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Moving into Spring

Well guys, as we barely recover from Valentines day we are already reminded that Easter is just right around the corner.  Normally I don’t like when stores rush from one holiday right into the next, but something about Easter just makes me happy.  Before I dive into my tips to Build a Practical Easter Basket, lets talk about Spring for a minute.  Now I know that New Years is the start of the year, meaning a fresh start with new resolutions, new goals, new ideas.  But to me it just feels like the end.  Does anyone else feel that way?  It feels like winter should be winding down and ending.  And soon enough spring flowers will start sprouting up!

Spring to me feels like a fresh start.  A time to open windows, refresh our homes and refresh our minds.  As the weather turns warmer there is no better feeling then getting out of the house and getting some yard work done or just chatting outside with neighbors as the kids play.

There’s also something special about refreshing our wardrobes and picking out a couple new pieces to add to it for summer and spring.  I love the feeling of wearing a new flowery print.  Something about it just makes me feel extra girly.

Ok on to Easter Baskets…

I used to be the one that every year threw my Easter baskets together at the last-minute.

I would wander through the Easter aisle just looking at all of the plastic stuff that I felt I needed to stuff in their Easter baskets.  Knowing all to well that they’d play with it for a day or two and then it would end up all over my house.  More things I would need to pick up from the floor or suck up into my vacuum.

Then I would try to find a basket.  Most are so small and made of cheap plastic that filling them without everything falling out becomes a MacGyver situation.  Now having four kids means that everything I buy is X’s 4.  Four baskets, four (or more) bags of easter grass and the same with the plastic eggs.  This really starts to add up!

The Easter Basket Solution

One year while at Michaels I had a great coupon on top of a sale and decided to purchase some larger, real wood baskets.  Now yes they were a little pricier than the cheap little plastic ones from target.  But guess what, I use them year after year.  Yep that’s right.  I take the same basket and use it year after year as my kids Easter basket and they are none the wiser.

Lets be honest, after the first or second day they kids really don’t care about their basket.  It gets left behind as they eat all of the candy and play with the new toys they received.  So when that happens, I “clean up” the house, and without them knowing I take their big beautiful wooden Easter baskets and stack all four of them up and put them in a large black trash bag.  Then I stick them in my garage with all of my other holiday stuff.  Not once after that have the kids ever asked where their baskets went.

Next year, I can pull out that same big beautiful basket and fill it up again without the kids ever knowing.  So even though I spent a little more up front (actually it was a great deal with that coupon) I save myself the money of having to purchase 4 cheap plastic Easter baskets every single year.

TIP:  I actually save their easter grass and plastic eggs too for the next year.  One more little step I take to save that they never notice.  Just stick the easter grass into a large ziplock bag and squeeze all the air out.  I stick these ziplock bags along with the eggs right into the big black trash bag with the baskets and next year everything is in one place.  Easy peasy and less stuff I have to buy!

easter baskets save money

Fill Their Baskets With Things They Will Actually Use

Ah yes, we get to the practical part of the idea.  One year I decided I was no longer going to fill their baskets with cheap little toys that gets broken or lost after a day.

Now this does get a little pricier.  But the way I look at it is I’m going to buy my kids this stuff anyway, so might as well kill two birds with one stone as the saying goes.

Last year we put a pool into the back yard.  It was completed in March.

So with Easter being less than a month away, I decided, why not fill their baskets with stuff I’m going to buy them anyway?

Each kid last year got a new swim suit, swim shoes, pool toys, some super cute sun glasses, their own beach towel and some other fun outdoor pool stuff in their baskets.  Now of course they got their chocolate bunny and candy filled Easter eggs.  But I filled their baskets with things they will actually get use out of.  Things I would most likely have bought them anyway.  So in the long run I saved myself money, and they loved that the Easter bunny knew exactly what they needed.

This can be done a variety of different ways for your kids.

  • Do your kids play sports?  How about a new baseball glove or knee pads in their basket, along with a Water Bottle , a new Nike gym sack.  These things always get use!  My daughter plays volleyball and one year I got her the cutest colored spanks and warm ups.
  • Do you have a teenager?  My teenager is always asking for the latest and greatest makeup product or cute accessory.  For teen boys how about new Earphones , a hat, a water bottle, graphic t shirts or if they drive, how about something for their car?  If your family attends church, try adding in a new bible study.  SHEREADSTRUTH.COM has some really cute ones for girls.
  • Going on a summer vacation?  Why not pick them up a new instant camera with film so they can get some great pictures of your vacation.  My daughter has this Fujifilm Instax Camera and loves it!  Her bedroom wall is filled with these cute little instant pictures.  They’re hot items right now with teens.  And just think those are memories they get to keep!  A bathing suit cover up or cute hat would be another great idea if you’re going somewhere beachy.  For boys some new shades and a new hat so they can look cool in their summer pics.
  • Do you have an avid reader?  Fill that basket up with books, a reader night light and maybe a cozy throw blanket. Have girls? My little girls loved these Mermaid tail blankets that they got for Christmas.
  • For all ages, add the newest release DVD.  I always love an opportunity to have movie night and snuggle on the couch with the kids.
  • Another cute idea for small children, garden accessories.  I’ve never met a kids that didn’t like to play in the dirt and grow things.  This little garden kit is super cute! My kids love making homemade pizza’s and even though they don’t love tomato’s for some reason when they grow them themselves they all of a sudden want to eat them.

Really think about what your kids do and what they enjoy.  Filling their basket with these things will ensure that your money is well spent and that you have some happy kids on your hands.

One last tip on saving money.  If you shop at Target and do not use the Target Cartwheel App then you are leaving money ON THE TABLE.  Target always has percentages off on holiday items as well as everyday stuff such as milk, eggs, etc.  They almost always have some things at 50% off!   All you have to do is download the target app, set up your account, add your percentage off offers to your list and let the cashier scan it at checkout.  No searching for coupons!  It’s that easy.

I hope you enjoyed these tips on building a Practical Easter Basket!

Are you guys excited for spring?  What do you look forward to the most?  Got any tips on Easter Basket goodies?  I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Happy end of winter!

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