The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 1, 2008

A (Belated) Easter Basket for Less Than a Buck

Filed under: shopping — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 2:00 am


 Sure, Easter might have happened more than a week ago,  but for those of you who aren’t picky about when you actually celebrate your holidays, there’s all sorts of great bargains to be had on the clearance shelves.  Just take a look a that shelf in the above photo, just brimming with incredible 90% off bargains!  Even so, you can’t fully appreciate the sheer magnitude of the savings being offered here until you go take a look at the prices.  Come to think of it, I didn’t really do anything all that special for Easter this year  anyway, so why not see if I can put together a little Easter celebration on the cheap?  After the jump, we’ll take a look at just how far we can stretch our Easter supply-buying dollar at these rock-bottom closeout prices.


For example, let’s take a look at this Easter grass.  Sure, the stuff might just be the most useless substance on Earth aside from its very limited use as Easter basket filler, but just how cheap can the stuff get?  Let’s go over to the conveniently placed price scanner and find out:


Yes, you’re seeing that right.  Two cents.  I literally cannot remember the last time I was able to buy anything for two cents.  While I was growing up, I think even the penny candy at the Quik Stop cost three cents per piece (and the good stuff went for five cents.)  Sure, this stuff probably isn’t going to find any purpose for me besides possibly clogging the vacuum cleaner at an inopportune time, but at that price I just can’t pass it up.  Heck, why not buy two, just for good measure?  But the bargains don’t end there:

A mere seven cents will make you the proud owner of a dozen colorful plastic eggs That’s less than a penny an egg!  But that still leaves us needing something to put all those eggs in.:

 That’s right, kids.  You too can put all your eggs (plastic or otherwise) in one basket for just nine cents.  It occurs to me that at these ridiculously low prices, we might even be able to put together a passable Easter basket for less than a buck.

Let’s review what we’ve got so far:

  • Easter Basket:  $0.09
  • 1 dozen plastic Easter eggs:  $0.07
  • 2 packages of Easter Grass: $0.04
  • Subtotal: $0.20 
  • Sales tax: $0.02
  • Total: $0.22

This leaves us with 78 cents to try to find something with which to fill those eggs.  There’s just one minor problem here:  Anything remotely edible to be found on the Easter shelves at Target probably sold out nearly a week ago.  This means that we’re going to need to look elsewhere to figure this one out.  Let’s first take a look at the candy aisle:


Well, so much for that idea. It looks like we might have to find ourselves a creative solution here.

Hmmm..  Close, but that’s still over our budget.  I also don’t particularly look forward to the chore of trying to stuff Oatmeal Creme Pies into those tiny little eggs either.  Unfortunately, this means that we’re probably going to have to look elsewhere for our candy.  Let’s go try the grocery store…

Over at the other store, we find out that they’re pretty well cleaned out, but at least they do have some actual Easter candy still on the shelf.  Unfortunately, they’ve only marked down their stuff to 50% off the regular price, so we can’t expect to find any screaming deals here.  A price check revealed that this bag of spiced jellybeans sells for $0.79, which would put us a penny over budget.   Well, that’s just great.  I KNEW that extra two-cent bag of Easter grass was going to come back to haunt me.  Besides, do kids ever actually eat those spiced jellybeans anyway?  Still, I was missing the candy to fill my eggs, and was rapidly running out of options…

…But just when I was about to resign myself to the fact that I would have to buy a bag of Skittles and call it good, I found these mini packs of Jelly Bellies for 59 cents.  A quick count of the contents of a package revealed that one of these packs should provide enough beans to put 2 or 3 in each of the 12 eggs.  Sure that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but if we’re splurging for the good stuff, that means we’re going for quality over quantity, right?

With jellybeans in hand (and a dumbfounded look from a cashier or two, I departed the store and headed for home to assemble my basket.

Once I got home, I filled up (although I don’t know if that’s necessarily the word I’d use to describe it) the eggs with the jellybeans.  Although most of the eggs got 2 jellybeans each, a few of them got 3.  For good measure, I also put the remaining change from the dollar that was spent on this little exercise into an egg as well.


It turned out that the second bag of Easter grass wasn’t needed after all, as just one bag was sufficient to fill the basket.  When all was said and done, the result was this colorful (if somewhat meager) Easter basket, all for less than a buck. 


The Final totals:

  •  Easter Basket:  $0.09 (Regular price $0.99)
  • 1 dozen plastic Easter eggs:  $0.07 (regular price $0.79)
  • 2 packages of Easter Grass: $0.04 (regular price $0.29)
  • Jellybeans: $0.59
  • Subtotal: $0.79 
  • Sales tax: $0.02
  • Total: $0.81
  • Change: $0.19 (placed into an egg in tbe basket for a total of exactly $1.00 spent.)

Just be sure that when your kid asks why you are celebrating Easter a week late, tell him or her that the Easter Bunny got stuck in traffic or something like that.  In the meantime, if anyone can figure out some alternate use for the leftover Easter grass, please let me know, otherwise I’m going to have to go try returning the stuff, and I seriously doubt that would go over too well…

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