Last updated: February 19. 2013 12:52PM - 648 Views

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Since the obesity level in the United States is very alarming with an estimated one in three kids suffering, parents are looking for ways to encourage healthier lifestyles. A good place to start is to decrease the amount of candy this Halloween. But then what do kids get excited for around Halloween ?

A very inexpensive idea to offer the miniature ghosts and goblins this Halloween is coloring packages. Purchase a Halloween coloring book at the dollar store and a few boxes of crayons. Start by ripping out three sheets of coloring paper and wrapping them with orange ribbon as well as wrapping four crayons from the large box. You can make up to 50 of these treats for under $5.

Halloween pencils and stickers can also be a fun and inexpensive treat for kids. My kids, like many, are also huge fans of temporary tattoos, especially if they are of skeletons. Tattoos are very cheap and can be found at stores like AC Moore and Michael's.

Another great idea is to give pre-packaged snacks like granola bars, fruit snacks, dried fruits, hard sugar-free candy or bagged pretzels. They all have a long shelf life for storage. Avoid making goodie bags for each child by empting treats into a large bowl, which will limit the amount you are giving to each child and help save money.

One of my favorites is coupon booklets available to purchase at fast food restaurants. Wendy's and McDonalds offer Halloween coupon booklets for only $1 and offer coupons for healthy snacks like apple slices and milk. At McDonalds, the $1 donation will get you 12 coupons for free hamburgers, ice cream cones, apple slices and milk jugs. They don't expire until Dec. 31. The Wendy's book contains 10 coupons good for a free Jr. Frosty valid Nov. 1 through Feb. 1, 2012. These coupons are terrific to have in the car for a quick snack.

If your kids get a ton of Halloween candy then why not earn some cash from it? Just bring a bag full of candy to Orthodontic Specialists, located at 233 Main St., Blakely, and they will give $5 to each child or adult for each bag brought in by Nov. 30. All the Halloween candy collected will be sent to our local troops in Afghanistan. Now, that's a great deal. You can find other candy buyback programs at www.halloweencandybuyback.com/.

Of course, Halloween just isn't the same without a little bit of candy, but offering the above treats as additional goodies can help adjust the amount of candy that kids will receive. If you are looking to still give some candy, think about purchasing miniature size and possibly sugar free-candies.

Do you have creative alternatives to Halloween candy? Share it with us at facebook.com/golackawanna. And for all printable coupons and updated daily deals, visit BucktownBargains.com

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