7 Steps to a Budget Friendly Easter Basket

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Easter doesn't have to be an expensive Holiday, especially with these 7 must-follow steps to creating your own budget-friendly basket!

Easter baskets are a lot like stocking stuffers. Not totally necessary, but a really fun way to celebrate the Holiday no matter how old you are. In fact, at 26, I still wished I received an Easter basket every year!

But however exciting digging into an Easter basket can be, they can easily tempt you to go over budget. On average, Americans spend close to $150 on Easter – including baskets, decorations, bunny photos, etc., which I not only think is way too much, I don’t believe it is necessary at all.

You can totally create an Easter basket on the cheap, and then use some of the extra money you saved to enjoy a family outing, stash it away for a remodel, or even better, pay off debt!

1. Give Yourself a Spending Limit

Believe it or not, budgets aren’t just for utility expenses or groceries anymore….they can, and should be, used for Holidays too. Instead of blindly going to the store and picking up all the basket goodies you can think of, sit down and figure out a reasonable budget for each child. You might be surprised at how far $10-$15 can go!

2. Get Creative With Your Basket

Don’t be afraid to reuse the same Easter baskets year after year, but if you don’t currently have one, look around your house and make use of anything you can find. A basket holding your flower arrangement would work in pinch, and you could always decorate a plain, inexpensive gift bag with stamps, Sharpies, or stickers.

For budget-friendly baskets to purchase, Michaels Arts & Crafts sells fun-colored pails in their seasonal section that don’t cost very much {and they’re smaller so you have less to fill!}. You can also use a 40-50% off coupon there for significant savings.

3. Don’t Waste Money on Non-Essentials

Think about what items you can eliminate and don’t absolutely have to have in your basket.

Personally, I think stringy grass is annoying and can end up practically everywhere if you aren’t careful. A wonderful alternative to grass is brightly colored tissue paper, which you probably already have in your gift closet right now. Even plain white will do!

7 Steps to Create a Budget-Friendly Easter Basket via Creative Savings

When it comes to plastic Easter eggs, buy them only if you plan on purchasing candy in bulk to divvy up among the eggs, and make sure to reuse them year after year. Otherwise, save the cash and package candy in small snack bags instead. You can even add a printable topper to make them cute!

4. Match Coupons with Candy Sales

Start printing seasonal candy coupons from these websites, then browse weekly fliers to match them up with sales. CVS Extra Bucks are a great way to build your candy stash and double your rewards, while grocery stores promoting Buy One Get One sales are perfect opportunities to get more bang for your buck.

If you’re not a big couponer, visit discount stores like Ollies or Big Lots to find overstocked goodies at a fabulous price. It might not necessarily be Easter candy per se, but really….who’s going to notice?

5. Make Your Own Candy

A quick search on Google or Pinterest gives you immediate access to hundreds of homemade candy recipes. However, from-scratch is not always cheaper than store-bought, so think about the extra ingredients you would have to purchase before deciding what to make.

Here are some recipes I’m dying to try:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs | Creative Savings

You can also make these mouthwatering Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs, but I would highly suggest you keep them in the fridge until the absolute last second. That wonderful milk chocolate coating has a tendency to melt!

6. Invest in Snacks

Reduce the sugar high and try to include some snacky-type items in your child’s Easter basket as well. A box of pre-packaged fruit snacks, crackers, or goldfish can be divided among siblings, and cost much less than if you bought single servings at the store.

For older kids, include a package of trail mix {you can make your own!}, granola bars, chex mix, or a small bag of chips. Gum is always a fun alternative too!

7. Fill with Thrifty Non-Candy Items

Round out your basket with some frugal non-food options with a visit to the dollar store, or the dollar bin section at Target. Playdough, notepads, sidewalk chalk, stickers, and crayons are always fun finds, or you can choose a free option and make your own coloring book with these printable black and white Easter clipart pages.

Still need more ideas? This list of 50 Easter Basket Ideas Under $5.00 will make your dollar go even further.

And in case you’re curious what a budget-friendly Easter basket actually looks like, here’s one I put together that only costs $10.40 to make….including the basket!

How much does an Easter basket really cost? You can totally recreate one on a budget, and this one costs less than $11.00!

Supplies: sticker book, pretty hair clips, a chocolate bunny, Reeses pieces, 2 packages of fruit snacks, and a big handful of fun-sized candy. 

It just took a little planning, and a lot of restraint in the huge Easter candy aisle at Target, but it was totally possible, and actually kind of fun to see how much I could make my budget last. Plus, I now have a pretty white basket that can double as an organizational tool!

