Save Money on Your Sweet Treats by Buying in Bulk

Candy used to be a delicacy, now it is a necessity. The average American consumes an astonishing 24.3 pounds of candy each year! Most of these sweet treats are enjoyed during the holidays. According to a recent survey conducted by the Nation Confectioners Associations, 89 percent of adults said they buy candy for special occasions.

Why sweets?

We use the word “treat” to describe candy because it is not something we encounter every day. When enjoyed in moderation, candy can help strengthen family and communal bonds. Don’t believe us? Think about all the holidays where sweets play a central role. There’s Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter, and Hanukkah.

Candy is distributed in one of three ways: in a dish, handed out, or given in a box, often of chocolates. Keeping candy in a dish may mean you have a sweet tooth, or grandchildren. These shoppers are regular buyers who often have candy on their weekly shopping list. The only problem is that the price of sweets has skyrocketed in recent years.

Only about a year ago, Hershey, the nation’s largest candy maker, announced that they would be raising prices by nearly 10 percent. They were actually ahead of the curve. The entire candy industry is facing huge cost increases for basic ingredients-the cost of sugar has more than doubled in the last year. The price of peanuts and peanut butter has also increased.

Most industry insiders believe that the price of candy will continue to rise until the ingredients candy makers use become more plentiful. Unfortunately, ingredients like sugar, cocoa, and coffee are short supply, which does not bode well for the average candy lover.

How to save

Every day, millions of Americans go out of their way and shop at wholesale stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. These stores offer deep discounts because they sell items in bulk quantities. So, instead of buying one package of Ramen noodles, you have to purchase and enormous box that contains 108 packs. Selling in bulk saves the store money on shelving and shipping. The same is true when it comes to candy.

Believe it or not, most candy was sold in bulk form in the old days. People could stop at the local general store and get a big bag of their favorite treats. The cashier would then weigh it to determine the tab. It was not until machines and automation took over the industry that individually wrapped candies caught on.

Because they require more time and energy to produce and they take up more space, these wrapped candies are always more expensive than the unwrapped varieties. Consumers are forced to pay for packaging, even if they don’t want to.

Buying loose candy used to be easy. Most supermarkets had a candy display stand in the sweets section that contained several clear plastic boxes filled with assorted treats. Customers could scoop out as much candy as they wanted and put it in a bag. It was sold by weight, just as it was in the past. Unfortunately, these display stands have disappeared from most supermarkets in recent years. There simply isn’t enough room for them. Therefore, most candy lovers are forced to buy the exorbitantly-priced wrapped variety.

One easy way to save beaucoup bucks on the sweets you crave is to buy them on the internet. Online sellers offer deep discounts over retail stores because they sell and ship items in bulk quantities. Shoppers can purchase their favorite treats by the pound or by the case, if the candy is wrapped. Most online candy sellers even offer shipping discounts for large orders!

When to buy

The great thing about candy is that it does not have a brief expiration date. As long as it is properly stored, most sweet treats can last for months, even years. Candy bars, for instance, can be frozen and then defrosted when needed. This gives frugal shoppers the ability to take advantage of seasonal or holiday sales.

The best time to buy bulk candy is shortly after a major candy-related holiday, like Easter or Halloween. Online sellers that are desperate to unload their leftovers will often offer them at fire-sale prices. The more candy a shopper buys, the more he will save. Look for sellers who offer shipping discounts for big orders.

When buying in bulk, it is important to get the most bang for your buck. Some shoppers actually overbuy just to get a good deal. This doesn’t make much sense, since the excess often goes to waste. In other words, only buy what you need. You will still save money.

Buying bulk candy from online sellers will help you satisfy your sweet tooth for less.

3 Sweet Treats You Can Make Using Your Grill

Everybody likes sweet treats. Add a unique smoky flavor to your dessert dishes by throwing them on the grill. These goodies will remind you of the delicious campfire treats everyone used to enjoy during childhood. Try these quick and easy grilled dessert recipes that kids and adults alike will enjoy:

Butterscotch-Covered Grilled Pineapples

What you need:

  • 2 pineapples, peeled, cored and sliced into 6 spears
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter plus 6 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt

In a small saucepan, heat 6 tablespoons butter, white sugar and nutmeg over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and brush pineapple pieces with the mixture. Cook pineapples on a pre-heated grill over medium heat, covered, turning occasionally until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place pineapples on a platter and set aside. Heat remaining 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan then add brown sugar and whipping cream. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Remove from heat then stir in vanilla extract and salt. Serve grilled pineapples with cream mixture and vanilla ice cream.

