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Do you want to be the “cool house” this Halloween, or do you want your house to be egged? There are plenty of coupons out there that will make even the “good candy” affordable. But resist the urge to use coupons for things that kids just don’t want. Please.

One of the most universally reviled candies – more of a trick than a treat – are Mary Janes. Sure, the candy has its fans (presumably), but do you really know any kid who will pass up chocolate in order to get some odd brown taffy stuck in their teeth? An unscientific survey by the Today show last year found that Mary Janes were the least favorite Halloween candy of all. The Huffington Post agrees: “Molasses and peanut butter flavored taffy. Yeah, sounds like every kid’s ideal candy. Why not make Brussel sprout flavored candies for next year?” The candy’s maker has issued a coupon for $1 off 2 bags of Mary Janes (no longer available). It’s even in PDF format, which means you can print and use as many as you’d like, if you dare. The coupon is also good for other things that kids hate, like Clark bars, Necco wafers and something called “Zombie Food”. The coupon is good til November 7th, so you can use it on half-priced leftover Halloween candy after the holiday is over. Just save it til next year – it’s not like Mary Janes and Necco wafers are going to get any staler than they already taste.

Next on the Today show’s list of least-liked candy is candy corn. Yet unlike the much-maligned Mary Janes and Necco wafers, candy corn has leagues of passionate defenders. Some simply love it. The “Serious Eats” food blog calls it “the most polarizing candy of all.” It’s also apparently not strictly a Halloween candy. Last month, candy corn maker Brach’s issued a coupon on Coupons.com for $1.50 off “any two Brach’s bagged products (not valid on holiday candy).” It’s no longer available to print, but you may still have one if it hasn’t expired yet. The coupon caused a lot of confusion – exactly what non-holiday Brach’s candy would anyone care to buy just as stores were beginning to put up their Halloween candy displays? If you couldn’t use it on candy corn, that would be like Hallmark putting out a coupon in December and saying it was good on anything except Christmas cards. On its Facebook page, Brach’s clarified that candy corn is considered a “fall” product, not a “holiday” product, so the coupon would be accepted on candy corn after all. But good luck explaining that to your skeptical cashier.

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Of course, an alternative to using coupons to buy candy, is just giving out actual coupons. McDonald’s latest Halloween coupon booklet, available in stores for $1, contains four coupons each for a free hamburger, free small vanilla cone, free bag of apples and free small apple juice or white milk. Again, this is a polarizing treat. Some kids love it, others warn against it. Ranker.com rates it among the top ten worst Halloween treats. “Resist the urge to give out coupons,” the site advises, “because kids don’t CARE. They want their treats, and they want them now.” On a random review site, one McDonald’s customer complained that her store wouldn’t accept her kid’s coupon anyway: “We were told that we could not use the coupon because ‘this is a Halloween coupon and it ain’t Halloween no more.'”

Lastly, the coupon-related “treat” that’s perhaps most likely to get your house egged or TP’d – a coupon for a free American Dental Association-approved video game called “Plants vs. Zombies”. As part of its “Stop Zombie Mouth” campaign, the ADA says the video game coupons “can be given away to trick-or-treaters as a tooth-friendly alternative to candy.” The coupons are available to print here, in sheets of eight, and they’re all identical. So handing these out is one step above scribbling down the coupon code on a scrap of paper and shoving that into a kid’s treat bag. At least it’s not a coupon for a toothbrush. But it’s close.

If you want actual, good coupons for actual, good candy, many printables that were available have already disappeared. But here are a few that remain. Note that the Mary Janes coupon is not among them. Your neighbors’ kids will thank you.

$1.00 off on any 2 MARS Halloween Bags
$1.00 off 2 Skittles, Starburst or Life Savers
$2.00 off any two (2) REACH Toothbrushes (that is a joke!)

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