Scaling Back Easter: Saving My Sanity and Wallet


Whatever the reason, what used to be simple holidays have now become over the top gift-giving events. And Easter is on its way! I may be a Grinch but I am trying to scale back Easter and, in general, tone down the holidays our family celebrates.

The Easter Basket Evolution

Back a million years ago when I only had one child, it was much simpler. I filled a colorful basket with plastic grass, stuffed some eggs with jelly beans, and scattered in mini Kit Kats and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe I also included a pair of sunglasses or some hair clips — but nothing crazy.

However, over the years as our family has grows, the amount of loot the Easter Bunny brings grows, too. The kids still get the basket of candy but I started to tone down that part in an attempt to be more health conscious and sensitive to my peanut-allergic son. I started focusing less on what goes in the basket and more on what they get in addition to the basket. I went down the rabbit hole of non-candy gift ideas, which I love. 

After talking with some fellow moms, I know I’m not the only one seeking alternatives to giving candy. Almost every mother I spoke with told me that she tries to limit the amount of candy her kids get. Less candy is good but now we’re all struggling with something else: spending more than we would like on these alternatives. 

The “New” Easter Baskets Can Quickly Break The Bank

The upside to spoiling our kids with non-sugary treats on Easter is that we aren’t worrying about their next visit to the dentist. However the downside is that the non-candy items cost a heck of a lot more than a fluffle of chocolate bunnies (no, I did not make up that term!). I’ve aimlessly grabbed a little thing here and a little thing there (which don’t seem like a lot of money on their own). But then when it’s all said and done, I spend far more than I intend to, and then I’m left with a post-purchase hangover. Plus, this is before the Easter dresses for her and dress shirts for him. The cute festive t-shirts, or the bunny covered pajamas. And let me tell you, I’m a sucker for matching holiday outfits.

Regardless of whether we really want to or not, most of us will be spending money on Easter goodies this month. So before you head out and just start buying things to buy them, I want to share a few ideas with you that help me avoid overspending.

Here are a few tips to avoid the stress of shopping and over spending this Easter:

  • Come up with a plan before you hit the store. Know what it is you want to buy, and set a limit on what you’ll spend. This way if you know what you’re looking for, hopefully you won’t be aimlessly adding things to your cart. I know when I don’t have a plan, I can walk out of Target’s Dollar Spot having spent $100 on doodads. And that’s not to mention what I find in the other holiday-themed sections of the store.
  • Purchase things you would be buying anyway. The idea is to pick items that you know you’ll have to spend money on in the upcoming weeks/months. This way you’re just getting the shopping done early. Some of my favorite things to buy are a bathing suit and beach towel, or new sandals and some sunglasses. Or, let’s go crazy, a new toothbrush!
  • Buy something that can be enjoyed as a family. Grab a lawn game like Ladder Ball or Badminton, or a card game like Uno. With a gift like this, not only are they getting something they will enjoy playing, they’re also getting to spend time with you having fun which they will love!
  • Go with quality over quantity. Instead of buying a bunch of little gifts they could do without, buy them one gift they will adore. Local boutiques like Portsmouth’s Pretty Poppy or Gus & Ruby are a great place to find gifts they’re sure to like. Exeter has Serendipity filled with some adorable gifts and you can’t go wrong with Nicole’s in Dover. 
  • Use part of the gift as the basket. I think the idea to use an umbrella or a pair of rain boots as the “basket” is adorable. An added bonus is you’ll be saving money by not buying an actual basket that will be thrown away!
  • Or you could go old school. Instead of buying material gifts, keep it simple. Give them the kind basket most of us received as children. Some chocolate, jelly beans, Starburst and Skittles. And maybe throw in a new tooth brush to help ease the anxiety of giving them all those sugary treats!
  • Focus on the Easter Egg Hunts and Easter events. Check out Seacoast NH Easter Egg Hunts are happening or hit a great brunch. Dye eggs, do a spring craft, or hit a hike. After all, holidays are about spending time with your family, not about the gifts themselves. This Grinch has learned at least that along the way. 



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Hello, I'm Lyndy! I am a native New Englander who hates the snow but loves the beach. I'm so thankful to be married to the most extraordinary man I have ever met and mommy to four incredible children. After having 3 daughters, Madylyn (Sept 2008), Matilda (Dec 2011), and Lennon (March 2014), I had no idea what it was like to have a son. The night Locryn (Nov 2016) was born, I realized it was amazing. When I'm not being wife and mother, you can find me at my other gig, homeschooling my children. Most days I feel like I'm failing at everything and succeeding at nothing, but I like to think it's a sign I'm doing something right. I would love to share what I do in my free time, but these days that mostly consists of enjoying a warm cup of coffee, taking a shower uninterrupted, and annoying my kids with my slight obsession of photographing the chaos that comes along with being a family of six! From home birth to homeschool, motherhood has been filled with adventures and I look forward to sharing some of those with you. I can also be found over at my blog, Living A New View.