Now is the time of year when you walk through your local mega store and find Valentines candy 50% off sitting next to an array of colorful baskets filled with toys and candy. Speculation leads me to believe that Easter today, like Christmas, is another way to get the children to behave for a month. Be good and the Easter Bunny will visit you. Even that has gone by the wayside. With children so spoiled today, the parents seem to be at the mercy of the child. We better get Johnny a basket or he will misbehave. When I think of Easter I like to think about the resurrection of Christ, but to the masses it becomes another financial burden like Christmas.
Rather than report on the significance of this holiday we will explore the cost effectiveness of creating your own baskets versus purchasing pre-packaged ones.
Prepackaged baskets are relatively cheap. You can pick one up for as little as 10 dollars on up. The value of these are that you can get the basket, grass, a cheap toy and still have few bucks left over to purchase extras. Of course you get what you pay for, some cheap plastic football made in China that will become next month’s trash. These are just throw-away baskets, overstuffed with that plastic grass giving the illusion of getting a lot. If you choose to make your own the possibilities are endless.
There are all sorts of baskets to buy. Some are plush looking like a rabbit with a pouch and some are just plain brown baskets. The cloth plush type will last quite a while and can be used for years. These can be bought for around 12 bucks. However the plain brown wicker or paper baskets can be bought cheaper and if taken care of can last a few years. And you may even be able to pick a couple up at a thrift store for pennies.
These paper type can be a good family project as well, let your children decorate them as they like, with washable acrylic paint or markers. Rather than buy that green plastic grass that remains in the cracks of your home and carpet for all eternity, cut up green paper. To get really inventive, get some dry prairie grass and weave a nest. Tie a bow on top and you’re done. All this can be done for around 10 bucks and can be reused.
Now we have to fill this thing, so what should we choose? This is great time to furnish a good or need that your child can really use. And don’t discount thrift stores; they are a great way to find slightly used items that look new. I like thrift stores and one good reason is because, most of your items are not just throw away items. A lot of these are quality used goods that can be bought for the same price or less than a cheaply made plastic car from Bangladesh.
Think of your child’s needs. A football can become a need. If your child spends all day inside playing video games a football can get them out and exercising. Clothes can be bought very cheap at thrift stores, especially seasonal outfits. Think about it, a parent may buy a nice suit or dress for a child who may wear it one day, on Easter, and then is discarded because they grow out of it. Worn once and bought for a fraction of what the original consumer paid.
If you purchase candy you may want to get some Easter specific stuff like a chocolate bunny, but purchase discount valentine candy for fillers. Kids won’t care, sugar is sugar. For health’s sake substitute candy for something along the lines of animal crackers. The possibilities are endless if you can think it you can do it.