Thinking about buying some of this year's Halloween candy 50% off to give out next year? Maybe you should think twice.

If the first thing you do after Halloween is over is get to the store to stock up on candy for next year, you may want to eat it instead of saving it for next Halloween.

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The shelf-life depends on how you store it, and the kind of candy it is - the more fat in the candy, the shorter its shelf-life. Dark chocolate lasts longer than milk chocolate, and hard candy lasts the longest, according to researchers at the University of Kansas.

You want to make sure you store the candy in a cool, dark, place.

The researchers recommend the following guidelines from the National Confectioners Association regarding the shelf life of various types of candy:

  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark and dry place. Milk and white chocolates last no more than eight to 10 months.
  • Hard candy: Lollipops, roll candy and butterscotch candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature or in cool, dry conditions.
  • Jellied candies: Upon opening the packaging and storing at room temperature, jellied candies can last six to nine months.
  • Gum: Most gum products can last six to nine months as long as the packaging remains sealed.
  • Caramel: When stored properly at room temperature and away from the heat and light, caramel candy can last six to nine months -- and even up to a year in some cases.

So while you may love the great deals after Halloween, if you give that candy out next year - it might be more trick than treat. Eat that candy now, we say.