The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree-granddaughter Cami at three, with her first box of See’s candy

After all my blogs on food and hot fudge, then diets and healthy habits, I realize I still love candy. I have some favorites and will tell you about each one.

My all time favorite is anything from See’s candy. I am partial to their bridge mix, if it is something to munch on while watching TV or in a movie. I even used this as comfort food as I was getting my tattoo last week. (see blog from January 21)

But if it is a regular box of Assorted Chocolates, I always eat the California Brittle and the Peanut Crunch first. Hint: These are square and in the corners. They used to have one marzipan in each box, but now you have to buy that from the ‘counter’.

I can tell what each candy is like inside, just from looking at the shape and the swirl on top. My daughter Jody, is also an expert at this feat and she amazes her friends with this knowledge. Oh, no, neither Jody or I will ever get stuck with an apricot cream filled chocolate or the maple/coconut one.

My love affair with See’s candy started when I was five years old. My mother, sister and I were living in Los Angeles, and my father was in Hawaii. We had been separated by WWII. It was my fifth birthday, March 16, 1943.

The doorbell rang and it was a delivery for me. It was a huge package. We put it on the dining room table and when I opened it, I couldn’t believe it: a five pound box of See’s candy from my father. The perfect birthday present for a five year old child.

It was about two feet long and one foot wide. Three layers of candy. My mother didn’t look too pleased. I guess she was trying to figure out how to dole this out to me, so I wouldn’t just sit down and try to eat it all at once.

Over the years, See’s has always been a symbol of celebration. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day. See’s ‘Happy Habit’ extends to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Now there are even more causes to celebrate. See’s has jumped on the candy bandwagon and now has special occasions such as St. Patrick’s Day and the Fourth of July. Somehow green candy and red/white/blue candy never ‘did’ it for me.

I used to collect Barbie dolls and I had a See’s Barbie doll dressed in the starched white uniform of the See’s workers. Mary Sees would roll over in her grave at how ‘modern’ things have become. My goodness, five years ago they even started accepting Visa and Mastercard.

I do like black candy. That is called licorice. There are many kinds. I used to like the long black ropes that took a long time to eat. But now they aren’t the same at all. They are like plastic rather than rubber. There are licorice jelly belly’s and licorice ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I think my favorite ones now are the scottie dogs and the multi assortment in the tin from England.

Knowing that I like licorice, for Christmas my sister gave me some bath gel in licorice scent. It was a limited edition by Philosophy and it is really disgusting. Think I’ll stick with their Candy Cane bath gel, which they only have at Christmas time.

Another type of candy I like are lollipops. These are good, as they take a long time to eat, so a little goes a long way. I like Tootsie Pops, but my favorite flavor, lemon, was discontinued twenty years ago. Orange and grape are ok, chocolate is pretty good, but why did they have to get rid of lemon?

I was in a convenience store and saw a whole box of yellow wrapped Tootsie Pops and thinking they were lemon, I got ten. When I got home I realized my mistake. They were banana. Now that is really awful.

Lately the best way to buy Tootsie Pops is in the 100 count box assortment from Amazon. Price wise it comes to about 25 cents each. (with shipping). Of course there are some banana, and the new flavors such as mango and blueberry, but you do get about a dozen chocolate ones and quite a few red ones too.

I like See’s lollipops also. The box assortment is a better deal than one for 65 cents, and if you like all three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch, you are in luck.

I like caramel and so I have always been a big fan of Sugar Daddy’s. Nobody in Hawaii stocks these and they are very expensive to buy on the internet. It comes out to about $2 per lollipop with shipping.

So imagine my delight when at Halloween, CVS/Longs had bags of miniature Sugar Daddy’s for only $3.98. Gee, with thirty lollipops in a bag, that is only thirteen cents each. They aren’t quite the same as the big ones, but pretty close. And the best part is, they don’t get stuck in your teeth and feel like the caramel is going to pull out your fillings.

Then when Halloween is over and the leftover bags of candy are sold at 75% off, each bag is only $1.00 and now we are down to about three cents each. Since, they are small, you can’t eat just one. Three is about right, so that is only ten cents.

Then the following week what was still left on the shelves was 90% off and I got two more bags at 39 cents each. At this rate you could eat five and it would be about a nickel. Now it is almost February and I am running out of Sugar Daddy’s.

Since the title of this blog is Money Saving Secrets….., here is one for you. The day after a holiday is the best time to go candy shopping. The Monday after Easter is a great time to visit See’s. I can eat a chocolate bunny any day. And eggs are a year round item. Who cares if they are chocolate?

Even Neiman Marcus has a wonderful half price sale in their candy department right after Christmas. Not only do they have all their beautiful boxes of candy on sale, but also their rum cakes and huge tins of popcorn.

And the best part of shopping there, is that few people seem to know about this and so it is not very crowded. As long as you are there, be sure to also check out the gourmet food and wines on sale.

I got two bottles of excellent champagne last year for $25 a bottle. These were perfect for New Years Eve, and no more expensive than had I gotten Kirkland champagne at Costco. Plus the shopping bag was great!

So consider yourself warned, and mark your calendar for December 26, 2011/ Neiman Marcus candy department sale.