After-Easter Savings

by Nancy Twigg

Would you like to save some money after the Easter celebration? Probably the easiest way to do this is to cut your grocery bill by creatively using up all those Easter leftovers

Eggs - Do you have an abundance of leftover colored hard-boiled eggs? Use these to make deviled eggs, egg salad, potato salad, chicken or tuna salad. Chop the eggs and use them on top of chef salads. Or search the Internet for more unusual recipes.

Chocolate - Too many chocolate bunnies? Chop or break them into small pieces and use them instead of chips to make chocolate chip cookies. Use the broken pieces as ice cream topping or as sprinkles to decorate cakes or cookies. Melt the bunnies down to make dipped fruit or chocolate-covered pretzels.

Ham - What to do with all that leftover ham? Certainly you can freeze it for later use, but you can also chop it up and use it in omelets. Make ham salad sandwiches or split pea soup. Use it with your eggs in chef salads or as a pizza topping. Make some biscuits and have ham and biscuits, or serve a slice of ham with a slice of melted cheddar on a bagel.

The second way to save money after Easter is to take advantage of clearance sales. Beginning the Monday after Easter Sunday, bargain shoppers will be in heaven as Easter merchandise is priced to sell quickly. Of course, you can buy this merchandise and save it for next year's celebration, but you can also put those items to use now. Here are some ideas:

Easter Baskets and Buckets - Because these items usually come in pastel colors, they would work great in a baby's room for storage. You could also fill one of these baskets with gift items to use for a baby shower. Let your little ones use these plastic buckets for play at the pool or beach. Or use them anywhere you need to organize small children's toys, make-up and beauty supplies, or small items in your pantry.

Small Toys and Stuffed Animals - At 50 to 75% off or more, these items make great party favors or prizes for your children's birthday parties. You can also use them as birthday gifts for parties your children will attend. Use them as generic-looking items as rewards for good behavior or as stocking stuffers at Christmas.

Easter Grass - Use this as filler in the bottom of the basket when you make your own gift baskets. You can also use it in gift bags or in gift boxes. Get creative and use the grass for craft projects with the kids.

Prepackaged Candy - If the wrapped candy is not specifically identified as Easter candy, serve it as a snack at parties or use it in party favor bags for your children's birthday parties. Use the candy instead of cookies or snack cakes in lunch boxes. Freeze the goodies and pull them out for an occasional sweet treat for the family.

Nancy Twigg is a Christian speaker and the author of Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions.

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