Forecasts call for the second most expensive Easter ever, but moms and dads share they’re putting Easter baskets together for just $20 a kid.
It can take a lot of lettuce to be the Easter bunny.
Texas mom Heidi McBain dropped around $150 on Easter for her two kids, ages 9 and 12, without realizing how quickly the candy, crafts and bunny-themed gifts added up.
“I didn’t realize I was splurging until I saw my Target bill!” McBain, 43, told Moneyish. She took a Christmas-approach to Easter this year, following the four-gift rule of giving something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read because it’s been such a big hit during the December holiday.
“I think I ended up spending more because of it,” she said, after bagging both kids the candy and stuffed bunnies that they want, pencils and face masks that they need, bunny shirts and socks to wear, and hardcover books to read. She put the books ($15 apiece) and the stuffed bunnies ($10 apiece) as the biggest splurges, but it’s worth it. “I can’t wait to see the joy on their faces!” she said.
The average American will spring $150 on Easter this year, according to the National Retail Federation, adding up to $18.2 billion total for the second most expensive Easter ever. Where’s it going?
- $5.7 billion on food, like hosting a family brunch or dinner
- $3.2 billion on new clothes for church or just to look your Sunday best
- $2.6 billion on candy and $2.9 billion on gifts to fill those Easter baskets
- $1.3 billion on flowers
- $1.1 billion on decorations
- $780 million on greeting cards
For one thing, the eggs that are the staple of any Easter egg hunt or basket have gotten more expensive. The USDA reports that the price of a dozen eggs in the Midwest has more than doubled to $2.71 in five weeks as of March 23, the highest price since a 2015 bird flu outbreak had a carton almost cracking $3 at $2.77. “Easter is propelling demand, and it (the holiday) is earlier than last year,” Vertical Group analysts noted in a report picked up by Bloomberg.
And there’s plenty of new, artisanal goodies to choose from thanks to a 23% rise in Easter chocolate launches across the globe over the past year, according to Mintel, with smaller indulgences such as chocolate products described as “bites” spiking 50% over the past five years, and sweets described as “thins” jumping 48% over the same period.
“Easter represents one of those ‘permissible indulgence’ moments where consumers enjoy giving and receiving chocolate treats,” Marcia Mogelonsky at Mintel Food and Drink said in a statement, highlighting gin-and-tonic flavored eggs in the U.K., and vegan chocolate bunnies and eggs in Germany. In fact, Godiva has crafted a $7,000 Easter egg in its central London shop that tips the scales with 55 pounds of Belgian dark chocolate, edible gold dust and white chocolate pearls; it’s most elaborate and expensive chocolate egg to date.
— Cherish Finden 黄淑柔 (@cherish_finden) March 28, 2018
But most of the parents Moneyish spoke with said they managed to keep their Easter spending around $20 to $25 per kid — which is peanuts compared to Christmas and Hanukkah, when parents spend $422 per kid on average, according to T. Rowe Price’s Parents, Kids & Money Survey.
Ryan Darcy, a Coventry, Conn. stay-at-home dad to three boys ages one, three and six, said he dropped about $20 per kid on some books (for the youngest), the Hungry Hungry Hippos tabletop game (for the middle one) and a Bingo set (for the oldest), plus candy and gummies for the Easter basket.
“Nothing extravagant; the gifts are usually small things we know they’ll enjoy,” Darcy, 36 and a member of the City Dads Group, told Moneyish. “Besides, their birthdays are in April and May.”
City Dads Group founder Lance Somerfeld also told Moneyish he only spent between $25 and $30 on plastic Easter eggs and the candy and treats to fill them, plus colored dye to do art activities with his son, 9, and daughter, 2. And Divalysscious Moms CEO and mother of three Lyss Stern told Moneyish, “This mama is celebrating with homemade colored Easter eggs ($1.50 to $2.50 for Paas dye kits), and store bought Peeps (around $1.89 a pack) and Cadbury Creme Eggs (79 cents apiece).”
And Mark Aselstine, 38, told Moneyish that he and his wife also stuck to around a $20 cap per kid (ages two and seven), including about $10 apiece on cute new Easter clothes from Marshall’s for Mass, and the requisite candy and small gifts for their two sons to open. The biggest splurge, in fact, comes from hosting Easter dinner for their neighboring relatives and friends for about $150, but the best parts of the holiday weekend are priceless.
“It’s just a nice holiday without the crazy pressure of gifts,” Aselstine said. “Plus the weather is good, so the kids end up playing basketball or baseball or riding bikes in the street, or all of the above. We’ll have an Easter egg hunt for the seven kids. We have fun.”
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