How to Avoid Halloween Trick or Treaters

Not everyone enjoys giving out candy.

It’s fun seeing the little ones come to the door, but how about those 6 foot 5 inch tall teens with the big shoulders and scary voices? Not everyone can afford to shell out $15 or $20 on candy for the tricksters. Maybe you have to get something done or have to be away from home on Halloween, or have a sleeping baby you don’t want woken up.

Whatever your reason, you have decided to try to avoid those trick or treaters this year, but how can you? First think about focusng on what your primary objective is and deal with that instead of trying to avoid this holiday tradition altogether.

If you are just trying to save money, there are other ways to do this. Here are a few:

  • Wait until just before Halloween to buy the treats. My hubby usually likes to buy the candy he likes and starts getting it way before Halloween. Of course we eat it and have to go buy more!
  • Buy the least expensive treats and use those coupons. You don’t have to give out chocolate (or even candy for that matter).
  • Open only one bag at a time and return unused bags. Keep your receipt!
  • Don’t eat the candy yourself!


If you have other things to do, do them somewhere besides home!

If you think your kids or your dogs will be disturbed by the trick or treaters put on some white noise in their rooms so they won’t hear the doorbell.

If you truly just want to avoid or discourage trick or treaters at your door, here are some ideas I’ve seen put forth.

Live in an inconvenient spot.

We have had one (read that ONE) trick or treater in the 25 years we have lived in our current home. We live along a state highway with no shoulders or sidewalks and the houses are acres apart. What kid wants to walk long distances for treats? What parents would allow their kids to walk on a dangerous highway?

Lights out.

It has become tradition to turn your porch light off if you aren’t participating in Halloween. One web site even suggested setting up an automated timer that turns light OFF when movement at the door occurs. Usually just turning your outside lights off will do the trick. Kids won’t usually bother if they think no one will answer.

Most kids won’t bother with tricks at a dark house, they will just hasten off to the next one. Its all about who can get the most candy – right? Even for the teens. Why else would they take pillow cases and drive to multiple neighborhoods barely dressed in costume?

Scary sounds.

Dad used to set up his reel to reel tape player outside and put on a tape with really scary sounds on it. He thought it was fun, but I’m sure it may have scared away some of the kids.

Give yucky treats.

If you live in a tight neighborhood, select the least favorite treats around to give to kids and let the word travel via the kid grapevine. One site suggested starting with tooth brushes! Personally I think that this might result in some tricks by the tweens or teens! I’d just opt to give the cheap candy from a dish next to the front door with a sign that says ‘Help yourself’.

Make the kids perform.

When I was a kid (in the 1950’s) kids were expected to trick AND treat. We had to come into each house and do a ‘trick’ – like tell a joke or short story, sing a song or some other kind of entertaining thing before we got that treat. Do this and you won’t get many repeat visitors these days!

Hire help.

Pay an older neighbor kid to sit outside and hand out the treats for you. Of course, this won’t help you save any money on treats but it might help you avoid those tricks.

Use peer pressure.

If you have a tween or teen, be sure to let them know that property damage (whether from egging, tp-ing or other) is a crime and that he or she should not participate and should discourage their fellows from it as well. Sometimes the tricks are done by the kids you know, the ones your kid hangs with.

Join the fun.

Why avoid the fun? Lock up the house, sit on the front porch with a cooler of beer or some hot toddy’s and warm your hands at the fire pit. Let the kids come! You are having fun.

I hope you don’t use any of these ideas (except maybe the last one), and instead join in the fun – its only once a year, don’t be a Halloween scrooge!


How to Avoid Halloween Trick or Treaters — 10 Comments

  1. Mr. Frugalwoods and I definitely join in the fun of Halloween :). We dress Frugal Hound up and set out lawn chairs with our neighbors to hand out candy. I usually buy the candy at Costco, which is a pretty good deal.

  2. I miss Halloween when I was a kid (1960’s). It was all about cute. Now it seems to be all about gruesome. I just don’t get it and I’d rather not partake. Yep, I’m that Halloween Grinch …

  3. I always buy candy I don’t like so that I won’t eat it. We’re usually out trick or treating with out kids, so we just leave a big bowl out front!

  4. We live in an apartment so haven’t done Halloween at all. We’ll be in our new house so maybe we’ll give out candies to kids this year. We’ll see. Interesting tips on how to avoid Trick or Treaters. May have to use some of these tips. 😉

  5. I love trick or treating with my kids, but sadly that means that we aren’t able to hand out treats! I think this year we may put a large bucket of candy out and let them pick. That may not work for everyone, but we live on a military base, so we’re pretty safe to do it. lol

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