Frugal, Real Food Easter Baskets & Eggs

Reading Time: 4 min

simple healthier budget-friendly easter eggs pin graphic

When you’re trying to save money and eat healthy, holidays are a struggle.

During Easter, I feel like stores throw every kind of baby animal-shaped chocolate at my face. Between that and my inexplicable love for malted milk balls in the shape of robins eggs, Easter brings a lot to tempt our wallet.

While we’re here, let’s agree that Peeps are only tempting if you are under the age of 10 or a Sunday School teacher who obviously doesn’t remember what it’s like to bring hyperactive children home.

Back to Easter. I have a couple thoughts on Easter and holidays in general. If you and I are on the same page about Peeps, you might agree with me here too:

Why all the Gifts?

Sure, it’s fun as a kid, and extremely profitable for every store hocking plastic Easter grass and chocolate peanut butter eggs, but what’s the bigger picture?

Obviously, I want my kids to have good memories associated with holidays. I’m not the parent who thinks we need to throw the bunny out the window.* However, as the parent who has to live with hyperactive children and all their extra plastic stuff, I want to be intentional about how we celebrate this holiday.

Photo by Alexander Ivy from Pexels

The Dread Pirate Cottontail

When I was growing up, next to the cross and remembering God’s unconditional love, the best thing about Easter was the scavenger hunt. My dad invented The Dread Pirate Cottontail, who left buried treasure at our home every year. The only way to find it was by following the clues. These hunts grew more elaborate was we got older. In fact, after I moved across the country (you know, as an adult), he set up an online version, so we could have one more hurrah with the most fearsome bunny on the seven seas.

The scavenger hunt cost my dad an hour or two every night before Easter, but it didn’t cost him any extra money. My parents turned the Easter basket tradition into something infinitely more memorable.

In fact, it saved them money. Cottontail only left one gift for each child instead of a whole basket, and we didn’t even care. Well played, Pops.

Your Dread Pirate Cottontail

Maybe creating a scavenger hunt makes you want to pull your hair out. What can you do instead that will create a fun memory for your kids and won’t cost extra?

eggs and chocolate

Why all the Sugar & Plastic?

As a parent, I spend far too much time managing my kids’ sugar intake and the cheap plastic toys that come into our home. I’m not against candy, and I’m not against plastic. However, I am against excess and waste.

We live in a country where the average person consumes 66 pounds of sugar a year (including children), when the recommended amount is under 22 pounds.

Meanwhile, my kids receive plastic toys from the dentist office one day and don’t even remember them the next. It’s too much.

Let’s also remember how much of our chocolate comes from sources that use slave and child labor. If I can buy less chocolate and invest in the good stuff, I think I should.

Easter Baskets

When it comes to building a frugal, fun, junk-free Easter basket, use the same rules for a junk-free Christmas Stocking. Get all those tips here.

Frugal, Real Food Easter Egg Fillers

Here are some ideas to keep the Easter eggs fun, creative, frugal, ethically-minded and hopefully slow our insulin dependence.

Fair Trade Candy

It doesn’t have to be something really expensive. I bought a bag of Fairtrade chocolate peanut butter cups from Aldi for less than the price of a bag of M&Ms. They’ll fill the same amount of eggs but will hopefully support a better world.

More frugal, health-conscious candy finds here!

eggs and fillers

Fruit Snacks

Aldi carries organic fruit snacks that I use in place of jelly beans. Free of artificial dyes and juice-sweetened.

Pennies & Nickels

Maybe your kids are less worldly than mine, but not much gets them more excited than cold hard cash. So I fill some eggs with loose change. These are easily their favorite eggs.


The classic frugal gift that shows extra TLC. Ours are redeemable for gifts like:

  • “1 extra TV show during TV time.”
  • “5 extra screen time minutes.”
  • “Make your choice of cookies/treat with Mama.” (Here are some easy no-bake ones!)
  • “1 box of your choice of cereal at the grocery store.” (Cereal is a treat at our house, so they don’t usually get to choose.)

These ideas reflect what I know will excite my kids according to their ages and personalities. Be creative with yours! Think about inexpensive requests your kids frequently make.

Hardboiled Eggs

Since we color the eggs anyway… those are our primary hiding eggs. The treat-filled ones are just a fun supplement.

Every Easter,  we have a choice. Will we create intentional, creative memories, or will we participate in one that’s centered around gifts and spending money? I won’t argue that gifts and spending money isn’t fun. It is, and I love giving gifts to my kids. However, these frugal, healthy(ish) ideas can help fit your holiday intentions into your budget in a mindful way.

What You Can Do Now:

  1. Note which of these ideas will work best with your kids and write them down (in a note on your phone, on your grocery list next to the fridge, in your planner, etc.).
  2. Next time you go to the store, skip the junk and get these instead!

Frugal, Healthy Easter Ideas- Here are some frugal, fun, kid-centered ways to fill your Easter eggs and Easter baskets - all while saving your wallet, guarding your kids’ health, and building eggs-cellent memories! From

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