Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Budget-Friendly Easter Basket

   I love holidays! I love the excitement and the joy that my children find in even the smallest things. What I don't love is how commercialized each holiday has become and how so many of our holidays often revolve around the "gimme" mentality.  In our house, we have a tendency to shy away from elaborate gift-giving to focus more on the simple joys of family.  Easter is one of those holidays that can turn into a second Christmas if you aren't careful.  The day is marked to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, but he is often overshadowed by baskets and bunnies.

That being said, I am all for the Easter Bunny (and the Tooth Fairy, and Santa, and even Leprechauns), but I do have some tricks for reining in the crazy spending without losing any of the fun because, let's face it, the last thing my kids need is another stuffed bunny or more candy!!

Here's what we do for our Easter Baskets:

1.  Re-use a favorite Easter Basket - I know many families that buy new Easter Baskets each year to fill with goodies.  In our house, Easter Baskets are a lot like Christmas Stockings.  You have one that you put out every year and it is filled with all your favorite things.  If you want your "Easter Bunny" to hide your basket, that's fine, too!  I love these adorable personalized Easter Baskets from Personal Creations.  You can save money by using the same basket every year and solve the problem of whose basket belongs to whom with cute baskets and buckets for every child in your family! 
Large Plush Bunny Basket
2.  Fill your Basket with Necessities! - This is a great time to stock up on things that the kids need for Spring and Summer.  Think about adding:
  •  some new sunglasses (like the ones from our Real Kid Shades giveaway
  • sunblock 
  • fun socks 
  • underwear
  • hair bows
  • toiletries (especially for your teens and tweens)
  • bubble bath
  • sippy cups
  • pacifiers
  • teething rings
  • baby snacks (yes, I put a container of Puffs in the baby's stocking!)
3.  Make it Educational - A lot of times we will include things for school and educational activities that we've been meaning to get for the boys anyway, like:
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • fun erasers
  • highlighters (My kids LOVE highlighters!)
  • markers
  • journals/notebooks
  • flash cards
4.  Get Them Moving! - Think ahead to all the things they're going to ask you to buy for those warmer months that are just around the corner, like:
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bubbles
  • jump ropes
  • balls
  • goggles
  • floaties/pool toys
  • sports equipment   
5.  Give them the Gift of Time! - Our kids want our time and attention more than anything.  Take advantage of this by giving your kids coupons for things that they'd love to do for you.  Here's a link to some great Easter coupon printables.  Here are some ideas to get you started:
Printable Easter Coupons - fill in your own special gift - PDF format
  • Stay up late with an extra story.
  • Movie night with your choice of film.
  • Bake cookies/dessert together
  • Go out for ice cream.
  • Visit to the Zoo/Museum
  • Wii tournament with your favorite game.
  • Play a board game of your choice.
  • Go bike riding together
  • Go to a favorite restaraunt or serve their favorite dinner.
  • Get artsy together buy making a craft together.
What's your favorite thing to add to your child's Easter basket?

Easter baskets don't have to be all about chocolate bunnies, candy, and cheap plastic toys (or totally outrageously expensive gadgets).  You can let them have fun without breaking the bank - and still have time to make an Easter Tree or bake some Resurrection Rolls!

Want more ideas for spending time with your kids?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Pinterest and sign up for emails to keep up with all the latest crafts, activities, and kid-friendly recipes!
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  1. Great ideas:) I remember the Easter bunny used to bring me a new pair of light pj's for the spring.

  2. Last year the girls got magnifying glasses in their Easter baskets They were a hit!

  3. These are great. I have been looking for ways to cut down on the toys that go unused and make our gifts more valued. We stuffed cute socks with candy for Valentines day. I like the ideas of summer and educational gifts. I like the pj idea too!

  4. I really like this down to Earth list! We reuse baskets too. One thing I've done is to find a small basket, about the size to fit a giant jar of peanut butter, but not as tall as that. I figure, the Easter Bunny can always leave some stuff next to the basket like Santa leaves some stuff under the tree. -Jessica

  5. A long time ago I stopped with the traditional basket and started filling a cute tote bag with spring and summer gear that is their new beach/pool tote for the summer.

  6. I to like to get things they need and things they will want in coming warm months ahead and also snacks and special treats they do not get to have often.I always only have the chocolate bunny as the only candy in the basket.We always have bubbles and goldfish crackers.This year my son decided he really likes soda but I hardly ever let him have it so this year his special treat will be one of those mini cans of soda.I will also add new sunglasses for summer and his favorite snack of cheese and crackers,a book,mad libs because he is just learning nouns,adjectives etc and fun way to practice,a kite and a new pair of spring pj's.My daughter will have a kite,a book,bubbles.chocolate bunny,juice boxes,spring pj's,sunglasses and an umbrella(she has been asking for a bee one).

  7. Found my little one an unopened doctor kit at a local consignment shop. I skip the candy knowing she will get more than enough from my mom.

  8. I love all these ideas! I hate it when my kids get badkets full of candy from the grandparents and church and school. My boys love hot wheels, bubbles, card games and stickers.

  9. I love all these ideas! I hate it when my kids get badkets full of candy from the grandparents and church and school. My boys love hot wheels, bubbles, card games and stickers.

  10. We always put a book in there and things like white boards and fun-shaped post it notes that encourage writing more than a boring old sheet of paper. We've also given video games purchased used (or handed down from cousins) for players they already own. Key for us is keeping it small. They've never received giant baskets stuffed with hundreds of dollars worth of stuff, so they don't expect to.

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