By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Halloween is here, and while the focus leading up to the spooky event is on costumes and decorations, tonight, it’s all about the candy!

Americans are expected to spend about $2.5 billion dollars on candy this Halloween, or roughly $20 per household, according to IHS Markit.

I spent way more than that because we get a lot of trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood.

What I don’t want is $20 worth of candy in my house this time next week.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” has a few tips for getting rid of your Halloween candy that doesn’t involve eating it!

  1. Switch Witch- Some people call this a “Candy Fairy,” but I’ve seen the name “Switch Witch” on social media and I think that has a nice ring to it! Basically, entice your kids to give up a big pile of sugary goodness in exchange for a little toy. Doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Let them pick something out from the Dollar section of the store. You avoid the sugar high and hopefully, the new toy will entrain them for a bit while you start prepping for the next round of holiday madness.
  2. Candy Buy Back Program- Dentists obviously have a vested interest in make sure kids’ don’t overdo it on the candy. So some local dental office participate in a “candy buy back program” with the goal of getting excess candy “off the streets” so to speak. Some participating offices give cash, coupons, or dental hygiene products in exchange for the candy. Click here to find a participating office.
  3. Donate- There are a lot of charities out there that collect unwanted, but still good candy, and ship them out to troops overseas. Check out “Operation Gratitude,” “Soldier’s Angels” or “Operation Shoebox.” The Ronald McDonald House also accepts unopened candy after the holiday as treats for patients and their families.
  4. Get Crafty- With the holidays right around the corner, maybe some of that candy can be used on a gingerbread house… or yes, even as stocking stuffers. Hey, the candy doesn’t get stale that quickly!

What do you do with your excess Halloween candy?

Tell me on Facebook or Twitter.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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