Financial Thoughts

4 Ways to Buck the Easter Spending Trend This Year

Easter spending

While the number is small when compared to Christmas every year, it is expected that Americans will likely spend a record $20 billion on Easter this year. The biggest expense will be food, which will account for $6.5 billion, not including the massive $2.9 billion that will be spent on sweets.

In addition to that, it is expected that we will spend $3.7 billion on clothing, $2.9 billion on gifts, $1.5 billion on flowers, $1.3 billion on decorations, and more than $880 million on greeting cards. That comes to an average per capita spending of $171 per person.

Keep Your Family On a Budget

For a family on a tight budget, that level of spending can be daunting. For a family of four, that $171 comes to $684, and most Americans spend all that in the last two weeks before the holiday. Such holiday traditions can be a huge money wasting. It makes sense to do whatever you can to limit your Easter expenses to the extent possible.

So, what can you save on? Here are a few examples.

Easter Baskets and Candy

According to consumer groups, nearly 89 % of Americans will buy candy for this holiday. In fact, a couple of years ago, more money was spent on candy in the two weeks leading up to Easter than in the two weeks leading up to Halloween. In all, the average consumer will spend $31.58 on Easter candy. Again, for a family of four, that comes to $126.33. If you replace some of those chocolate bunnies with jelly beans and the ever-popular Peeps, which is the most popular Easter candy nationwide, you can save a lot.

Likewise, you can buy a slightly smaller Easter basket, which will reduce the amount of candy needed to fill it. You can also mix in some fruit, like an apple, an orange, and a banana, to fill the basket up even more and perhaps even start a new, healthier Easter tradition. There are many ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Easter basket designs available online that can save you in more ways than one.

Other Easter Food

We all want to indulge our ‘sweet tooth’, and our kids love eating Easter candy, but at some point during the holiday, you also have to eat some healthy food. In all, about 61 % of Easter revelers will spend a lot of money on Easter Dinner. Most people choose to make the traditional Easter ham, but many families opt for yet another holiday turkey, which could allow you to save a lot of money since a turkey breast will usually cost far less than a ham. Surely, you can hit the discount stores and farmer’s markets and make a delicious dinner that costs less than the $180 the average family of four is planning to spend on (non-candy) food this Easter holiday.

Easter Clothes, Gifts, and Cards

About half of all Americans plan to spend upwards of $68.03 per capita on new Easter clothes. That comes to about $272 for a family of four. Surely, shopping at discount stores and online, you can save quite a bit on that. Also popular these days is the “vintage” look, which means, you may do well shopping for clothes at vintage stores and thrift shops.

About 61 % of Easter big spenders plan to shop for gifts that are not necessarily related to Easter. Americans plan to spend more than $50 each to buy such gifts as bottles of bubbles, stuffed animals, or different types of games.

According to Hallmark, which is the gold standard in the greeting card business, Easter is the fifth-most popular holiday for card buying, which means consumers plan to buy more than 60 million Easter Cards, which comes to more than $19 per person, or $76 per family of four.

Prevent the Easter Overspending

Though the above numbers are far lower than Christmas ones, the same types of spending control strategies apply to Easter.

Here are some tips for anyone who wants to limit their Easter cost:

  • Create and stick to a budget – Yes, it’s true; most people create budgets tend to blow them early on. However, that is no reason to not create one. It will only take a few minutes. Decide how much you can spend on each element of the Easter experience, including the cost of a basket, decorations, candy, and basket filler. Make sure your budget is realistic and decide going in if you can afford to bust it just a little.
  • Stay away from credit and debit cards – One excellent way to stay on budget is to spend only cash. According to surveys, 61 % of Easter shoppers use credit cards and another 55 % use debit cards. Dare to be different and take cash in the amount you plan to spend and use it. It has been shown that watching their cash supply decrease has a greater effect on people’s spending than swiping their cards and seeing their account being drained later.
  • Shop for others only – Concentrate on the kids; Easter is made for them, anyway. Before you buy anything for yourself, just ask the simple question, “Do I really need this?”. You’ll be surprised at how many times you answer yourself with a resounding “NO!” and save yourself some serious sums of money.
  • DIY is often more appreciated – The Easter Celebration is mostly all about flowers and Spring, which means your creative talents can be used to make more appropriate gifts and decorations than you could ever buy.

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