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Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Savings Advice, Seasonal & Events | 0 comments

Save Big on Your Easter Spending

When it comes to holiday spending, Easter is second only to Christmas. From filling Easter baskets to adorning the family with holiday outfits, the expenses can quickly add up.

According to the National Retail Federation, the industry’s trade association, Easter spending is expected to hit $18.2 billion this year, close to the record $18.4 billion spent in 2017. If predictions prove true it will be the second highest level of spending ever. It breaks down to an average of $150 per person — and that’s just the average. There are scores of consumers who spend well over that.

Easter has really become an extravagant holiday, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With the increased spending comes an increased number of ways to spend less and save on Easter excesses. Here’s how.

  1. Set a Budget

One of the best ways to keep the spending in check is to set a budget and stick to it. Think of all the people you purchase Easter gifts for. Determine the maximum sum of money you want to spend on each person. If you buy flowers for your mother and mother-in-law, make sure to add that to the budget. Estimate how much you’ll spend on Easter baskets, outfits and any other expenses associated with the holiday. Once you have it on paper, start figuring out ways to lower you’re spending. The goal is to reach a number you’re comfortable with that won’t mean racking up more credit card debt.

Pro-tip: There are dozens of online programs to help you set a budget, from You Need a Budget (YNAB) to Mint. And if you’re not into them, check out this advice to manage spending without having a budget.

  1. Hit the Discount Stores to Fill Easter Baskets

Easter baskets are a staple of the holiday for anyone who has children. But nowadays, baskets aren’t filled with jelly beans and chocolates alone. Parents stuff everything from toys to clothing in these colorful baskets, making Easter an extended Christmas day celebration. Budget-busting behavior indeed, but easily avoidable by hitting the discount and dollar stores.

These low-priced retail outlets provide you with ample ways to save on everything from Easter baskets to fake grass. You can get candy and chocolate Easter bunnies at lower prices than at a department store. It’s the preferred method for U.S. consumers. The National Retail Federation predicts 59 percent of consumers will shop at discount stores this holiday season. The internet can also be a treasure trove of savings on everything from the baskets to plastic eggs. Be mindful of shipping costs when going this route.

Don’t want to fill the basket with a lot of candy or junk? Use it as an opportunity to give your children the items they need. It could be they’ve outgrown their last set and are in the need of new summer PJs or a piece of sporting equipment. It could be art supplies or a raincoat. These are all items you’ll have to purchase anyway, but if you put it in the Easter basket you can eliminate some of the added cost of gift-buying.

Pro-Tip: Homemade gifts are also a great way to save money and usually end up being the most precious and memorable gifts your children receive — and vice versa. A simple coupon for a date night with mommy or daddy or a certificate to download free apps on your phone can be much better than a wind-up Easter bunny toy that breaks after a few days.

  1. Procrastinate to Save

The retail industry has a short attention span, quickly moving on to the next holiday — bad for tradition but great for your bank account! Because the shopping windows for holidays are so short, retailers are quick to discount items before the holiday has even arrived. That means you can get candy, decorations and Easter basket stuffers on the cheap by just waiting until the very last minute to shop. You may not have as wide a variety as shopping early provides, but choices will still abound and you’ll save a good chunk of change, too.

Pro-Tip: Buying seasonal treats is expensive when the season is coming up — stock up ahead of time on the candies, treats, and even themed clothes and costumes to save big on your Easter spending when it comes around next.

  1. Hit the Thrift Shops for Easter Attire

Sustainable fashion, with upcycled clothing from secondhand stores, has never been more in trend than it is today. Thanks to Marie Kondo, thrift stores and consignment shops have never had as great a selection, either! That’s why they can be a wonderful low-cost way to outfit your entire family for the Easter holiday. Many sell lightly-worn dresses and suits as well as shoes and accessories.

Not the thrift store type? Shop at one of the discount retailers to save on Easter attire for the family. Aim for outfits that can be used more than once. That super frilly Easter-themed dress may be perfect for the day, but if it hangs in your closet the rest of the year, it’s a waste of money. Many retailers will run sales or offer coupons for Easter clothing, so be on the lookout for that. If you purchase online, search for any coupons before completing your order.

A great alternative to purchasing outfits is to borrow from friends or family. You probably know several people who have children that are a couple of years older than yours, with old clothes that no longer fit stored somewhere, gathering dust. Ask them if they have anything you can borrow or buy from them on the cheap.

Pro-Tip: The clearance racks can also be a good source for low-cost Easter attire. Most retailers have racks of clearance items that yield your entire family options. Wait to shop until the week before and you’ll save the most, but your choices will be limited.

  1. Skip the Meals Out

Brunch and dinner are staples of Easter, but they can quickly cost you a lot. A cheaper alternative is to have your festivities at home. Choose a family member or friend to host a potluck party and enlist everyone to bring something to the event. You will all save money and likely have a better time.

That DIY entertaining can also be applied to attending Easter egg hunts and other events. Go back to the older traditions — instead of paying to have your kids find eggs at an event, fill some chocolate or plastic eggs and hide them on your property or inside the home. A bag of candy and plastic eggs won’t set you back more than a couple of dollars, as opposed to the price of entry to participate in a commercial egg hunt. You’ll also save on the cost of gas to make it to the event.

Traditional Easter meals at home can also be a pricey endeavor, especially if you pull out all the stops. Depending on how many people you’re feeding, it can easily set you back a couple of hundred dollars. To save on the meal, buy in bulk when possible, stock up ahead of time, and enlist guests to handle the desserts. Keep the meal simple to save. Additionally, hosting a brunch can increase savings — the dishes and drinks tend to be more budget-friendly.

Pro-Tip: The same approach can be applied to shopping for your Easter decor. The discount stores have a bevy of Easter themed cups, plates, napkins, signs, and banners among other things. You can save more by purchasing plain colored plates and adding an Easter theme to the napkins or vice versa. Instead of Easter egg coloring kits, save by purchasing a can of shaving cream and food coloring. You can make tie-dye Easter eggs for a fraction of the cost. Those eggs can even be used as an Easter decoration.

Final Thoughts

Easter is a festive time, but it gets expensive — fast. Budgets can easily be blown on everything from the Easter basket to the perfect holiday outfits. The good news: there are a host of ways to save. It requires you to be more resourceful and opt for the discounts over the high-priced items. But if you are mindful of your wallet and are willing to wait it out a bit, you can save big on your Easter spending.

Marie Fuller is a stay-at-home mother of four with a special love for Easter. Being a single-income family, she’s mastered the art of scrimping, saving, and tight budget improvisation. Based in Jackson, Mississippi, she’s the queen of the Easter Egg Hunt in her neighborhood.

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