Easter is not the kind of Holiday you want to look back on and say you spent too much. <– {Click to Tweet}

In fact, no Holiday should make you feel that way, because there are affordable alternatives everywhere you look. It’s just another reminder to keep the seasons fun, light, and budget-friendly, and enjoy what is truly important to celebrate!

Do you do Easter baskets for your kids?

How do you keep them from being super expensive?



Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. Read my full disclosure policy here.


  1. Bridget says

    My babies are now 18, 16 and 15 and yes, they along with hubby still get an Easter basket every year. Like you suggested, I shop sales for the candy party and I divide the candy into plastic eggs that we use year after year. I no longer buy actual baskets but I vary the container according to their needs, for example, last year everyone’s goodies were nestled into plastic shower caddies that I had gotten them from Family Dollar. I also like to do a theme every year for the gift part- for example, last year the each had an assortment of their favorite body wash, shampoo and razor. I bought each of these items while they were on sale so very little money was actually invested in the baskets. This year, I have they are receiving gift cards that I have accumulated through various reward sites.

  2. Belinda says

    Great post! I love making Eatser baskets and Easter gift bags…..I agree, it’s a great way to give a thoughtful gift , whilst still ‘shopping the sales’ and keeping to budget. I have applied a spending limit this year for each person that I need to buy for….I love the challenge of trying to come in under budget.

    Your Easter basket looks lovely!!!!

  3. says

    We do Easter baskets every year, and I will definitely be trying some of your tips this year. I like shopping Target’s dollar section and have already found some cute items for my boys baskets this year. I have also bought a nice basket and re-use it each year. (found your link on Thrifty Thursday, thanks for sharing :-)

  4. Anita says

    A homemade toy is a good way to go and one should definitely re-use the baskets. I had the same basket from age 5 through high school and it meant a lot to me. I wish that I still had it!

  5. says

    Great tips! I will usually reuse the same basket and eggs each year. Another great place to find inexpensive baskets and containers is the thrift store. Found you on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Zoe says

    This is our first year doing baskets for my young kids. I got some great basket stuffers at Party City. I had never been there before but they have little toys for like 50 cents! Just chintzy little things that are good for young kids who get a kick out of little tchotkes like that. They also have bulk candy for about 7 cents to 15 cents each, so I got a handful of candy for each kid. That way they get some candy but I don’t have to buy a big ol’ bag of it! I am also going to make candy like you suggested!! Lastly, we do snacks for stockings so I plan on doing that as well. They love those boxes of animal crackers! :)

    • says

      I don’t stop by Party City very often, so I had actually forgotten they have bulk candy there — such a great idea to stock up without a big bag!

  7. CharredFrogLegs says

    I’ve got 5 kids, so every little bit helps! We don’t use the fake grass anymore, and my budget is $30. No, not $30 per basket…. $30 for EVERYTHING! We have re-used their baskets, the decorations, and plastic eggs for a couple years now, and we have enough eggs for each kid to get 20. So that means the $30 gets to go toward egg and basket fillers. I find a lot of ideas for egg fillers in Walmart’s party favor section (4 tiaras for .97?! yes please!)… though this year I kind of splurged and took advantage of orientaltrading.com’s free shipping promo and got them the “Easter Egg Filler Assortment”… I also throw snacks we already have in the house and puzzle pieces in the eggs so they have one more activity to do when the hunt is over (put the puzzle together!)…that’s right, no candy in ANY of the eggs … As for basket fillers, Dollar Tree and 99 cent stores are my friend. I’ve already spent $12.50 on Egg fillers, which means I get to spend $17.50 at the dollar stores on basket fillers (candy bars included)

  8. says

    Just a comment, as most cat owners know, you need to keep the plastic grass away from cats. They like to eat it and it can get stuck in their intestines which can cause major problems. Tissue paper or a pretty towel in the bottom of the basket works well instead of the grass.l

  9. Olivia says

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this idea or not. (I haven’t read the current comments.) But, I was at the thrift store a few weeks ago and they had a TON of baskets. Baskets are the type of thing that show up at thrift stores all the time. Most people don’t have a constant use for them.
    Anyway, these were super duper cheap- around $1- for the nice wicker ones. If you don’t already have some, check out the thrift store. And if you don’t like its color, just do a quick spray paint job on it a week or so (to let the smell dissipate) before using!

  10. Annie says

    I saved money this year by shopping the Easter clearance last year! Something to think about this next week. Since this is the first year my son, he’s 2, will want anything to do with Easter, I’m filling his plastic eggs with homemade popcorn Saturday night so he doesn’t get too much sugar. Oh, amd no plastic grass, love the idea of tissue paper. This was a great article, lots of great tips, thanks!

    • says

      I’m so glad you liked the post! Easter clearance is definitely a great way to stock up on goodies for next year, and I love your idea to fill eggs with popcorn!


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