Budget Friendly Allergen Free Halloween Treats That Don’t Suck

For the most part, we all know that Halloween is about the C-A-N-D-Y, but it can never hurt to have a few options for those kids who don’t have a sweet tooth. I’ll have to admit, that even when I was little, I was always delighted to receive goodies that were not the typical fun-sized chocolate bar. Houses that offered gum, stickers, or the JACKPOT, a whole can of pop, were always my personal favourite.

These days there are also those wee ones who have an array of food allergies that prevent them from enjoying many of the popular teats. As a lactose-intolerant gal, I totes get it. Still, there’s no reason they can’t also have some super fun goodies to score while trick-or-treating, eh?

First Up, Sweet Treats

I was walking through the aisles of the grocery store, looking for something that was nut free and gluten free but still something that would be fun for the kids to get.


I spotted these hilarious “Dinos and Sharks” fruit snacks and they checked a bunch of the must-haves for allergen-sensitive kiddos: no artificial flavor or synthetic colours and they’re gluten free. Oddly enough I’m also kinda pleased that they’re a product of Canada – no idea why though. I got them from a German grocery chain in an American city!

These were $2.99 for 24 packs.

Favourite Characters

It’s been a few years since my babysitting and swim coaching days so I’m, admittedly, a wee bit removed from kiddie culture. Still, I know it’s a generally safe rule of thumb to go with characters that seem to have recent movies.


Here we’ve got a great mixture of random fun stuff, including:

  • Spider-Man magic towel
  • Notepad with the chick from Frozen – the one with the ice queen powers
  • Basketball iron-on patch
  • 3 Trolls pens – opened to make 3 individual treats
  • Minions sticker game thing
  • A bunch of glowstick bracelets (15) – opened but not pre-snapped
  • Gel cling of the less badass sister from Frozen
  • Shopkins Gel Cling
  • 2 Shopkins erasers – undecided if these should be split up or not

So, here’s the inside scoop: I got all these new-in-package, unopened and unused from…..Goodwill! Bet ya didn’t see that coming!

Some of the thrift stores around Baltimore have a good selection of new, overstock products from stores like Target. This one had a bin of goodies for 57¢ each! It took some digging but I think I have a jackpot of goodies for Halloween!

That makes $5.13 for 25 treats.

Other Inexpensive Non-Sucky Suggestions

  • Halloween pencils
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Bubbles
  • Plastic fangs
  • Bouncy balls

Of course, I have a bag of fun-sized chocolate for the traditionalists.

What allergy-sensitive treats to suggest for those on a budget?







Halloween? Alriiiiiight!

Any Bob’s Burgers fans? I think it might be my favourite show – so many puns!

Obvi, I had to go out for Halloween this year as the fabulous Linda Belcher. Fortunately, it was easy to persuade my partner to join me as her curmudgeonly hubby, Bob.

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You might notice that I’m not just “regular” Linda, but that I’ve added a little extra accoutrement in the chest area. THAT’S RIGHT! I’m Linda from the “spice rack” episode!

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Here’s a Scary Story about Bats

Happy Halloween!

Everyone have a good costume ready? Something scary? Maybe a vampire? Or a bat?

For a long time we’ve saddled bats – the sweetest nocturnal critters ever – with a decidedly undeserved reputation as ghoulish, creepy, and evil. I suppose we can blame Dracula, or the fact that they sometimes live in cold, dark caves, or maybe we can say it’s because they’re creatures of the night.

Regardless of their stigma from days past, I think we all know that, in reality, bats perform a formidable service for our ecosystem. Primarily insectivores, bats feast on my least-favourite pests like moths and wasps (the real villains, if you ask me). Truly, bats are the best!


Here’s Where it Gets Spooky

The scary truth is that we’re remarkably close to losing another species of these dark-winged devils altogether.

In New Brunswick, Canada, a once robust population of brown bats has been decimated by a fungus known as white-nose syndrome, which grows over their faces while they hibernate in the winter. Headlines have declared that we’ve lost over 99 percent, dropping the numbers from 7,000 to only 22. (source)

7,000 to 22.  7,000 to 22.  

If those numbers don’t give you nightmares, I don’t know what will.

Scarier still is the fact that the fungus appears to be moving westward with predictions that it will inevitably appear in the Prairies before a solution is found. (source)

It’s both sad and terrifying to watch our list of endangered animals grow and grow. I get chills down my spine whenever those animals are later switched to the extinct list. It’s so disheartening.

Bat populations are being affected across North America. In Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Fund is currently promoting efforts to help bats but please look into your local, regional conservation efforts. Whether you can adopt a bat or build them a house, just remember that these furry fellas aren’t the evil creatures they’re made out to be – they’re darlings, not demons – and they need our help.

Interested in other environmental issues? View this post and many others at www.greenphonebooth.com where I post as Mindful Echo.