Easter Feast on a Budget

Easter is one of my favorite holidays! It means that spring is finally here and you get to eat candy for breakfast. Can your week really get any better?

Related Post: How To: Thrifty Easter Basket

We're doing a tiny gathering in my home this year but I'm still cooking a feast, believe me. I don't want to break the bank just because the Easter Bunny stopped by though. I know a lot of you feel the same way!

Holidays are a joyful occasion that shouldn't leave you broke. But where do you start cutting corners? It wouldn't make any sense to skip the dyed Easter eggs but keep the four course meal planned. Using these simple tips will help keep your budget and your family happy at the same time.

Tip #1: Let the Guests Help

If you're having people over and they offer to bring something SAY YES! Better yet, save some money on the booze and ask them to bring a bottle of wine or their favorite liquor. 

Alternatively, are your family and friends willing to do a potluck Easter meal?  There's no shame in only cooking the protein or all of the desserts. This tactic will give you more time to relax and actually enjoy the day.

Tip #2: Trim the Appetizers

Keep the appetizers cheap and easy! We'll be using the dyed Easter eggs for deviled eggs. Why waste all of the cute eggs, right?

I'll also be setting out a large plate of cheese, crackers, and veggies. It's nice to have some light finger foods to nibble on before the ham gets served and it won't cost much. I'll be buying delicious cheese but nothing too foreign or fancy (i.e. expensive).

Tip #3: Buy an Affordable Main Course

You can have the full main course without losing all of your money if you plan it strategically. For example, sometimes it's cheaper to buy a plain spiral cut ham and to simply add the drizzle yourself.  I'll be using this recipe from Amy at Chew Out Loud. 

Good ole mashed potatoes are cheap, filling, and a must-have with ham! I like to add sour cream, rosemary, and garlic (in addition to milk and butter, of course!) to bring the flavor up a notch. It makes them a little more tasty without having to increase the budget.

Skip those overpriced prepackaged salads and assemble one yourself. Pre-made sides can be overpriced and you need to make your money stretch as far as possible. Buy all of the ingredients separately and then ask your handy partner or willing child to do all of the prep work.

Green Bean Casserole is an oldie but goodie and is very affordable. Green beans are cheap regardless of whether you buy them fresh or canned and the dish can be made ahead of time. It's a win win from all angles.

Lastly, don't forget to add a yummy bread to the table. Beth from Budget Bytes has AMAZING recipes and her Focaccia Rollsare no exception. Be sure to start these the daybefore! Trust me, they are worth it.

Tip #4: Have a Mini Dessert

You can almost skip dessert with all of the candy you received that morning. But I personally like to bake a little extra treat on the holidays so that why I've included it here.

I have to go back to Budget Bytes with this one because Beth has this Lemon Pudding Cakerecipe that I dream about. If you've got more than two people coming over just multiply the recipe and share...or eat them all by yourself, which is exactly what I would want to do. THEY'RE THAT GOOD!

Don't panic or worry about your bank account when you have a lot of hungry guests coming over. I've mentioned just some of the easy ways you can control the cost of a family dinner but I'm sure you can find even more, depending on your preferences and budget.

Be sure to let the guests help if they want to and don't go crazy with the appetizers. Put the bulk of your cash into the main course and keep those recipes simple, yet filling. If you feel like you can skip dessert and feast on Robin Eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, do it! Nobody will judge. But if you really want a dessert, try to keep the ingredients down to a minimum. Your Easter celebration can be a success without going broke!

What recipes do you use for your Easter meal? How do you save money? 

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