With Easter just around the corner, there isn’t much time to spare. This year, Easter weekend just so happens to fall on the very first weekend of April. After the year we’ve all had, I’m sure a lot of you are scratching your heads trying to come up with a way to save on the feast this year, be it a meal for just your immediate family or your extended family as well.
That’s where I come in. I’m just “hopping” like crazy to share my ideas with you to help you pinch every penny you can, so, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Make it a potluck
This is a useful tip if you have your parents, your friends, your neighbors, cousins, basically anyone but your spouse and live-at-home kids coming over. This allows everyone to contribute, evens out the expenses, and it will also help take off a little of the stress of making sure you have everything made, purchased, and ready for exactly 5 o’clock
Make sure you plan ahead and have everyone contribute one or two dishes. If you take care of the ham and rolls, have your Aunt Sue bring the potatoes, your cousin Tom bring the veggies, and your friend Peter bring the dessert. I can’t stress how important the planning bit is. You don’t want to wind up with just three desserts, and ham. (Well, I would be happy with that, but I don’t think most people love dessert as much as I do.)
Shop the sales
As Easter gets closer, a lot of stores will put things on sale that are commonly part of an Easter dinner. Make sure you check your flyers to see what’s on sale where so you’re getting the best price possible. Some stores give loss-leader deals on ham just to get you there to purchase the rest of your meal. And if you can price match or use coupons too, even better.
Don’t put too much on the table
While I do love me some good leftovers, there are still only so many leftovers I can eat, and not everything freezes well. While having a full table of food may look great and make you happy, it can be a strain on the wallet.
Somethings don’t reheat well, and at the end of the day, you don’t need a crazy amount of leftovers unless you’re planning on eating nothing but those leftovers for a week.
Switch from Easter dinner to brunch
Have you ever had an Easter brunch? Or even brunch in general? It’s delicious! And can be a lot cheaper than dinner. Get some ham, scramble some eggs, and try making some bread or cereal from scratch for a nice and thrifty spin on things. Get creative with it!
On top of saving money, doing brunch instead of dinner is just better timing for this holiday in particular. With the kids doing Easter egg hunts, most likely first thing in the morning, you’re probably going to want to eat at a time closer to the hunt.
Shop from your pantry
Holidays are a great time to start new family traditions, including getting creative with your meal. Have you ever tried hosting a big family meal from just the things in your pantry? (Or even just mostly things in your pantry?) Check out this thrifty Thanksgiving dinner article for inspiration.
See what you have and get the whole family involved, whether it be every family member gets to pick one dish from the pantry for a fun mismatched meal to remember, or you use your creative juices to see all the creations you can come up with. Instead of buying all new groceries, challenge yourself to use only ingredients you already have. This can save you a ton of money.
Stuck for ideas on what you can make? Try a recipe finder website like Recipe Land or Super Cook where you can put in a list of ingredients you do or don’t have, and they’ll give you a list of dishes and meals you can make. It’s a great resource for coming up with new ideas no just on holidays, but any time of the year.
Try a soup, stew, or casserole
While they aren’t part of the traditional Easter dinner, soups, stews, and casseroles are a great way to stretch your meat and vegetables.
Try making an Easter-themed casserole using ingredients like ham, green beans, and potatoes and the Ultimate Frugal Casserole Formula. It’s such a great way to focus on cheaper ingredients like rice or potatoes, with just as much flavor.
Just like a casserole, soups and stew are a great way to stretch your dollar (and your food), as well. Don’t know how to make soup? Don’t worry, we still have you covered. Take a look at our Ultimate Frugal Soup Formula. to find out how to turn pretty much any ingredients into a delicious soup or stew that you won’t be able to get enough of.
With whipped cream and a cherry on top
To finish off this spectacular meal, all we need now is dessert. Try going with basic and light things such as fruit, or making your own dessert from scratch!
This can be anything from cinnamon buns, to cake, to pie or crumble. Not only will a homemade dessert often taste better, but it will also be less of a burden on your wallet. More often than not, scratch cooking will be a cheaper and more fun alternative.
And there you have it, folks.
It’s not extravagant but it can be fun. Get the family and all your guests involved, get creative, and most importantly, have fun. Easter should be a time of celebration, not a time to stress even more than usual about your grocery bills.
What are ways you like to save money on your Easter dinner? Do you have any thrifty Easter dinner traditions to share? Let’s talk about it in the comments.