Way back in February of this year, when I first started this blog, I wrote about our overstocked candy cupboard. I said at the time I was not going to buy any more candy until we had used up all the candy we already had. I have been mostly true to that promise, with a few minor exceptions:
- I bought a few boxes of heart shaped Junior Mints around Valentine’s Day, because I LOVE them. Some of the hearts have red centers instead of white, and I swear they taste ever so slightly better. They are only available around Valentine’s Day, which makes them extra special and covetable.
- I bought a bag of jelly beans in an after Easter sale. It was the only Easter candy I bought this year, and it was super cheap, so I didn’t feel too bad about it.
- At the Oregon Coast this summer, there is a great candy store that sells sea foam, which Ron and I both love, as well as some really awesome salted caramels. I would not have the patience to make either of those things myself, and we only go to the coast about once a year so we like to treat ourself to a couple pieces of specialty candy when we’re there There is also a great vintage candy store in Seaside called The Buzz On Broadway that sells a lot of candy I remember from my childhood that you can’t get in the grocery store anymore, and I bought two special candy bars while we were there, but I absolutely didn’t go nuts.
Other than that, while some more free candy found it’s way into our lives, we haven’t purchased any. We have been steadily eating the candy we have, or using it in recipes, like the Browned Butter Oatmeal Milky Way cookies I made, or the Peanut Butter S’mores Seven Layer Bars. We’ve shared it with other people, snuck it into the movies, and eaten it as snacks on road trips. I have avoided baking other desserts to force us to eat it when we were craving sweets. It has felt like an oddly laborious project.
It took almost eight months, but we have finally reached the end of our stash. We are down to one level box of Snickers, Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers, and Almond Snickers Bars.
I never thought I’d say it, but after eight months of steady grazing, I am officially sick of all of those candy bars.
Mind you, I am not sick of candy in general. Quite the contrary. I frequently gaze at bags of Peanut M&M’s and Almond Joys and Peppermint Patties in the supermarket. I’m sure Ron is secretly pining for Heath Bars, Whoppers, and Butterfingers. Those are the candies we truly LOVE. But whenever I reached for a bag, I reminded myself that we already had a ton of candy in the cupboard at home, and put it back on the shelf.
With Halloween coming up this week, and it being the end of the month and our food budget being down to the last penny, I asked Ron if we might just give away the rest of our candy stash to trick or treaters, even though they were full sized bars instead of fun sized. He surprised me by objecting. He said he was not sick of the candy, and was still eating it. This irked me, because I never see him eating it, and I am very aware of how much we have and how little the level changes, because I AM doggedly slogging my way through it. He put a couple Snickers and Milky Ways in the fridge this summer because he likes it when the caramel gets tough and chewy, and they are still in there, uneaten. I said that if he truly was eating it, I didn’t mind keeping it, but I damn well better start SEEING him eat it, because I was committed to not buying more until it was all gone, and I was completely sick of it and feel like I’ve been eating it mostly on my own. Not to mention he travels a lot and doesn’t eat at home as much as I do, so he doesn’t feel the same monotony I do around the contents of our cupboards. It’s not that I don’t like Snickers and Milky Ways, I do. This little exercise has just taught me that I don’t LOVE them, and therefore, they are not lagom for me. I’m sure Ron feels the same way if he really thought about it – because if the candy in our cupboard had been comprised of stacks of Heath Bars or Butterfingers, I can guarantee they would have been gone in about two weeks.
Eventually Ron relented, and we compromised. He kept four candy bars from our stash (along with the ones already in the fridge that he has probably forgotten about, but will totally claim he remembers after reading this), and agreed that we can give the rest away for Halloween. Then I went to the store and bought two fun sized bags of candy for $5 – a bag of Butterfingers for Ron, and a bag of Junior Mints for me, with the agreement that we will start by handing out all the full sized candy bars, and then break into the fun sized bags as backup if needed. I think we are both secretly hoping we only have about 20 trick or treaters (entirely possible in our neighborhood), because that is how many full sized candy bars we have, and then we can happily eat the “leftover” bags of fun sized candy that are the kinds we truly love.
I have no worries that the Butterfingers and Junior Mints will be gone by mid-November, making room again to buy more small amounts of only our very favorite stuff. You would think opening a cupboard and seeing it so bare would make me feel stressed about not having enough to eat, but the exact opposite is true. I actually feel less stressed and totally content, because when I open the cupboard, everything I see is something I can’t wait to eat.
And the side benefit? We are going to be the cool Halloween house that gave out the BIG treats this year. WINNING!