10 Ways To Use All That Halloween Candy

Halloween candy

Halloween is just around the corner, and soon kids will begin the exciting tradition of choosing a costume and planning their routes for trick or treat night.

And while parents may question whether they’ve bought enough candy for the parade of trick or treaters, most kids will come home with enough candy to feed a small country.

Whether your kids eventually get burnt out on candy, or you’re worried they actually will eat it all, here are some creative ways you can use all of that leftover Halloween candy:

  1. Freeze for future use. Place a bag of candy in the freezer and save it for special treats, such as toppings for ice cream sundaes, a garnish for a birthday cake, or to satisfy a future sugar craving.
  2. Hide a stash in your car. Use it if you need something small to hold you or your kids over as you run them to back-to-back practices and activities. It can also be used on longer car trips to reward your kids for good behavior, getting along with their siblings in the car, etc.
  3. Save it for the upcoming holidays. Place a bowl of candy corn on the Thanksgiving table, and use other unwrapped candies to decorate a gingerbread house at Christmastime.
  4. Math lessons. Reinforce math facts with Skittles, M&Ms, candy corn, whoppers and other individualized candies. Candy bars that break into sections, such as Hershey’s, Kit Kat, and Mr. Goodbars, do a great job of illustrating fractions.
  5. Donate to a charity. Check with your local churches, soup kitchens, women’s shelters and food pantries. Many will take donations for the clients they serve.
  6. Donate to the military. Our troops overseas love getting care packages, especially those containing sweet treats from home. You can donate directly to organizations such as Operation Gratitude, who accepts candy donations and sends it to those who serve our country.
  7. Participate in a candy exchange. Many dentists participate in a Halloween Candy Buyback program, where they will give kids $1 for every pound of candy they donate. Candy donations are then sent to troops overseas.
  8. Use it for gifts. Drop a few in a gift bag, fill a coffee mug, or attach it to a gift box. Your children could also send a care package to their grandparents, or other family members who don’t have kids that trick or treat.
  9. Fill a piñata. Do you have a child with a fall or winter birthday? Use the candy to fill a piñata that the birthday kids can help destroy and eat.
  10. Bring it to work. If you work in an office, take it to the break room or place a bowl by the coffeepot. It will be gone in no time.

All of us at Rivers Insurance Group wish you and your family a fun, safe and sugar-filled Halloween.




Image source: Creative Commons, Luke Jones

Why Choose In-Network Providers

‘Tis the season for open enrollment – it begins on November 1 and runs through January 31. To help you navigate through the upcoming changes, Rivers Insurance Group is launching a Health Insurance: What’s New for 2016 blog series to keep you updated and answer your questions.



Health Insurance: What’s New for 2016

Why Choose In-Network Providers

When choosing your plan, you’ll see different deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance amounts for providers who are considered “in-network” and for those who are considered “out-of-network.”

What do these terms mean and why are they so important?

In-Network Providers

In-network providers have adjusted their rates and agreed to accept your plan’s contracted rate for services. The contracted rate includes the portion your insurance company will pay, and the portion that you’ll have to pay.

In-network providers can include:

  • Physicians
  • Hospitals
  • Specialists
  • Pharmacies
  • Labs
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Radiology facilities

Out-of Network Providers

Out-of-network providers have not agreed to pay a set rate with your insurance company, so they may charge more for the same service. Your plan will likely require higher out of pocket charges for providers who are not part of their network. You’ll need to pay the difference between the provider’s regular fees and their insurer’s allowed amount. If your plan doesn’t cover out-of-network at all, the full cost is your responsibility.

Tips on Selecting Plans & Providers

When selecting your plan or scheduling health care, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Know your provider options. Your insurance plan works with a wide network of professionals to provide you with the care you need. Before you sign up for a plan, confirm the doctors you use are in-network.
  • Check before making an appointment. If you need to have labs drawn or an x-ray, check your plan for in-network providers before scheduling an appointment. Having these services done with an in-network provider could save you thousands of dollars.
  • Know your plan’s exceptions for emergency. Most plans pay the rate it normally would for seeing out-of-network doctors in emergency situations. The balance is usually yours to cover.
  • Consider Urgent Care. If you have a non-medical emergency that requires prompt but not immediate attention, look for an Urgent Care in your plan’s network. This could save you on out of pocket expenses, and help you avoid long emergency room waits.

Everyone shopping for health care plans should thoroughly review and understand the benefits and limits of each plan. If you have questions about coverage or need help choosing a plan that’s right for your and your family, contact Rivers Insurance Group at (614) 515-5236.