Skip to Content

A Candy Buffet on a Budget

When it comes to throwing a party you may be thinking of adding in a Candy Buffet. Not only do these offer a beautiful focal point for the party, but they are fun for guests! If you’ve already starting pricing these, you’ve noticed how EXPENSIVE it can all get really quick. So, this is your complete guide to putting together a A Candy Buffet on a Budget!

A Candy Buffet on a Budget #candy #candybuffet #candytable #budget #budgetcandy #partyonabudget #partyideas

When it comes to a throwing a baby shower, wedding, graduation or even just a party in general a great addition is a candy buffet.

However, they can cost hundreds of dollars and one article I came across even mentioned it costing over $1,000! For my baby shower I knew I wanted a candy buffet but that it needed to be done on a budget so I want to share my tips and tricks for having A Candy Buffet on a Budget!

Below I walk you through exactly what I did to have a full candy buffet that was for 40+ people all under $100! I know that sounds crazy but it can truly be done! Check out more below.

A Candy Buffet on a Budget

Choosing Colors

First, you will want to start by determining your colors. You may have a baby shower or wedding in specific colors or may be open to any color. For my baby shower, my colors were blue and brown so I went with those same colors for the candy buffet. Keep in mind that some colors will be cheaper than others during certain times of the year. For example, if you are wanting to use the color green – buying green candy right after St. Patrick’s Day is going to save you a ton of money. Buying green right before this holiday, will cost you more. So determining your colors is the first step!

Determining Amount of Candy Needed

Once you’ve determined the colors, you will now need to decide just how much candy is needed. Remember that you can likely purchase bulk candy cheaper which means you’ll have more cnady to go around. Of course the more guests you have the more candy you will need. I planned my candy buffet for 40 guests and still had a ton of candy leftovers.

A good rule of thumb is to factor about 8 oz. (1 cup) of candy per guest. So, if you are expecting 50 guests, you’ll need about 400 oz. of Candy or 25 lbs. of candy. Luckily, bulk candy is mostly sold in 5lb. bags making calculating this easy!

A Candy Buffet on a Budget #candy #candybuffet #candytable #budget #budgetcandy #partyonabudget #partyideas

Supplies Needed:

Once you have the above taken care of, there are a few things you’ll need to pull the concept all together. Including:

  • Candy (different varieties, sizes, and colors)
  • Vases, bowls, and other containers that can be used to place candy in.
  • Plastic scoops and tongs (these work better for larger candy).
  • Buffet signs (optional but add to the overall look) Tip: these can be printed on cardstock or even written on mini chalkboards.
  • Candy bags or boxes for guests to place their candy into.

Tip: Most of these items can be found at your local Dollar Tree. I also love to shop on Amazon and Oriental Trading. They regularly offer the lowest prices and free shipping on many items!

Tips for Saving Money on a Candy Buffet:

  1. Purchase vases from Dollar Tree. I found several different sizes all priced at $1.00. I loved that they were the same thickness in glass so everything matched nicely.
  2. Check your local thrift store. Don’t worry about the containers being dirty because luckily glass and plastic can be ran through the dishwasher.
  3. Borrow containers from family, friends, and neighbors. Remember that you will want a few different sizes and styles of vases. Seek to have them clear though so you can see the color of the candy inside but borrowing can significantly help lower the overall cost.
  4. Purchase candy from Amazon, Oriental Trading or if you want to go local, check Winco. I was able to find quite a bit of candy at Winco in bulk. Their prices were about half the cost of the candy priced at local party stores. You will typically pay more at party stores since that is where they make money.
  5. Again, check Dollar Tree for candy. They have things such as mints and even bags of candy priced for $1.00. As long as they fit within the colors of your theme, they will work and save you money.
  6. Try to purchase candy after a major holiday. As I mentioned earlier, if you have an event in August, check for candy clearance after July 4th. After Easter, Christmas, and Halloween are perfect times to purchase candy in bulk for super cheap.
  7. Favor boxes are relatively inexpensive. Depending on the occasion, you can find matching favor boxes for your theme and it will help you save money. Other ideas include clear white cello bags (which can also be found at Dollar Tree) and include cute curling ribbon for guests to tie their bags with.

A Candy Buffet on a Budget #candy #candybuffet #candytable #budget #budgetcandy #partyonabudget #partyideas

My Breakdown:

So you can see these tips really do work I made a breakdown of the cost of my candy buffet. This is how I did it under $100 for 40+ guests. This includes the containers, serving utensils, and coordinating signs.


  1. (5) Whoppers- $1.25 a box at Smith’s= $6.25
  2. (6) Bags of Chocolate Covered Pretzels- $1.25 each at Smith’s= $7.50
  3. (6) Pounds of Taffy Candy (on sale at Smith’s for $1.99 a pound)= $11.94
  4. (40) Suckers found at local party store for $0.39 each= $15.60
  5. (25) Rootbeer Sticks found at local party store for $0.28 each= $7.00
  6. 3 pounds of Sixlets Candy found at Winco in bulk bins for $2.39 per pound= $7.17
  7. 3 pounds of root beer candies found at Winco in bulk bins for $1.59 per pound= $4.77
  8. (5) bags of “It’s a Boy” Mints found at Dollar Tree for $1.00 each= $5.00
  9. (5) bags of Pearl colored gumballs found at Walmart in the cake decorating section for $2.97 each (way cheaper than the party store)= $14.85

Total cost for Candy= $80.08


  1. (4) glass cylinder vases at Dollar tree for $1.00 each= $4.00
  2. (1) Large Plastic Bowl at Dollar Tree at $1.00= $1.00
  3. Plastic Tongs (come in a 2-pack) for $1.00 at Dollar Tree= $1.00
  4. (4) Plastic colored candy scoops found at local party store for $0.78 each= $3.12
  5. (2) Plastic martini glasses found at Walmart for $1.97 each by the party decorations= $3.94
  6. Rest of vases my mom let me borrow

Total Cost for Containers= $13.06

Note: I made the cute candy bar printable myself on my computer using word. The labels sticking into each container were made by Live Bright Designs on Etsy to match my Baby Shower decorations with my son’s name personalized on them. They were $6.99 and printing them on cardstock at Kinkos cost another $7.00.

Final Cost for Candy Buffet for 40 guests: $93.14 (without the printables)! Not a bad price at all for a candy buffet on a budget!

And to help you get an idea on how the final look may look like, check out the image below!

A Candy Buffet on a Budget #candy #candybuffet #candytable #budget #budgetcandy #partyonabudget #partyideas

Looking for more great DIY party ideas? Check out more here!

I hope this helps you save the next time you are wanting to create a candy buffet. Also feel free to leave your tips on how to save in the comments below!

15+ Clever Candy Bar Party Ideas - Smart Party Ideas

Tuesday 20th of December 2022

[…] 10. Banana Marshmallow and Gummy Worm Candy Bar […]

25 sweet 16 party ideas on a budget - Design Collective

Thursday 9th of December 2021

[…] Source […]

Amby Felix

Sunday 27th of July 2014

REALLY cute and clever idea!!!!!!! I love candy bars!