Mom wants limited Easter chocolate and healthier baskets : The Saturday Weekend Review #114

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The Saturday Weekend Review -Easter ChocolateSAVE THE CHOCOLATE BUNNY


No, you won’t get an Easter basket filled with carrots and apples but some parents are cutting back on the amount of Easter Chocolate their kids are eating and receiving.

Move over Chocolate Easter Bunny…Easter Peeps, Props and Crafts are moving in on you.

Just last week while we were at the photographers getting our sons Easter Photos shot along with other parents.

One of the mothers who was also getting Easter pictures for her son was getting him all excited about the Easter Bunny and of course he screamed “Easter Chocolate”.

That’s when the conversation started!

One mother to another

Mother 1: My kids love chocolate too much and I don’t want family and friends going overboard this year.

Mother 2: I know what you mean and to be honest I’m thinking about telling everyone NOT to put Easter Chocolate in the Easter gifts for the kids.

Our mouths dropped…as we deflated into our seats as it felt like they just killed the Chocolate Easter Bunny. My wife says she remembers Easter chocolate being a huge part of Easter when she was a child.

Her parents would hide Easter eggs all around the house and in the morning her father would show them the Easter Bunny foot marks outside in the snow. Then he would say that the Easter Bunny must have been here and told them to start the Easter egg hunt.

Along with the mini Easter eggs they would find hidden around the house her parents would give them each a One pound Easter Bunny (everyone got one of these she said) and a Mr. Crunch or a large hollow Easter Chocolate bunny.

Either way there was lots of chocolate on Easter morning. They would also decorate and colour Easter eggs the night before and enjoy eating the hard-boiled eggs for breakfast in the morning.

My parents weren’t into Easter as much as my wife’s parents but we did get our fair share of Easter chocolate. My favourite was and still is Easter Cadbury Chocolate of any description.

My mother would always make Easter cakes or Easter Shortbread cookies for the family but chocolate was never the star. Saying that, my parents today are huge lovers of chocolate and don’t mind buying a few bars here and there for after dinner treats.


Favourite Easter Chocolate


I asked my wife what some of the Best Easter Chocolate was in her opinion and boy was that the wrong thing to do right before bedtime.

  • Lindt Chocolate
  • Cadbury Cream Eggs
  • Cadbury Mini Eggs
  • Cadbury Chocolate bars
  • Lindt Gold Bunny
  • Lindor Chocolate

I had to stop her after about 6 kinds of Easter Chocolate because I didn’t think she was going to end. You see, my wife loves chocolate but she enjoys it in moderation. She’s not a big fan of the one pound bunny but she remembers eating a few pounds in her younger years.

I asked her whether her parents moderated how much Easter Chocolate she was allowed to have since so many of her relatives would give them Easter treats. She said, yes and they were only allowed a piece of chocolate if they were done their homework or if it was an after dinner treat.

It took her ages to get through the chocolate that her mother stored in the freezer but over the course of the year (and her mom and dad dipping in) the Easter Chocolate was eaten up.

Memories do last a lifetime. These days though not all parents are keen on filling Easter baskets with chocolate bunnies and other chocolate Easter treats for their kids.

My wife managed to stick her nose in the conversation and asked the mother what she would rather have for her children in place of chocolate. The mom said she wasn’t saying no to chocolate (my wife finally smiled) but she doesn’t want Easter for her kids to be based around just chocolate.

Fair enough.

She made a point of bringing up child obesity and how so many kids are not getting enough exercise, eating too much and too much of the wrong foods. I don’t disagree with her one bit.

Some parents might even allow their child to eat their Easter Chocolate whenever they want and as much as they want. This isn’t smart parenting, she says.

She’s right though.

In 2012 Stats Canada released data from the Canadian Health Survey stating that 31.5% of Canadian kids were overweight or obese.

The mother says that she buys various arts and crafts from Michael’s Craft Store and works on Easter projects with her kids.

Along with colouring eggs there were a few other Easter gifts that would be suitable for her kids who looked to be around 5 and 8 years old.


Making an Easter basket


So how do you make Easter Baskets a bit healthier on a budget?

  • Crayons and colouring books
  • Granola Bars
  • Crafts
  • Stickers
  • Easter Candy Corn
  • Clothes
  • Easter toys
  • Plush stuffed Easter Bunny
  • Bubbles
  • Gift Cards
  • Movie Tickets

That’s all we could remember of what she was naming off as if she rehearsed it to tell her friends and family. We thought it was a reasonable list considering she didn’t want to go overboard with the Easter Chocolate.

She mentioned that her kids will participate in an Easter Egg hunt but they colour rocks and each rock has a meaning behind it. If you get the red rock that may mean the child will receive a  chocolate mini egg.

A blue rock may mean the child can pick a chore from the list that they don’t want to do for a week. The green rock may mean they get to pick a gift from the Easter Grab Bag which is filled with various toys.

We like to make the Easter Hunt fun and more than just about chocolate.

Keep in mind some children aren’t able to eat Chocolate as they are lactose intolerant or unable to for other reasons so alternatives to the traditional Easter Chocolate is important. You don’t want some kids feeling left out because they can’t enjoy chocolate, no way.


