Easter Baskets

jonsgirlMarch 26, 2009

I was wondering what money saving tips anyone has for making Easter baskets...For the last few years I have been making just one 'family' basket for the dining room table. I make sure everyone has their favorite candy in there and then fill in with jelly beans and chocolates and we all pick at it until its gone. This has worked out great as my kids are older and no longer do the egg hunts etc...

This year I wanted to do something different because my oldest daughter is going to college and living in another state so I started watching for things I know she likes but is too cheap to buy herself. I got her and her sister each a bottle of lotion from Bath&Body on sale and with a coupon. I got them each an Intuition razor on sale, with a store coupon, and a regular coupon making them almost free.

I was never one to do the big toys and things people would do for Easter baskets, we usually just made candy baskets. But like I said, my kids are older and don't really need or want all that candy. In fact I'm sure they would be fine if I just stopped doing the baskets alltogether, but I enjoy making them and am having fun finding great items on the cheap.

I don't buy cheap candy though, I may just buy less of it. I never understood why my mom would fill our baskets with stuff we hated that would just get thrown out (like those hard candy shell marshmallow eggs). I watch Walgreens and CVS and can get good candy just as cheap or almost as cheap as store brand.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your ideas for making baskets for your kids, I've really enjoyed reading these money saving threads!



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My kids are younger and the two boys were born at Easter so I still have a lot of fun with it. I do a lot of practical gifts that I was going to buy anway and combine that with the candy and bubbles.

In your case since youre doing fun and practical, I'd suggest maybe some Victoria's Secret panties. Places like retail me not have some great coupon codes to match up with the current sales. Snacks, even healthy ones, would probably be appreciated. You could also get fun or practical pens and pencils for class, toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brushes, barrettes, deodorant, disposable cameras, socks, nail polish or other makeup. The great thing is that you can find coupons and possibly sale prices formost of these items.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:16PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I don't think I ever understood the new basket each year. My two brothers and I each had a nice big Easter basket that Mom pulled out each year. Each of our baskets was different and special. I always loved my basket and although I'm 44 now, I still have our 3 baskets in storage. I gives me fond memories to see them.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:16PM
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Those are some great ideas! I just found a good deal on toothpaste, they had the big Colgate tube w/ free toothbrush included for 1.99...I had a store coupon for $1 off and my own coupon for .75 so I paid a quarter for that. I wasn't even planning on putting toothpaste in there until I saw that deal.

Bumblbeez, I didn't mean I bought a new basket every year, I reuse the same nice one that I have...Although this year since I need three of something, I'll have to see what I have...

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:22PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I didn't mean to sound frugally snobby either!
But I have to say, I would fill the baskets with fun, non practical things that are thrilling. When I became an older teen and watching my weight, my mom started buying me a piece of heart shaped jewelry each year for Valentines day instead of candy. This was really special to me and so appreciated.
Never in a thousand years would I think toothpaste a special gift because it doesn't have that Je ne sais quoi
of a great gift.
I don't have any good ideas but Bath and Body Works stuff, jewerly, special things count.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:39PM
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One of my daughters loves to read so I buy her a few books and then a few pieces of candy. Another one is into makeup and have been buying that at CVS when it is BOGO. The other one is 11 so I still buy her some candy but have put in a DVD, popcorn and haven't figured out what else. I will only be doing the one bowl of candy except for a few little bars in their baskets.

If one is into doing their hair I saw lots of things today at the Dollar Tree. They also had lotions and things like that.

When my granddaughter was only a few months and they didn't live close I bought a basket and put rabbit ears, bibs, spoons and melamine bowl and a few bottles. Don't remember what else but they were all cheap little things and I sent my DD turtles as she loves them.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:04PM
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Hmmm.. my oldest is 9 and I thought I'd be done with baskets in few years....

My kids birthdays are right around Easter so I find the basket somewhat of a chore to do.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 10:03AM
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I am almost 50 yrs old, married w/no children, and no Easter passes without filled Easter baskets at my house. I just think they're a fun way to celebrate spring, even for adults. What's different for me this year (in addition to a very tight budget) is that my 84 y/o MIL has come to live with us...so she must have one as well. She has dementia, and when I told her that the Easter Bunny always visits my house, she said "Well, he's never come to see me before". So of course I will make sure she has her own basket. And since I can't spend a lot on holidays right now, I have to be creative as well as thrifty.
Jonsgirl, I think you are doing a good job so far; check out your nearest dollar stores & you may be able to finish your basket there. Personally, I'm trying to limit sugary treats (although there will certainly be some there), and stick with things that are usable & appealing. I don't know any women who don't love BB&W stuff, & they have good sales, so you're on the right track. The only expensive thing in my MIL's basket is a hand-made wire cross I bought on Etsy for $10.00. I think maybe some cute socks and some inexpensive earrings will be the main things in her basket, filled in with some sweets that she likes. And don't forget, your daughter will probably be so pleased with the thought, it may not matter so much about the dollar amount.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 2:48PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Some other ideas would be a gift card or 2 to either download some music or to pick up some food at a fast food place. Another idea would be now that scarves are quite the rage, find a nice one to tie as a bow on the basket.

