The Inexplicable Shame of Buying Discount Holiday Candy

One of my favorite Halloween traditions occurs well after the holiday itself: trolling for discount confections.

In the days following October 31 I hit drugstores, supermarkets, craft supplies shops, et cetera in the hopes of scoring some reduced-price bags of fun-size Snickers or pumpkin-shaped Peeps. But along with the sense of triumph I feel in securing these bargains, there's also just a little bit of shame. And a touch of paranoia.

I know I'm not the only one who engages in post-holiday binge shopping. For goodness's sake, what's more American than going to the mall the day after Christmas?

But when I buy discount Halloween goodies I always feel the need to say to the clerk, "You know, I'm not gonna wait and use this next Halloween," lest he or she think I am the cheapest person on earth. Because there is, I admit, that temptation. Although I don't actually think I could have a bag of autumn-colored M&M's in my pantry and not touch them for an entire year (especially around April, when I tend to get nostalgic for fall), I do wonder -- all right, I admit it -- I strongly believe that they would probably be perfectly fine. I mean, do you know how many preservatives are in that shit?

If I did make a tradition of bulking up on Halloween supplies 365 days out from the holiday, what kind of person would I be? A savvy shopper who beats the system? A skinflint that serves potentially stale candy to trick-or-treaters? A tasteless food blogger who is happy with low-grade chocolate as long as it's in orange and black packaging?

Maybe all of the above. Readers, weigh in. Do you (shamelessly) buy discount candy and use it for next year's holiday?

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