Even though the price of everything is up, and earnings are down, your kids can have fun this Easter without you plundering your savings. First of all, who says they need a new Easter basket every year? Get a couple of thrift store baskets. You can decorate them differently every year depending on what the kids are into. Themed candy, pens, toys etc. are available at the dollar stores, or even at yard sales and thrift stores. Start collecting stuff at the sales after Easter for next year. If you do buy candy at the drugstore or grocery store, make sure you have coupons. There are a lot of buy one get one, and rebate deals going on right now for candy and basket stuffers. If you want to go lighter on the candy, try popcorn, juice boxes, fruit snacks, etc. You can save the Easter Grass too, and use it year after year. The plastic eggs that you fill and hide can be reused year after year too.
As far as coloring eggs, look for the grocery store deals for free eggs with a purchase of a certain amount. You can pick up the coloring kits for next to nothing after Easter, but if you don't have any on hand, buy them on a good sale, or you can use food coloring. Just be sure to add a little vinegar to each color, and use hot water, then add a little cold. You can save the large yogurt or cottage cheese containers to dip the eggs in, then recycle after Easter. The dye is just food coloring, it will not hurt the recycling process. You can also dye eggs naturally with vegetable and fruit colors. There is a good guide for doing this here:
A white crayon works the same as the one from the kit for coloring on the eggs before dying. Whip up some egg salad with all those dyed eggs for cheap bag lunches during the following week!
If you're having a party, here's an idea for a cute little gift to send home with each child. Use green plastic strawberry baskets. Weave ribbon in and out of the slats to decorate, and use wire or ribbon for a handle. Fill with easter grass, candy and small treats. An egg coloring contest is a fun party activity. Offer prizes for the prettiest egg, funniest egg, most unusual design, etc. Dollar-store garbage bags can be slit at the top and sides for heads and arms, and used as smocks to protect the kids' fancy easter clothing. You can vary the standard egg hunt for older kids by placing scavenger hunt clues inside the eggs, leading them to a prize at the end.
I wish you all a Happy Easter. If you have any fun, frugal Easter tips or traditions, please share!