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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.
7 thoughts on “7 Ways to Save Money on Easter Dinner”
Instead of scrambled eggs, you could have a variety of quiche dishes. They’re fast, cheap and easy. That way, you’re stretching the protein and your budget.
Such a good idea! And quiche is fancier bust just as budget friendly! Love it 😊
Huh – never thought of Easter as much of a food holiday! Good points though.
Love the idea of a brunch. For dessert, how about a really nice fruit salad? Doesn’t have to be expensive and can be at least partly canned. You could have canned pineapple, peaches, maybe some grapes and a couple of chopped apples – maybe a few nuts sprinkled on top – whipped cream optional but tasty.
Speaking of which, a great spring salad doesn’t have to be expensive and will stretch out your meal. Bonus points if you take a walk with the family to pick up local edibles before hand. My family and I would always go and pick stinging nettles to have with our meals that day, they are way tastier than spinach and you can use either gloves or a plastic bag to pick them, so you don’t get stung. (Not to worry, the sting goes away after boiling and the water makes a very nice tea.)
Another fun Easter thing to do would be a walk in the morning, the earlier the better, where you could go look for wildflowers (to either pick, or take pictures of) or maybe go find willow catkins if they grow in your area.
Also, for those who give baskets to their kids, they don’t have to be expensive either. Lots of the ideas for the Frugal Gift Baskets would work here too.
We’re having a homemade pasta dish (not lasagna, spaghetti, or mostaccioli). Kids got into making scratch pasta family recipes during COVID-19. We’ll contribute the garlic bread and vegetable. Besides eating good meals, glad both kids can scratch cook (and enjoy doing it).
IMHO, enjoying a family meal, regardless of reason/holiday and menu, is what is important.
My family has done potluck holidays as long as I can remember. Heck, my wedding reception was a potluck. Grandma ALWAYS brings the rolls, because no one bakes bread like Grandma! And this year, all attendees are to bring some sort of salad. The hubs and I take care of the rest. It’s my chance to test recipes on someone besides the hubs lol.
Activities of the day for Easter will depend on weather. If its nice ill work on garden projects and husband can sit outside watching. If it’s cold or widy he’ll watch tv.
Monday I splurged on a pack of 6 pork steaks, 5 lb of potatoes, a six pack of peach tea and 2 large slices of carrot cake. Just two of us. Husband has alzheimers. Monday evening we shared a slice of cake after pizza and small salads. Meat was divided into sandwich bags and two were frozen for Sunday.
1. Tuesday was 2 fried porksteaks, boiled potatoes, sour cream and butter, pickled beets, and peach tea.
2. Wednesday will be 1 pork steak diced with either two diced potatoes or one can of hominy, onion powder, a mashed clove of garlic, 2 fireroasted large green chilies, and some chopped cilantro to make a stew, warmed flour tortillas, and peach tea.
3.Thurday, will be 1 finely diced pork steak browned, add 1 drained can of beans ( black or red kidney), some thinly sliced red onion, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and stir in picante sauce. Roll in warmed flour tortillas with a few lettuce leaves. A glass of milk for each.
4. Friday, undecided.
5. Saturday, breakfast burritos and salad.
6. Easter Sunday. Defrost last two pork steaks. Put in a slowcooker with Memphas steak seasoning. Thinly slice 2 or 3 large potatoes and layer on top of the steaks with salt, pepper, 3 tbsp of flour, pour on 2 1/2 cups of milk. Some shredded cheese would be good layered in. Cook till meat is done and potatoes are tender. This makes scalloped potatoes and gravy with the meat. Heat spinach, drain and add a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Share that last slice of cake frozen in the clamshell sales container, and the last two bottles of peach tea.
Best meat we’ve had in awhile.
My mother-in law, rest her soul, actually made Easter and holiday dinners for her 12 children family and their spouses and kids all by herself! When I came into the family I was horrified! In my family, whoever was hosting would decide the meat and we would all bring items to make up the meal. So… I immediately made it clear to everyone that I would be bringing two items for the menu. Eventually and slowly everyone started volunteering and it has been the same ever since. I also came 1-2 hours early and helped her clean up, make her food,and any thing else that needed doing. It became a tradition that we would sip on a bottle of wine while we did it. We had so much fun ! She is gone now but we still get together in the same manner,and now my children and I do the same. This Easter money was tight so we down scaled the expensive meat but I made Grandmas recipe for Mai thai punch that parents could add rum to if they wanted and kids drink just punch. Everyone loved it, and we had fond memories of the glorious holidays at Grandmas. JR