I prepared for Halloween by buying enough candy for 280 trick-or-treaters. That's about how many we got last year, before we had to turn our lights off because we were out of treats. I also had over a hundred dimes as backup this year.
We actually got over 400 trick-or-treaters. Our street seems to have a reputation, and kids come from all over. Sometimes when I opened the door, I saw a dozen kids waiting for their treats. It seemed like they were bussing in, but I never saw their bus. When teenage girls, age seventeen to nineteen, held out their bags and say, "trick or treat," I always resisted the temptation to tell them that I couldn't afford to be their trick.
I thought that a dime was a nice substitute for candy. Indiviually-wrapped candies actually cost more than ten cents apiece around here. (Tiny twizzlers and Reese's Cups cost slightly less.) When I started handing out money ("Don't eat this, it's a dime"), I connected with a lot of passionate kids:
"He's giving away dimes!"
"A dime, I got a dime!"