Foodie fun | Four tips to hop into savings | SierraSun.com

Foodie fun | Four tips to hop into savings

Sarah Bovagnet
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Itand#8217;s quickly becoming time to help the Easter bunny put together the kidand#8217;s Easter baskets. Thankfully, you donand#8217;t need to spend a ton of money to get the most out the goodies and treats that will fill their baskets and put a smile on your loved oneand#8217;s faces. With a bit of creativity and craftiness, you can easily create some simple, yet memorable baskets for your family to enjoy this Sunday. Follow a few of these tips and be on your way to a fun and inexpensive Easter celebration!–

1. Start with a budget. How much do you want to spend on each basket? Write that number down and plan on staying under the limit. If you go to the store with no budget in mind, youand#8217;re likely to get carried away on all the goodies being marketed this time of year. Do some online research, check coupons and figure out how to stick to your number in a fun and original way.

2. Consider do-it-yourself treats. Candy can get expensive. Especially marked-up Easter candy. Thereand#8217;s no need to fill your shopping cart full of brand-named sweets when you can bake cookies, brownies and various other treats in the comfort of your own kitchen. To really get into the Easter spirit, make them bunny and egg shaped. You wonand#8217;t only save a whole lot of money, but youand#8217;ll also have more control over the nutrition and taste of the treats.

If baking isnand#8217;t your thing, or you donand#8217;t have the time to bake your familyand#8217;s favorite desserts, opt for more non-traditional Easter candy. Those chocolate bunnies can be pricey, and the dollar store has isles full of delicious sweets that wonand#8217;t put you over your budget.

3. Get creative with your baskets. Donand#8217;t spend too much time and money searching for the actual basket. Your kids arenand#8217;t as interested in the baskets as they are in whatand#8217;s inside those baskets. Run to the thrift store or visit a few garage sales to find fun Easter baskets in good condition. Keep an eye out for wicker baskets, as they tend to last longer. If they are lacking the springtime look, spray paint them a nice Easter color! Once youand#8217;ve found the right Easter baskets, thereand#8217;s no need to buy Easter grass to fill them up. Simply grab some used tissue paper, tear it up and create your own colorful filler. And when the day is over and the baskets are empty, put them in a safe place to be used again next year.

4. Think ahead to more sunny days. Now that the sun is coming out, it may be time to stock up on swimsuits, flip-flops, outdoor games and other sunny necessities. If you already planned on heading to the store to purchase some of these items, Easter is the perfect occasion to package them as fun, springtime gifts!

and#8212; Sarah Bovagnet is a writer and editor for meal planning service http://www.foodonthetable.com.