Honey Lemon Grilled Banana

What you need:

  • 4 bananas, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Splash of fresh orange juice

Place banana halves in a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Sprinkle with brown sugar, honey, lemon juice and orange juice. Wrap aluminum foil over bananas to create a packet. Place packet on a pre-heated grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat.

Grilled Mint and Cheese Peaches

What you need:

  • 4 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups soft goat cheese (chevre)
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey

In a small bowl, combine cheese, skim milk and honey. Set aside. Cook peach halves cut side down on a pre-heated grill over medium heat until grill marks appear, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place grilled peaches on a platter and fill each half with 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Garnish each peach with a mint leaf before serving.

Make something sweet and scrumptious using your grill for a more enjoyable backyard barbecue- try these healthy grilled dessert recipes that everyone will definitely love!

5 Edible Sweet Treat Favors to Give Away on Your Wedding

If you are trying to decide on the best wedding favor to give your guests on your wedding day, you can never go wrong with sweets. The custom of giving away small tokens of appreciation to wedding guests is a very old one, and wedding favors traditionally consisted of sugar cubes and sweet confections like sugared almonds and chocolate. These days, however, modern wedding favors have become diverse and can range from just about anything, from picture frames or candles to bonsai plants. But as much as you would like to be unique and unconventional with your theme, the classic practice of presenting sweet treats to your guests is one tradition you would certainly want to keep.

1. Chocolate bars
Saying “thank you” to the people who attended your wedding cannot get any yummier than with a bar of chocolate. Everybody loves chocolate and it is one of the most popular foods of all time.

One of the ways to make your chocolate wedding favor a sure hit is by using personalized candy bar wrappers. You can have your picture as a couple printed on the wrapper, together with your wedding date and other details. You can also have some love quotes or witty sayings related to marriage printed on the candy bar wrapper, just to amuse your guests while they munch on the chocolates during the reception program.

It is easy to do and fun at the same time. You can buy bite-sized chocolate bars in bulk, and then you can order your custom candy wrappers from online specialty sites. Simply wrap these over the chocolate bars and you have a personalized wedding favor to tickle your guests’ palates. The best thing about using personalized chocolate bar wrappers is that you can design it after your own wedding theme, and your guests can keep it long after the sweets are gone.

2. Lollipops
Lollipops aren’t just for kids, it’s also for kids-at-heart, especially during weddings! You can have heart-shaped lollies, monogrammed with your initials and the wedding date. Wedding lollipops come in a variety of colors and flavors, and you can have them in shapes that coordinate with your wedding’s theme, like butterfly-shaped lollipops for a garden wedding or seashell-shaped for a beach wedding.

3. Cookies
Cookies make for another great wedding favor treat. You can present them to your guests in personalized boxes or tin cans, again with your picture and wedding date, and just get creative in designing it and picking the colors. The decorative boxes or tin cans in which your cookie wedding favor came can be re-used by your guests for other purposes, like for keeping little trinkets or love letters.

4. Cupcakes
The idea of giving cupcakes as wedding favors stemmed from the fact that not all guests would have the chance to partake of the wedding cake, as some would be leaving the reception even before the cake-cutting part of the program.

Make sure that all your guests would have a delectable experience in your wedding by sending them home with mini cupcakes that match your wedding cake’s color design and flavor. Personalize it further by using custom-made cupcake wrappers with your wedding details on it.

5. Edible bouquets
Weddings abound in fresh blooms, so why not take it a step further and have edible bouquets as favors as well? Opt for fruit-flavored blooms to let you play more with colors, and have them designed after the bride’s bouquet to up the fun factor.

Whatever kind of sweet wedding favor you decide to give your guests on your wedding day, rest assured that everyone would surely enjoy the special treats you prepared. After all, there is nothing better than starting your wedded life off on such a sweet note.