FWIW, I love it when my mother gives me practical gifts, things like the nice shampoos and conditioners, makeup (I get her Bare Minerals cast offs), skin creams, etc. In our budget, these things cannot be a priority so thanks to her I can still indulge my appearance, if only slightly.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:25PM
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One year we gave our daughter and son baseball mits for Easter and used the open mits as the "basket", so think outside the basket (so to speak - LOL). -Grainlady

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 4:46PM
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I too was going to suggest an alternative "basket". Possibly a nice basket they can use for storage, or perhaps a plastic tote? Backpack, fannypack, computer bag, etc. You can decorate it anyway you like. There's also the reuseable bags from stores they shop which is a gift that keeps giving if they get credit each time they use them. Otherwise, they take up virtually no room and can be used for a myriad of things. I really like your idea of the necessities and functional things. Especially for someone whose funds might be tight. And treats vary by person too. Perhaps some beef jerky, cheese, or a bottle of wine, etc, would be more appreciated than sweets to some. The spirit (no pun intended) is there.

A friend of mine each year would give his grandmother a small but good ham, a small loaf of bakery/special bread, some of her favorite fresh veggies and a dessert of some sort. Sized in amounts she could handle with just a few leftovers if any. She loved to cook but Social Security was her sole income so some things like these were luxuries to her. She was thrilled at the thoughtfulness. Each person is different.

Perhaps a prepaid phone card and your phone # on it? As a hint! ;) Gas card, prepaid Visa/MC will get used and appreciated. Are there any spices they like but don't buy? Keep your mind, eyes and ears open for things they want and need.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 5:28PM
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telly, that's so cute! I love that you still make baskets for your loved ones in your house.
dd50 actually books are a great idea! My oldest loves those 'Jodi' books but cannot afford to buy them often.
tish, my oldest feels the same way, she really appreciates that stuff now that she's on her own...
grainlady, Thats perfect for my son, he was just hinting around that he needed a new baseball glove.
stir fryi, I felt the same as you when my kids were younger, that I would be done a few years, and every year I think 'Oh, just one more year...'
cynic, a gas card is another perfect idea for our oldest, she comes to visit us about once as month and we always fill her gas tank before she goes home.

Great ideas!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 9:34PM
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I was going to suggest a nice magazine, something of interest but something out of their buying range. A special interest hobby magazine?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 5:25PM
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Great idea's everyone. I do the generic basket for the past 8 years. I keep it in storage. Its so much easier just to fill it with candy and I usually put 1 toy for each kid, something that is "spring" item. Sometimes a Kite, or sidewalk chalk. But now my son is almost 14 and I just bought him 1 pair of those boxer shorts they like to wear with the "logo" stuff hanging out. and my daughter if 9 so anything girly will do. I have noticed the price of candy is horrific, but I just scored .99 bags of reese's peanut butter cups from Safeway, so thats great especially since DS only eats that candy anyway. Woohoo.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 12:43PM
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I thought I didn't have anything to add until I reread and say "Money-Saving" and one thing came to mind: Get a smaller basket. As Easter is not a traditional gift giving holiday and coupled with the desire of many to cut down on sweets, I feel it's about presentation and the thought. A few very carefully selected items surrounded by some "fill" candy in a smaller basket makes a nice presentation.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 1:55PM
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My local Dollar Tree has Jelly Bellies for $1 a bag. They are so much better then the standard jelly beans.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 10:17PM
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Check out any candies you buy especially the ones from the Dollar Tree. Several are made in China.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:53PM
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Thanks, all, for the great ideas. My mother has some dementia and it did not occur to me to make her a basket until I read this. Lotion, a stretchy bracelet, a nice scarf, and a small chocolate easter bunny would be perfect.

Our local thrift store had lots of baskets. (I haven't had one in the house since I left home 43 years ago.) Oooops! Blush.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:13PM
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For easter I colored six eggs. Made baskets for my two daughters, 19 and 20. Went to the beauty supply store and got sample sizes of hair products, lotions, makeup remover cloths,shaving cream,etc. Also some of their favorite candy-chocolate covered peanut butter eggs and Cadbury creme eggs. Not the same as when they were little.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2009 at 1:30PM
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