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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Reader's Corner: Easter on a Budget

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"Do you have any tips on how to do Easter on a budget? My boyfriend is having a hard time because last year we were able to be somewhat extravagant with holiday gifts (I know this isn't necessary, especially for Easter) but this year money is tight. I want him to feel like he's accomplishing something by giving to our children (7 and 3) but we obviously need to remain within our (very tight) means. I think he is more concerned than I children would ever be, but I understand his need to provide for our family. Any tips on how we can have a successful but frugal Easter? "
-Kay
With Easter fast approaching, it is Sunday for anyone who doesn't know, many parents are debating what to get those little chickadees for Easter. Whether you do the Easter Bunny or not, you are being faced with the choice of what to get those munchkins of yours. I have a few tips that I follow to help me keep the Easter holiday on the frugal side. Many of these tips are the same ones I talked about in my Christmas on a Budget post.

The first thing we do is start an Easter countdown. This countdown can be religious or not. We do a countdown of Jesus's Life, before the resurrection. This is a great way for us to teach our children about the true meaning of Easter. If you are not religious, there are so many fun countdowns you can do with your kids. I searched for a few on pinterest and found this fun one and this one. They are simple, but are full of great activities for the munhckins to enjoy. You can also do volcano eggs, make fun Easter treats, do bunny smores, or Easter crafts. The key is to keep it simple and fun for you and them.

The second thing to do is to set a budget. This is the most important thing. If you don't have a budget, then you don't have a plan. If you don't have a plan, then you will spend way to much money. Hubby and I sit down each year and decided how much money we can spend on Easter baskets for the littles. We try to keep it simple. We don't want to go crazy with dollar store toys because they will not last long. I also don't want to buy a huge amount of candy, since that is not good for them either. I always find that when I keep it simple, my children appreciate their baskets even more. Our budgets change, depending on how we are financially at that time. We usually spend between $10-$20 a basket. We try to get them a chocolate bunny, a few candy filled eggs, and some type of fun goodie. In the past we have down an action figure or Barbie doll. We have done a movie or a game. We shop adds for the best prices and get something that we know our children will really play with. We don't buy them something just because it looks cool. We want to make sure our money will not be wasted.
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If you are on a tighter budget, you can get creative with what you do for baskets.You could fill the baskets with homemade play-dough, bunny tails, fill eggs with privileges instead of candy, or Cheeto filled carrots. Also try out these round ups for Easter Basket Ideas. 20 DIY Easter Baskets Ideas, 40 Basket ideas for Boys, or Cool Baskets for Kids. (There are some thrifty ideas in those basket idea round-ups. Just go past the non frugal ideas in those lists). We also love to fill our kids baskets with some items they don't always get. Like Capri-Suns, chips, their favorite cereal, or something like that. My kids get very excited about goodies like these, since we don't usually have them.


The third thing is to pay cash for whatever you are buying for Easter. Such a basic concept right?  If we have to charge it, then we don't need it. Yes there are exceptions, but this is a good one to follow as a general rule. Credit cards are for emergencies only. This is our frugal living philosophy. Where Easter is concerned, we only use cash. I go through the store with a calculator and make sure I am only spending what we budget. I try to remember that if I go over budget, it means money taken away from our bills being paid or groceries being bought. 

The fourth and final tip I want to share is to remember quality over quantity. My children may not have a truck load of toys and candies in their baskets, but what they do have I know will last. It is very easy to see toys and goodies at the Dollar store and think what a great price. I am weary of this, since we have done this before and the toys have not lasted. My son is pretty hard on toys, so we always look for something that will last. It is not worth it to buy a lot of cheaply made items, just so you have a huge quantity in those baskets. Buy items for your family that will last and stand up to the wear and tear that the item will under go. Be conscious of all purchases. Whether you are buying thrifted items or brand new items, think of each purchase as an investment. Make sure you get the most bang for your buck, where quality is concerned.

So whatever your budget, you can create a fun holiday for your family. Start a new tradition, make something yummy with your littles, and enjoy this holiday weekend. Remember that those littles will only be little once, so enjoy this holiday with them. Follow these tips and you will be able to create some lasting memories with that family of yours. From my family to yours, Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

P.S.
The Springs Preserve winner is MommaNeecey. Congrad's! I sent you an email:)

Also you have one more day to enter the Usborne Book Place Giveaway. It ends tomorrow.

