This year we are celebrating Easter on a budget. Obviously. (cough cough $600k of debt cough). I LOVE holidays. All the holidays. Even though I love them, in some ways it would be easy to just simply not celebrate them. Just think of the money we would save! But, come on, that is no way to live life. I do not love spending money. And these days, I really can’t spend money. So I have been racking my brains as to how we can celebrate Easter cheaply this year, now that our toddler is old enough to enjoy it.
HOW WE ARE DOING EASTER ON A BUDGET:
- Eat Easter brunch instead of Easter dinner. By now it is no secret that breakfast is exactly one million times cheaper than dinner. For example, one loaf of french bread costs $0.98 at our local market. I recently purchased a dozen eggs for $0.99. Add a few toppings like syrup and powdered sugar, and you have delicious french toast for brunch for less than $5. Contrast that with a roast beef dinner where you would likely spend well above $10 on the roast beef alone!
- Set a budget. I know I know, crazy idea right. For us, our goal was to spend less than $10 on M’s Easter basket and less than $10 on our Easter brunch. Obviously you can be more or less frugal with your budget depending on your circumstances. But for us, the goal is to stay under $20 for the whole day. We’ll accomplish this by doing brunch instead of dinner as listed above. Brunch will consist of scrambled eggs and french toast plus yummy toppings. M is getting exactly one book, some animal crackers (we’ll hide in his eggs. He rarely gets animal crackers so that is a treat to him!) and a few art supplies from the Dollar Store. Not bad. We’ll also likely splurge on some Cadbury Mini Eggs… because they’re Cadberry eggs. I’m salivating. P.S. Fun fact, did you know Americans actually spend more money on candy during Easter than Halloween? Don’t be a sucker. Set a goal to spend less on your Easter goodies this year.
- Shop sales. You can find most Easter goods on sale a couple of weeks before Easter, including fresh (aka not candy) eggs! We’re lucky to live by an Aldi where we score cheap eggs, but I’ve also had good luck finding cheap eggs around Easter at Walgreens. Eggs are a score at Easter,obviously, because you can dye them and then hide them for an Easter egg hunt, so keep your eyes peeled for discounts in the coming weeks. In addition, almost all Easter candy goes on sale a couple of weeks before Easter, even at mass stores like Walmart and Target, so be on the look out!
- Take advantage of coupons and rebates. There are always tons of coupons on Easter candy, so make sure you check before you hit the store. Plus, combine those coupons with store sales and you’ll save even more. But wait! Use IBOTTA (or any cash back app) to score EVEN MORE savings. I’m never going to leave you alone about Ibotta because it is amazing! We’ve gotten about $115 back from Ibotta this year alone. Plus, if you sign up with our link, you’ll get an automatic $10 for signing up. That is a free $10!
- Reuse everything. Short of your boiled eggs that will no doubt become rancid by next Easter, reuse everything! Don’t buy Easter outfits every year. Buy accessories instead of outfits and or reuse old outfits. Save old plastic eggs, save that fake grass, save everything you can!
- Don’t get sucked into the hype. Even though I love holidays, my favorite ones are the low maintenance holidays– like, Easter, Independence Day, New Years Eve, etc. because they are tons of fun with very little preparation and effort. My advice? Don’t set yours (or your kids’) expectations so high. Pinterest and social media are great, but they can cause us all to go a little nuts on over celebrating and focusing too much on little details that don’t really matter. You can have a fun Easter without going totally nuts.
- Consider celebrating one week late. I have considered this almost every single year for most holidays but I have not actually tried it out. I love this idea in theory because think of all those clearance sales! Most Easter candy/swag/etc goes on sale for up to 75% off. Since we’re not buying candy and we already have plastic eggs, it wouldn’t really save us money this year but I plan to do this once M is a little older.
- Choose experiences instead of things. What experiences can you have for Easter? Easter egg hunts (ones you put on yourself or if you are lucky you can find a free easter egg hunt in your community) bunny hop races, the egg on the spoon race, watch an Easter movie. If you celebrate Easter for religious reasons, read bible stories about Easter. Read Easter books, or spend time outside in the spring weather, write thank you letters to the Easter bunny, etc etc. You can shift the focus from stuff to experiences– that’s how the best memories are made anyway.
- Don’t overfill Easter eggs. To get M excited for Easter, Danny decorated our house with our old Easter decorations including plastic eggs. He put one chocolate chip in one egg. I wish I had a video of how excited the kid got over one chocolate chip. ONE! Granted, he never gets candy so it is likely a bigger deal to him, but I’m just saying you don’t have to stuff those eggs silly for your kids to be excited over them. Also– healthy tip, consider putting something besides candy, like a small cheap toy instead of candy in each egg.
- Hit the Dollar Store and second hand sales first. For Easter baskets and other decor, consider checking out garage sales and thrift stores before you go nuts down the Easter aisle at Target. If that is not your style or you are unsuccessful, check out the Dollar Store and load up on those $1 goodies. If you do this and stick to shopping sales, sticking to your budget should be easy peasy this Easter.
How do you celebrate Easter? What cheap ways to celebrate have you come up with?