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7 Tips For Creating An Easter Basket On A Budget

Making Easter baskets doesn’t have to be an expensive activity when you use our Tips For Creating An Easter Basket On A Budget.

Make this the best holiday yet with the ideas from our other Easter posts too.

An Easter Bunny in Walmart with the words "Tips For Creating A Frugal Easter Basket" digitally written on top.

If you celebrate Easter, there’s a good chance you make Easter basket every year. They’re so fun to put together, filling them with candy and other Easter goodies that your whole family will squeal at on Easter morning. It’s the best.

But it is, also, an extra expense.

And with the way things are right now, you just might be on a tight budget and not have extra money for these sort of things. I get it. But, your young kids might not get it. So, instead of skipping Easter baskets and them thinking they did something to upset the Easter Bunny, just follow our tips for creating an Easter basket on a budget.

It takes a little bit of pre-planning and creativity, but it’s so worth it.

7 Tips For Creating An Easter Basket On A Budget

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A Paper Bag Bunny behind paper shred and plastic Easter eggs.

Make a basket.

If you only make Easter baskets for your kids every year, you can keep reusing each child’s Easter basket annually. That will save you money because you only have to buy one once.

But, if you’re like me and you have guests who visit for Easter sometimes, you can make a temporary basket from upcycled materials.

Every year, I save a couple 8 oz. plastic mushroom containers, wash them really well, and use them to fill as Easter baskets for my parents. Then, when they’re done with the basket, they can just recycle the mushroom containers away. A few years ago, I turned empty cereal boxes into Easter baskets.

And, if we have last-minute company (which happens often at Easter), I grab some paper bags and turn them into the Paper Bag Bunny Craft pictured above. We have a DIY Cereal Box Easter Basket and DIY Card Stock Easter Bunny Treat Bags, if you need more ideas.

I’ve also heard of parents gifting a new pair of rain boots to their kids for Easter, then filling that with other Easter gifts and using that as the kids’ Easter baskets. So you can definitely be creative.

Paper shred in a plastic basket.

Use paper shred as Easter grass.

Paper shred is really cheap at the local dollar store, but it’s free if you get it in packages you order during the year (which I get a lot of, for whatever reason). Every time you get something with paper shred, save it in a bag somewhere in your gift closet. Chances are you’ll accumulate a lot of it during the year.

Then, when you’re making your Easter baskets, instead of buying overpriced Easter grass, you can just go into your bag in the closet and grab some paper shred.

If you don’t get any paper shred during the year, grab a couple pieces of colorful paper (like construction paper, card stock, or scrapbook paper) and run it through your paper shredder. Instant homemade Easter grass.

You can still enjoy Halloween candy when you're on Weight Watchers. Just check out this Weight Watchers Halloween Candy Points List on

Pick up some free candy.

If you’re shopping at the last minute, you’re at the mercy of what stores have left in stock and have to pay whatever the Easter candy costs.

But, if you plan ahead a little, you can save some money and grab free or cheap candy. Last year, we’ve found offers for free Nerds at Circle K, Flipz bars for a quarter, and free Snickers at Walmart. Any time we find these deals at the drugstores or grocery stores, we post them on our social media pages. So, definitely follow us.

Set the free candy aside as you “buy” it, making sure not to eat it, and you’ll be able to fill those Easter baskets for a fraction of the cost.

Two plastic Easter eggs decorated with washi tape.

Reuse plastic eggs.

If you have Easter eggs left over from last year, or if you went to a local egg hunt this year and collected plastic eggs, don’t throw them away. Reuse them. That saves you from having to buy plastic eggs. 

Fill them with jelly beans or small candies. Then, have an Easter egg hunt at home or you can use them in your Easter baskets this year. 

And, if you really need to stretch your budget, put one small piece of candy in each egg, then put them in the Easter basket. Doing it that way will take up more space than just tossing candy in there, making the basket look fuller.

Calico Critters Hoppin' Easter Set.

Add some non-candy Easter basket stuffers.

Easter baskets don’t have to be filled solely with candy. You can stick in some toys and other items that take up some space.

The age of your recipient will determine what type of toys to add to the basket. For a young child, art supplies like sidewalk chalk are great. So are Easter books. Anything to keep them off tablets and away from the television.

For a older kids, like your teens with a new car, towels for washing the car and Rain-X for the windshield are helpful. For your mom, think about her hobbies. If she likes gardening, go with gardening gloves.

Small gifts take up a lot of space in an Easter basket, but not in your gift closet. So, while you’re out doing your regular shopping during the year, check out the Target dollar spot or clearance aisles of your local stores for cheap Easter basket filler ideas. You can pick up inexpensive items during the year, then use them to fill Easter baskets. And by that logic, you actually end up spending less on the Easter basket than if you filled it with a bunch of small toys from your local Dollar Tree.

If you need help coming up with fun ideas, we have a great list of Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers For Kids

Chocolate smash eggs surrounded by Easter candy.

Avoid pre-package Easter baskets

It’s so easy to grab an Easter basket off a store shelf and be done. But those pre-packaged Easter baskets are so expensive because they charge for convenience.

You can, however, use those for inspiration. Take a peek inside to see what the basket is filled with to get some great ideas. Maybe it’s sports equipment like a soccer ball. Or maybe it’s a stuffed animal. Take notes of what you like about the basket and what drew you to look at it in the first place.

Then, head around the store and pick up those items. Assembling it yourself will be a lot cheaper than purchasing it already made.

And, in that same vein, if you can make some homemade holiday treats, like smash eggs or peanut butter eggs, instead of buying them you’ll save yourself some money too. That may cost you in time, though, so you need to weigh that choice out.

Easter clearance at Hobby Lobby.

Shop after-Easter sales.

The day after Easter, stores want Easter merchandise off the shelves as quickly as possible. So the day after Easter, Easter items are on clearance. Usually, items start at 50% off and go as high as 95% off.

That’s a great way to pick up items for next year’s baskets.

But some stores start even before the holiday. Easter items are already 40% off at Hobby Lobby — and we still have four full weeks before Easter. So you can still fill your baskets at a discount.

When the sales are huge, like 75% to 90%, pick up small, non-perishable items for next year’s baskets. Don’t pick up clearance chocolate for next year (but, definitely pick it up for yourself), but toys, coloring books, and other small Easter basket fillers are worth grabbing at a discount.

Those will help your wallet now and will help your future self when you’re putting together future Easter baskets.

A teen boy in front of two Easter baskets, plus candy, eggs, and a note, with the words "15 Fun Easter Basket Ideas For Teens" digitally written above him.

More Easter Basket Ideas:

Need a little more help putting together a great Easter basket? We have a few more posts that can help. Check out our Fun Easter Basket Ideas For Teens, Fun Easter Basket Ideas For Adults, and Non-Candy Easter Basket Fillers For Kids lists for creative ideas.

Which of these Tips For Creating An Easter Basket On A Budget is most helpful to you?