Survey: 78 percent of parents admit they steal their kids' Halloween candy

Posted at 7:41 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 08:42:25-04

With Halloween about a week away, here's something kids should know.

Seventy-eight percent of admit to stealing their kid's Halloween candy, according to a survey from, cashback website.

When asked on average, how much of their child's candy haul do they keep for themselves, here's how surveyed parents responded:

  • 58 percent of parents say they keep 10 percent of the earnings
  • 24 percent of parents say they keep 25 percent of the earnings
  • 12 percent of parents say they keep 50 percent of the earnings

To take things a step further, 28 percent of parents admit to eating more candy than their own kids.

According to the survey, here are their favorite sweets to swipe:

  • Reese's
  • Kit Kats
  • Milky Way
  • Three Musketeers
  • Candy Corn

The survey polled a cross-section of 3,099 adults age 18 and older on their Halloween spending habits.

With the cost of costumes being the biggest expense, 72 percent also admitted to re-wearing costumes to save money. About 66 percent of parents spent $50 or less for costumes, while 27 percent of parents spent $51 to $100.

As far as the overall cost of Halloween, for example candy, costumes and decorations, here's how much parents spend:

  • $51 to $100 (31 percent)
  • $101 to $200 (28 percent)
  • Less than $50 (21 percent)
  • $201 to $500 (18 percent)

TopCashback shopping expert Rebecca Gramuglia offers these tips to help you save money this Halloween:

Make your own.

A haunting costume doesn’t need to burn a hole in your wallet. See where you can cut costs by creating your costume with DIY tricks. Whether you use clothes you already have and sew something together, play with lipstick to create a bloody vampire effect instead of buying nasty fake blood or have a crafty relative who can help, a homemade costume cost you next to nothing (and it also makes an impression). Plus, your kids can join in on the fun by adding glitter, drawing on t-shirts and making rips in clothes for the costumes.

Host a costume swap.

Let's be honest, we’re all guilty of purchasing a costume with the intention of only wearing it once and then retiring it to a big bin with all the other forgotten Halloween costumes. This year consider trading with a friend. As long as you weren’t partying it up together last year, no one will notice. And even if you were, make a joke about it and have fun!

Re-use decorations.

Halloween decorations can be cute, scary or both! But don’t feel pressured to buy another pumpkin tablecloth or fall wreath for your door every year. Instead, store all of your decorations in a dedicated “Halloween” bin/container so you can re-use them for the following years. However, if your decorations have seen better days, try searching sale sections of home goods and craft stores at the end of October or early November to score a scary-good discount for next year.

Stack the savings.

So you found the perfect accessory for your Halloween costume, but it’s full price. Look for ways to save and bundle coupons and cashback by using a rebates site like

Shop at thrift/discount stores.

Why pay more than you have to? Whether it’s candy, Halloween baskets for trick-or-treating or even costume accessories, don’t rule out your favorite places to save! Thrift shops, for example, are full of costumes and decorations for little to nothing for all your DIY needs at rock-bottom prices. If you’re in the need of some spooky goodies, stop by Target, Walmart, local grocery store and dollar stores to find seasonal bargains on all your holiday necessities.