The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

May 1, 2014

Finding discounted Easter candy is proving harder to do

Thursday, May 1, 2014 — I have to admit it ... the diet and I are currently in a mid-season crisis.

It’s like one of those Charlotte Hornet ... er, I mean Bobcats’ NBA playoff games with the Heat this week. Ever so close to pulling off the victory before defeat hands you a cold, bologna sandwich.

Speaking of cold bologna sandwiches, I’ve been watching what I eat more than ever. I’ve downloaded an app on my smart phone that’s great for counting calories. I’ve also been visiting the YMCA at 5:30 a.m. most days to get in about 50 minutes of swimming time. It’s when I’m usually still awake and besides, the older people there don’t make fun of me like the little kids do during the day because they can swim faster than me.

I’m still trying to master the doggie paddle. So I struggle on.

One of those daily struggles I’ve had to contend with recently involves what typically is the top three of holiday candies ... Easter candy. Just the angst of figuring out how to get some of those delicious chocolates into the diet without throwing it into hyperdrive over my daily calorie limit has caused me to burn 2-3 pounds away.

But then the holiday came. And there went those pounds I struggled so hard to shake, laughing at me as I willed myself to get all of those Cadbury Mini Eggs from the little sample bag into my mouth at once.

One thing I can say I accomplished was I waited until after Easter to partake in the deliciousness that is a chocolate bunny. I willed my way through a Sunday without taking a bite out of the huge peanut butter egg I picked up while visiting my dad over the holiday. I turned a deaf ear as my nephews gobbled down one delicious chocolate Easter egg after another while making the sounds of wild hogs slurping down their meal.

Nope. I was gonna wait until the best time of the year to enjoy those holiday candies ... which is when they go on sale the next day.

I could have probably written this column last week to give you some pointers on the finer details of enjoying discounted holiday candies on the actual day of the holiday. But then my secret tips for success would be exposed and my odds of getting just the items I wanted would go down even further.

So you can clip this piece and save it for when the Halloween candy goes on sale or when the Mecca of holiday candies is half off ... which would be Christmas.

It’s already tough enough to try to get those candies I enjoy so much without having to pay full price for them. I don’t consider myself cheap, but have you seen the prices for some of those delicious chocolate bunnies or how much it costs to buy a six-pack ... of Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs?

It’s a crime, I tell you.

The trick I always relied on is knowing when to march into Wal-Mart or what time is good to slide into the 24-hour drug store to grab the discounted goodies. There is a certain point and time early in the morning that the remaining candy not sold goes on sale. Usually it’s 50 percent off but sometimes you can get really lucky, depending on how much there is.

I really hope this doesn’t sound sad so far.

At any rate, since my other job keeps me there until 3-4 a.m., it was normally a breeze to get the candy I wanted. All I practically had to do was walk into the store and have my pick of choices.

From there, I could put the candy in my refrigerator or, better yet, freeze it to enjoy one hot summer day. You haven’t lived until you’ve had a Cadbury Egg with the gooey center just chilled enough along with the outside chocolate shell just hard enough to send literal chills down your spine as you bite into it.

There was a stretch where I couldn’t be stopped when it came to hitting the jackpot of leftover candy. If I were in Vegas, I’d be rich. Instead, I was in Heaven with lots of extra Halloween peanut butter eggs, a whole cabinet full of candy canes or a wall of chocolate bunnies lining my refrigerator.

Oh, the good old days.

And you can have the marshmallow peeps, the marshmallow pumpkins and the marshmallow Santas. or anything else with marshmallows.

Speaking of which, did you hear they are making a Marshmallow Peeps movie? Seriously. No joke. Just Google it and see for yourself.

Anyway, these days, it appears the Wal-Marts, drugstores and other discount chains have gotten wise to my tactics. It’s become harder and harder to catch those holiday candies at half price.

I don’t want to seem desperate or anything, but I have circled the block or driven to the next town to see if a particular Wal-Mart had put its holiday candy on sale yet.

Again, don’t judge me.

I’ve had to give up the pursuit of finding the discount holiday candy for almost a calendar year now. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to strike while the iron is hot.

My luck has obviously worn out its welcome.

I just happened to have to go to Wal-Mart early Monday morning (wink, wink) but what was left of the Easter candy was still at full price. And there were not many peanut butter eggs or chocolate bunnies to be had.

I tried again on Tuesday and, low and behold, the candy was marked at half price.

Or what was left of it.

There were plenty of plastic Easter eggs. The marshmallow eggs, Twizzlers and other less desirable candies were still around. Sort of like the island of misfit toys, nobody seemed to want them.

I was able to find a couple of chocolate bunnies and one package of peanut butter eggs well hidden among some Easter straw. No doubt, someone was trying to think ahead.

In the meantime, I’ll have to find a way to raise my game come Halloween.

Maybe by then I’ll have lost those 2-3 pounds again. Maybe.

To submit story ideas, contact Jason O. Boyd at (704) 982-2121 ext. 21 or email at jason@stanlynewspress.com.

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