XO Danielle

11 comments:

  1. This tip will not help you out for this year, but maybe for next year. I try to shop for each holiday we celebrate the day after. After Easter I go to Walmart or Walgreens and buy a few nicer items for our kids that are on clearance. I also buy egg color, or new 'grass'. Food items are a no. But I do buy gingerbread houses after Christmas for the next year, because we don't eat them. The frosting/glue has never been dried out. Then I store them in a closet till next year. Blessings!

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  2. Hi there
    I'm Australian so perhaps our traditions are a little different? But here is what we do for our littlies who are 6 and 3...
    One or two bags of small solid eggs are placed around the house making a trail to the big gift. For us the big gift is usually a chocolate bunny or a smarties Easter egg. All up for our two kids you could do this for under $15. This year we have added a few other gifts because we are heading on a road trip that day...but this is not necessary. The kids have so much fun just following the Easter egg hunt! It doesn't need to break your bank.

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  3. We do an egg hunt with plastic easter eggs on Saturday. When our boys (5, 3, &2) have found them all they are given one basket that has a chocolate for each of them plus a few items for each from the dollar store. I would love to buy them each a new shirt, or tie but the budget does not allow for that right now. I buy the egg dye kits when they go on clearance and hang on to them till the next year. Children are happy with simple things- it's parents that make them feel that there should be more. We like to do the Resurrection Cookies & Story- it's a great family activity.

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  4. Thank you so much for your help. I know last year we were able to spend a decent amount for the girls, but I'm actually fairly excited to get everyone in one place at one time, exchange a few small things and then get the girls outside for some quality time. I'm really looking forward to see what I can do with all of this so that they (and he) will have a great day. Thanks again!

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  5. @living without - that is a great idea!! one thing i've done is books - it can be your big gift in the basket and GW or local thrift store will have them for $.99 and under. there really is no age limit to this on. and one of the best gifts that my sons 1st grade class loved the most across the board - a blank notebook of paper. you culd personalize it by cutting computer paper into fours and fastening them togather. you cando the same with index cards, a whole punch and ring. a small pack of crayons or a pencil.

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  6. In our house, we have used Easter baskets as a fun way to give the boys the things they'll need for the spring/summer in a festive way.

    Easter baskets contain things like new swimsuits (thrifted, or otherwise), sunscreen, sun hat for the itty bitty, sidewalk chalk (this year I bought, next year I will make my own!), new toothbrushes (usually just taken from the stash of spares we have already), and the "special" treats you mentioned, too - juice boxes, snacks, and a small amount of candy - all put into a sandbox/beach bucket.

    Really, it's things that we will NEED in the coming months, that would typically be purchased without the excitment of a REASON, other than necessity. The boys LOVE it because it's a GIFT, and I'm not stuffing them with candy to make them happy, or stuffing my house with more toys they'll forget they own in a month or two.

    :)

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  7. When I was little my grandma would have us do a scavenger hunt to get to our Easter baskets. All of the clues were from Bible verses that we had to look up and would lead us to various parts of the house and yard in search of the next clue. We always got a chocolate bunny and new underwear (don't ask me why) among other things, but those were the two items us kids could always count on. We always had a lot of fun, and the clues would get harder as we got older. It was a fun way to stretch out the festivities after our Easter meal.

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  8. I love that playdough carrot. So fun and inexpensive!

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  9. We don't want to spend much on our kiddos at Easter, since gifts/candy is not the point of the celebration. We do give them Easter baskets though. I found 2 big reusable eggs at an antique store and only buy a tiny bit of candy if its on sale. (This past Easter I got each of their small chocolate bunnies for $0.34 each.) Also, if a grandparent or someone gives our kids stuff throughout the year, I may swipe a smaller gift and save it til Easter to stick in their baskets. They never know and its something I didn't have to spend money on.
    We also put away certain Easter things after the season and reuse them in baskets (this year it will be a hopping bunny and a hopping chick for next year. The kiddos are excited to see them next time, even if they remember getting them the year before.

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  10. I was really proud of myself this year. I only spent $8.00 on my little one's Easter basket goodies! Our local Lowe's had a TON of fun stuff on clearance so she got a raised bed garden kit ($2), an Elmo gardening set ($1), sidewalk chalk, bubbles, Elmo bath book, maracas (all from the Dollar Spot at Target)and some Peeps (because it's not Easter to me without Peeps!)

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Thank you so much for all your sweet comments. I read every.single.one. They rock my socks! Thanks!

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