Your Ultimate Guide for Planning Easter on a Budget

For many families, Easter is the unofficial start to springtime. The holiday brings sunny skies, warmer temperatures, and playing outside hunting for hidden Easter eggs.


According to the National Retail Federation, 80% of Americans celebrate Easter, with the average person spending $140.62. With new outfits, decorations, gifts, candy, and other treats, it’s no surprise families can spend so much money on this holiday.

While Easter is a fun time to enjoy with family, friends, and little ones, it can be an expensive holiday to host.

Don’t let the potential expenses keep you from having a great Easter. There are many ways you can cut costs without sacrificing on fun or memories.

Easter does not have to be a reason to drain your bank account. Use these budget-friendly ideas for your Easter celebration:

Make a Budget and Stick to the Plan

The first step to saving money this Easter is to make a plan. Easter is still a few weeks away, so you have plenty of time to sit down and brainstorm everything. Make a list of gifts and decide whether you will buy a complete Easter basket or buy items separately to make your own.

Decide what your family will wear for Easter if you’re attending church and see if you really need to buy everyone a new dress or suit. While children often outgrow old clothes, you can reuse certain items like sweaters or hats to incorporate into a new outfit.

If you’re hosting an Easter party or dinner, plan your activities and meals in advance. Start checking your grocery store for coupons and deals on food. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to hosting a meal. Instead of an expensive Easter ham, make hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. This kid-friendly alternative is a no-fuss option for your younger guests and will be easier on your finances.

No matter what you’re doing for Easter, the main goal is to plan and determine how much you can spend. Budgets aren’t just for groceries or back to school shopping, using a budget for your holiday will ensure extra expenses don’t creep up from out of nowhere.

Think about how much you can realistically spend on Easter. Can afford to spend $50 per person in your family or $250 for the entire home? Determining how much you can spend comfortably. Making a budget and following a plan will keep you on track.


Shop Smart for Everything

The next step to saving money this Easter is to never settle for paying full price for anything. Weeks before Easter kicks off, department stores and retailers are flooding their stores with Easter deals. There is a good chance your favorite store will have discounts or promotions:

  • Save 15% online or in-store until April 12th at Kohl’s
  • Free $5 gift card when you spend $25 on Easter baskets or décor at Target
  • Stock up on essential Easter items like basket, toys, or stuff animals at Dollar Tree
  • Save 20% on beautiful fresh flowers from FTD
  • Up to 20% off your entire purchase with Pier 1 Imports
You can also do an online search using “Easter Sales” or “Easter Deals” to find savings in your area. Don’t forget to shop at local small businesses to find unexpected savings as well.

Are you a rewards or loyalty member at your favorite store? Easter is a perfect time to use your membership benefits to your advantage. Stores like CVS or Walgreens have special rewards when you sign up and use your card whenever you check out.

Discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Burlington Coat Factory are smart choices to find entire outfits without needing extra coupons.

If you really want to be an Easter super saver, stock up on Easter essentials after the holiday is over. Most stores offer huge discounts up to 75% off once Easter is over.

Buy Secondhand Clothes and Save with New Accessories

Buying your entire family’s Easter clothes, shoes, purses, bows, and gloves can be expensive when everything is said and done. For families, these items are only worn once a year for a couple hours before they go back to the closet.

You can get “new to you” outfits at a thrift or consignment store and have the entire family outfitted for less than $100. Easter clothing can typically be found in like-new condition because many families only buy the dress or suit for this one occasion. To get the most out of your purchase, consider buying one nice dress or suit that can be worn for several occasions during the spring.

To save even more money, stick to buying new accessories instead of buying a whole new outfit. Some ideas to make your family’s Easter outfit shine include:

  • Socks or tights
  • Neck, bow ties, or suspenders
  • White or pink cardigan

A little TLC can also make an Easter outfit from last year look like new. Give your shoes a polish, use a ribbon from your craft collection for your hair, and carefully iron khakis to last year’s outfit a fresh look for free.


Keep it Thrifty with Home Décor

The biggest reasons Easter can be so expensive is because of the decorations and gifts. This is where shopping at your local MERS Goodwill for holidays can save the day!

Unlike other stores, your local Goodwill will always have a unique inventory at low prices. Since Easter only comes around once a year, Goodwill is a practical choice for find everything you need without spending a fortune.

Along with fabulous savings on Easter clothes and accessories, visit your Goodwill to find everything you need to make a hippity hoppity party. Shop for Easter wreathes, stuffed animals, streamers, and forever flowers to add burst of whimsical fun to your home.

If you’re hosting an Easter dinner, you can find fancy dishes and glasses at the Goodwill to impress your guests. Don’t forget to be inspired by the bright colors of the season. If you’re not able to find a complete set of matching glassware, Easter is a great time to use mix and match vibrant spring colors, so don’t worry about having different colored homeware on your table.

