat for all the above products is proper storage. Loose candies degrade much faster than treats in sealed wrappers, so plan to finish your candy relatively soon after opening it. Keeping a bowl in a warm, sunny spot is also bad for candy. Try storing it in a dark, cool spot instead—like the back of a cabinet where the other members of your household won't find it.

[h/t Taste of Home]