Here’s How to Maximize Your Halloween Candy Haul, According to Expert Trick-or-Treaters

Want to bring home more of the good stuff this year? These middle-school Machiavellis share their spooky secrets.

image via (cc) flickr user adwriter

Every Halloween as a young kid I faced the same dilemma: How do I get the most candy for the least amount of work? After all, the more time spent outside trick-or-treating, the less time spent inside, enjoying my spoils, inevitably to the point of nausea.

To maximize intake, my friends and I would pool our collective neighborhood expertise, mapping out the most efficient routes to the houses with the best offerings, while skipping anyone who’d burned us in the past with boxes of raisins (not a candy) or orange circus peanuts (barely even a food). By the time we were in sixth grade, we considered ourselves experts—able, we thought, to divine optimal candy hauls by the quality of a house’s jack-o’-lantern alone. But, after watching this video from Lifehacker, I’m forced to admit that, at best, my friends and I were amateurs when it came to bringing home the good stuff. Costume changes, fake cash, and something called “the rodent rouse”—these middle-school Machiavellis have upped the trick-or-treating game. Fortunately, they’re also eager to share the secrets of their success…

In fact, the more kids pull out all the stops with their trick-or-treating, the more jaw-dropping (or, I should say, tooth-rotting) their annual haul actually becomes. It’s estimated that kids this year will shove anywhere from 4,800 to 7000 calories into their mouths on Halloween night alone, putting their caloric intake at or above the insane amount that action superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson consumes in order to achieve his nearly impossible musculature and physique.

Depending where you are, of course, your confectionery options may be influenced by regional taste. For example, Utah inexplicably favors Nerds candy, while Minnesota and Hawaii—two states with seemingly nothing else in common—each boast the most 100 Grand lovers, according to an Influenster poll of over 40,000 Halloween candy connoisseurs. So, while the above trick-or-treat tips might help improve one’s overall quantity of candy, there’s no guarantee you’ll be bringing home something you actually want.

And that, for us Halloween candy lovers, is truly horrifying.

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