Easter is a popular holiday observed by Christians across the world to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day (Sunday) after his crucifixion (Friday). These days, Easter is celebrated with a sweet tooth, where families share the joy of different types of cakes, candies, candles and Easter egg hunts. Interestingly, these candles represent light after darkness, while the Easter egg and the Easter bunny are symbol of fertility or new life.

As with most other annual holidays, Easter can put a strain on your budget because of all the extra spending on new outfits, gifts, sweets, food and parties. We have put together some ideas and tips to help you spend Easter in a frugal and budget-friendly manner so you do not compromise on the fun aspect while keeping your wallet happy too.

1. Pre-purchase Easter gifts to save money and use coupons

As Easter slowly approaches us, retailers increase the prices of various gift items and party supplies to make use of higher consumer demand. To avoid holiday price hikes, you can purchase Easter gifts throughout the year instead of one week before Easter. This idea can be applied to other annual events such as Christmas, birthdays, Thanksgiving, anniversaries or any other special occasions you regularly celebrate. You can scout your favorite shops all year round, looking for good deals, discounts and sales so you end up buying the perfect presents that not only keep your relatives happy, but also your budget intact. Let’s not forget the time-saving aspect of this tip. You no longer have to set aside time for a gift-buying spree one week before Easter!

When making these purchases throughout the year, remember to use coupons to buy your Easter presents, food, candies or other goodies at a discount.

2. Buy Easter decorations and party supplies in bulk to pay less

Another way to cut your Easter expenses is to buy decorations and party supplies in bulk because the per-unit price is usually lower for items that come in large packs. Buying in bulk is a convenient option if you plan to host a large party because all your food, gifts and toys will get used up. However, if your type of Easter celebration is a small and cozy event with a handful of family members, make sure the items you buy in bulk are non-perishable (i.e. non-food items or items without an upcoming expiry date) so they can be stored until next year.

Here’s an example of how buying items in bulk can save you money. Lots of families organize Easter egg hunts in which they hide small toys around the house or garden and allow children to find them for keeps. The supplies for this kind of game usually come in bulk because you need at least 5-10 toys to hide to make the game fun. Alternatively, family hand out Easter baskets to their loved ones, filled with Easter eggs, chocolates or other items related to Easter celebrations. The supplies for Easter baskets are also typically sold in bulk, so you can decorate lots of baskets in one go. I found these two gift packs on Amazon that illustrate how price comparison and bulk purchases save you money (these are affiliate links):

Pre-filled Easter eggs: contains 48 toys for the price of $16.95, which means each toy costs $0.35 (35 cents).
Easter bunny stuffed toys in eggs: contains 12 toys for the price of $17.99, which means each toy costs $1.5.

Even though both these toys come in bulk and the prices are very similar, the difference in price-per-toy is considerable. In the long run, the first toy is more budget friendly because you can hand them out to more children or use them for subsequent Easter egg hunts without worrying about spoilage.

3. Buy Easter decorations and gifts as soon as Easter is over (or the night before Easter) at a discount

Easter decorations begin to sell for a fraction of their initial prices as soon as Easter is day or two away, and also when it is over because nobody wants to buy them. This is similar to an end-of-season sale for clothes at any supermarket – nobody wants to buy warm hoodies after winter is over so retail outlets try to empty their inventories by slashing prices and selling items at a discount. A bit of foresight regarding next year’s clothing needs will help you save a lot of money as you grab jackets and pullovers for the following winter. Coming back to saving money on Easter, you can hold off your Easter purchases till the day before Easter to get discounts. Of course, it’s not always practical to do so but if it works out, you’ll be saving lots.

Alternatively, you can buy non-perishable Easter decorations during post-holiday sales and safely store them for the next 12 months. Decorative eggs, nests and Easter bunnies or rabbits, for instance, are things that can be purchased at great discounts right after the Easter holiday because retailers try to sell off leftover stock to make room for the next celebration.

4. Celebrate by reading Easter stories together with your kids

Easter may be all fun and games for your kids, but you can introduce a learning aspect by sharing with your children the significance of Easter or by reading stories about Easter to your kids. Stories about the Easter bunny as well as tales about the magnificence of spring are a wonderful way to enrich the lives of your children around this time of year. Amazon has a great collection of Easter books being sold at discounts, in case you’re interested. I found this one to be particularly engaging:

The best part of it all is that reading is an exceptionally frugal and rewarding habit.

5. Re-use old Easter decorations to cut your spending

Instead of buying new party decorations for Easter festivities, consider using last years grass, eggs, nests, bunnies, rabbits and Easter baskets. The condition of these old items may warrant a bit of repair work but it may well be worth the money saved. Rearrange your decorations year after year so the overall Easter setup looks new and original each time.

6. Make your own frugal Easter eggs at home

You need not buy all your Easter decorations this year. You can simply improvise and make them at home.

  • If you have access to a paper shredder, shred some green paper to create grass for your Easter baskets.
  • Children love colouring and painting so get them to decorate this year’s Easter eggs. Hard boiled eggs are super cheap and easy to handle while kids cover them with paint, color pencils, crayons, stickers and glitter.
  • Redecorate old baskets with new ribbons and frills.

This activity encourages bonding within the family and teaches kids the importance of frugality and other smart money habits at a young age.

Related: How children can learn budgeting from their parents.

7. Celebrate Easter at home to keep the budget under control

It may be part of the charm of Easter to hold Easter egg hunts at a scenic park or to go out to a restaurant to celebrate the occasion. However, all these activities come at a cost to your wallet. Easter egg hunt parties are fun no matter where you arrange them. Kids enjoy looking for clues and prizes no matter where they are so instead of paying the park, host the treasure hunt at home.

In the same vein, have your Easter supper at home. Anything you cook up will be cheaper than what you pay at the restaurant, even if you decide to fill the table with your most famous recipes.

8. Frugal Easter gifts

It’s not necessary to buy huge Easter presents to place within easter baskets or to hand over to your kids otherwise. Gifts are a delight to receive even when they are small and bought from the dollar store. If you’re out of ideas, then go ahead and buy something that your children will need to use in their ordinary course of life during the coming months. Examples include summer or spring clothing, school stationery, story books, a hat or cap, paint box, crayons, sun glasses, movie tickets, everyday-use self care products, etc. A gift with a high utility value may be cherished more.

9. Saving money on meals during Easter holidays

Keeping your dinner plans simple will also keep your grocery budget in control. If you still want a table full of delicious food, consider throwing a potluck party, where every family brings their own dish. This will save your money and time and also give everyone a chance to participate. Alternatively, you can sign up to delivery services (such as Dinnerly) that send the ingredients to different recipes to your doorstep and use those to whip up something simple yet elegant in no time.

Happy Easter!!