Here's When You Should Throw Out Valentine's Day Candy

While Valentine's Day is good for sharing romantic dinners and giving your partner gifts, everyone knows that the days after Valentine's Day is when you stock up on all the candy that's still on the shelves — and on sale! When else could you get a box of Ferrero Rocher for rock bottom prices? And those big kitschy hearts full of chocolate truffles — it's like they're giving them out for free. You would also be crazy to pass up a box of Reese's peanut butter hearts at those prices, too!

Our love for the sweet stuff isn't an exaggeration. A 2022 survey by public benefit corporation Sugarbreak revealed that 67% of Americans indulge in chocolate on Valentine's Day and, in 2022, it was expected Americans would spend a total of $23.9 billion dollars on Valentine's Day goodies (via National Retail Federation). When you add discount candy to the equation, you're bound to see a lot of customers loading up on chocolate of all kinds in the days after the holiday. 

But, since buying on impulse can mean you get more than you need, there's a chance a lot of that candy will just sit around in your kitchen after the initial sugar craze wears off. That box of chocolates might wind up getting pushed to the back of the cabinet, lost in a sea of shuffling groceries, or slowly eaten over the course of the rest of the year. And so the question remains — when exactly is it time to toss your post-Valentine's candy?

Lollipops are the longest-lasting Valentine's Day candy

According to Guilty Eats, the first thing to do before disposing of your Valentine's Day candy is the most obvious one: Check the expiration date. If you're still a few months out before the candy officially goes bad, there's no harm in digging into it. But, in the event you either tossed the box out or can't find that date on the packaging, Guilty Eats does recommend that you keep your treats in a cool and dry place for no longer than eight to 10 months. In the case of chocolate and gum, you can keep them for as long as nine to 10 months at best, but lollipops and other hard candies can last up to a year if properly stored.

In the event you do plan on keeping all of your Valentine's candy, the question then becomes what exactly to do with all of it? There's only so many candy conversation hearts and lollipops someone could eat before growing tired of it. The Dairy Alliance has a few ideas for using your leftover candy to prepare a wide variety of confections, ranging from hot chocolate and truffles to lava cake. 

For now, it's still only a few days after Valentine's Day, so you have plenty of time to figure what you want to do with your candy haul before the expiration date comes up.