Looking to cut your Easter Budget? Frilly Easter dresses. Chocolate bunnies. Hams. Easter lilies. Americans spent an estimated $17.3 billion on Easter last year, according to the National Retail Federation -- or $146 per person.
In fact, Easter spending shot up to its highest level in 13 years in 2016, according to the group, the world’s largest retail trade association. And there are no signs that spending could plummet this year as the blooms appear and the Easter Bunny takes his seat for pictures and meet-and-greets.
For many kids, Easter is just another reason to load up on candy and trinkets. For parents, it’s another opportunity to blow the budget. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here are six ways you can cut your Easter budget -- and still celebrate the season:
Instead of buying a new pre-filled basket each year, make do with an old one. And, instead of buying another sleeve of plastic eggs, just use the old ones again -- or save this year’s for next year. Fill the basket with items that you’d normally buy for your kids -- favorite granola bars for the lunchbox, goggles for summer swim team and a used book for summer reading.
Sure, it’s nice to splurge on a new Easter dress for your daughter and a cute little suit for your son, but there’s no law that requires they step into church with brand new duds on Easter morning. And, if you’ve been working hard to save money and pay off debt, there’s no reason to spend money on fancy Easter clothes. Check your closets -- and your friends’ and family members’ closets -- for hand-me-downs. If you can’t find anything there, shop consignment stores, thrift stores and garage sales. Or, just let them put on whatever they usually wear to church.
Instead of buying an egg decorating kit, do it the old fashioned with vinegar, water and food coloring -- all items you probably have on hand. The American Egg Board offers all kinds of tips.
A store bought Easter cake will run you $13 and up. Fancy truffles can cost $2 each and way up. Instead of splurging on pre-made items, stir up your own treats. After all, you can make a cake for a few bucks with a box of cake mix. CountryLiving.com shares 73 Easter cakes, desserts and recipes, including unicorn bark, salted caramel Easter popcorn and Peeps’ s’mores.
Instead of planning an elaborate Easter egg hunt at your home, take advantage of the many free community events held at parks, churches and other venues this time of year. Your kids can load up on fun and candy -- and, in many cases, get a chance to say “hi” to the Easter Bunny without paying for a costly photo package at the mall.
If you’re trying to trim your budget -- and usually enjoy Easter brunch out -- make plans to eat at home this year. Grocery stores typically offer deals on hams, asparagus, eggs, potatoes and other Easter staples. Shop the sales -- and stick an extra ham in your freezer for another family meal. All You Magazine shares some affordable Easter dinner recipes.
Most importantly, remember what the season is all about for your family. For some, it’s a celebration of spring. For others, it holds deep religious meaning.
Plant a garden. Go to church. Enjoy your family. Keeping a focus on the deeper significance of the season -- instead of pastel colored candies and Easter-themed plastic toys -- will build the kind of memories that will last a lifetime.
The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out and stay out of debt. For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.
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