For a table centerpiece, use glass vases or containers to hold Easter eggs or flowers. Other centerpiece ideas include bunny figurines, baskets, or homemade bird’s nest.

Also add a table cloth with Easter colors or find a vintage style lace table runner. The décor should reflect both your personal style and your guests’ needs. If you’re hosting a sophisticated brunch, use subtle pastels and real glass. For a party with little ones, stick with plastic utensils and go bolder with decorations.

Making your own home decorations saves money and can be a special way to make memories with your family. There is a treasure trove of Easter décor ideas online:

35 Ways to Decorate for Easter | HGTV

Hop to It! 60 Easy Crafts to Make This Easter | Country Living

Decorating for Easter | Martha Stewart

31 Easter Decorating Ideas That Will Impress Your Guests | FTD

70+ DIY Easter Decorations That Bring All the Spring Cheer | Good Housekeeping

While the finished products in these guides look spectacular, most of the decorations use simple items like construction paper, paint, and fabrics.

Don’t forget, shopping at the Goodwill for your Easter supplies saves money and helps support your local community.


Give Gorgeously Inexpensive Gifts

Don’t let the prices of Easter gifts discourage you from sharing joy this season. Just like with your handmade decorations, channel your inner DIY rock star to make homemade Easter gifts.

Cute homemade Easter cards are an expensive way to say Happy Easter. Check out The Frugal Girl’s step-by-step guide to making cards at home using simple card stock, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and foam squares. Better Homes and Gardens also has a collection of easy-to-make Easter Cards for all skill levels.

You can also send free E-cards online with or American Greetings.

Easter baskets filled with treats and games can cost over $50, which can really add up if you have several children. Save serious cash by making your own Easter baskets.

Start with the basket itself. You can find baskets at yard sales or at the Goodwill for just a few dollars. Sometimes you can even find baskets around the house for free.

If the basket needs a little TLC, buy some pastel spray paints and give the basket a touch up to make it look like new—and don’t be afraid to reuse your baskets every year.

A staple in many Easter baskets are the tiny pieces of plastic grass at the foundation. This grass can be both expensive and wasteful, since it ends up everywhere around the house before finding its way to trashcan.

Save money and keep your house cleaner by forgoing the fake green grass. Some smart alternatives are cotton balls or color tissue paper which you probably already have in your house.

Now it’s time to get creative with your basket. The more filler you have at the bottom, the more expensive your basket will look, so stock up on cheap candies and treats. Some other basket ideas include:

  • Crayons or markers
  • Coloring books
  • Snacks
  • Toys or stuffed animals

You can even replace chocolate snacks for healthier items such as trail mix, fruits, or nuts. Instead of buying several smaller servings, buy a larger pack and save money. For example, pre-cut and washed apple slices can be expensive if you’re buying for several children. Instead buy a bag of apples and prepare them at home before your party.

Another way to save money on your baskets is to think about items your children will need. If you’re taking a summer vacation to the beach, add some beach toys. If your child wants a new book or doll, include it in the basket and get double duty for your money.


Get the Party Started with Savings

If you’re hosting an Easter egg hunt or get-together, there are many smart and easy ways to save money. For an Easter egg hunt, consider reusing the plastic eggs each year to save money. Be sure to let the kids and parents know beforehand that they need to return the eggs.

Before buying brand new party supplies, ask family or friends to see if they have what you need and if you can borrow it for a day. You can also check out sites like Freecycle and Craigslist for free items.

Whether you’re hosting a large party or a small family meal, traditional Easter foods like expensive hams, casseroles, and beverages can put a strain on your weekly grocery budget. This is where you planning comes into play. Keep an eye out for coupons and deals at your local grocery store and base your menu on the available sales.

If you don’t think you can do Easter dinner on a budget, think again. Here are some helpful guides to make delicious dinners and treats without breaking the bank:

Easy on the Budget Easter Dinners | Betty Crocker

Affordable Easter Brunch Recipes | All You

3 Easter Dinner Menus to Inspire You | Good Cheap Eats

The trick to Easter on a budget is to repurpose your food for multiple dishes. Buy eggs to decorate with and also cook with for dinner or brunch. Deviled Eggs are an easy appetizer to make with only a few items you probably already own. For your young guests, make simple Peeps S’mores or Easter Bunny Cupcakes using everyday baking supplies.

Your Easter extravaganza doesn’t have cost a fortune. Remember these steps to save money without sacrificing on fun and memories:

  1. Make a Budget and Stick to the Plan
  2. Shop Smart for Everything
  3. Buy Secondhand Clothes and Save with New Accessories
  4. Keep it Thrifty with Home Décor
  5. Give Gorgeously Inexpensive Gifts
  6. Get the Party Started with Savings

Gather your peeps and follow these tips to have a wonderful Easter 2017!