"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? "
-KayWith 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.
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.
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.