Costs of making your own Easter baskets


Easter Baskets can get VERY pricey if you are looking to buy the pre-made baskets offered at most specialty chocolate shops like Purdy’s chocolate or grocery stores. Purdy’s baskets started at around $16 for a few chocolates from what I saw online.

If you are the creative type you can save some budget money if you make your own Easter baskets. The best place to go in my opinion is the Dollar Store where you can find all sorts of Easter things n stuff for under a buck.

Some stuff might be a buck or more but it generally is reasonably priced. You can also score almost all the items on the list above like crayons, colouring books, bubbles etc. while you are there.

I’m going to safely say you can stuff an Easter Basket for about $10 full from the Dollar store which is far cheaper than paying for one filled with just Easter Chocolate.

If you’re looking for other ideas I’m pretty sure Pinterest will be filled with Easter crafts and Easter Basket ideas for the budget family in mind.

What other Easter Basket Ideas can you think of that don’t include Easter Chocolate?


CBB Week At A Glance


Gosh, it was one busy week for us but the good news is I had two days off and I made sure I didn’t waste any time getting what I needed to done. I try to go grocery shopping right after I’m done work that way we don’t have to load baby up to wander around the store.

We did make a trip to the second-hand shop this week to have a look around. I believe Tuesday March 31, 2015 will be another 50% off sale at The Goodwill if you are interested in more savings. I hardly make it in because the crowds are so big and with the baby it’s tough to look around.

Another day was filled with going to the dentist for my wife and then a community pool with our son to swim. He just loved the water which means I know what we will be doing on one of my days off each week.

The good part is the cost is just under $4.00 for an adult to swim which isn’t much at all. We did have to buy a pack of Huggies Little Swimmers for baby and we had swimming trunks for him already. At $16.99 for a pack of 20 I’d say it’s a bit pricey but it will last us 20 swims.

We’re hoping as soon as he’s around 8 or 9 months to get him into swimming lessons.

Other than that it was work as usual.

How was your week?


Published This Week


Just in case you’ve missed any of my blog posts this week I will link to them all below.

If you have a question that you would like to ask Mr.CBB fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the Home Page and send in your questions. If you want to share a story please ensure that there is minimum 500-1000 words and details… we love details!

Mr.CBB (that’s me) will look in his mailbag weekly and pick a question to answer on the blog.

This week on Canadian Budget Binder:


Popular This Month


Top 5 blog posts that are popular for the month.

These are in no particular order:


Fan Budget Brags


Submit your Deal or Brag:

Saving money while grocery shopping is essential in the CBB family and that’s why we share our grocery shops every week in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015.

What I love the most is when my fans share their amazing shops with me whether it be groceries or other deals they find at a garage sale, online or freebies!!!

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

Heinz Baby Food Stage 1 add breastmilk or formula(1)This week it’s me bragging again because we managed to score a great deal at Shoppers Drug Mart on some Heinz Baby Food Stage 1 for our son.

The Heinz Rice Cereal was regular $4.99 a bag on blowout for $0.99 with a November 2015 expiry  which is great.

That won’t last us more than 2 months if we are lucky the way he eats these days. So instead of paying almost $20.00 we paid just under $4.00!!

Anytime you can save money when it comes to baby formula or baby food it’s certainly welcomed in our baby budget.


Making A Difference (MAD)


Note: If you are a personal finance blogger (anywhere around the world) and would like your blog to be MAD featured simply drop me an email and I’ll explain the process to you.

This is my way of giving back to the personal finance community through networking and sharing knowledge with my fans. Today I’d like to welcome Canadian Money Saver.

Canadian Money Saver Logo

Hello Mr CBB and Readers,

My name is ‘Canadian Cents’ over at the Canadian MoneySaver blog and we are trying to educate Canadians on all things personal finance! In Canada, the responsibility of ensuring a comfortable retirement is increasingly becoming up to the individual.

With the days of defined benefit pension plans being more or less over, no formal personal finance education taught in schools and a general fear of anything ‘math’ related, it has never been more necessary to gain an understanding of the importance and power of saving and investing.

It is a big hole to try to fill but we, along with all the other personal finance bloggers out there, are doing our best to fill this void.

While most of the blog comes from myself, we do try to offer other opinions to round out the experience for our readers as well as providing insight that I just wouldn’t be able to!

We often feature other PF bloggers as well as financial professionals who offer insight or commentary on our blog. Finally, we often host free webinars that provide an opportunity for attendees to learn from individuals in various areas of personal finance.

We hope you take some time to check out our blog, learn something, and even have a little fun!

Happy saving.


Top recipe


Pizza-Spanikopita-BaW(1)Food  and grocery shopping is a BIG part of CBB because food is a large part of the budget that most people struggle the most with.

If you are someone who would rather buy convenience meals or products consider cooking homemade meals or baking from scratch.

Not only will you save money but you will be proud of what you accomplished and you’ll see that from the smiles on those you feed.

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Food Bloggers from around the world.

I created this second Facebook page because I love food so much and I wanted to showcase only food 24/7 and this is where I do it.

I also share recipes on CBB once a week on Sundays either made by me or my in-house home blog cook Nicola Don! Today you MUST check out this recipe for Pizza Spanikopita from Erica’s Recipes. This looks delicious and very easy to make.


Editor’s Pick


Every week I will pick a blog post of the week from around the web that I found interesting and want to share with you and an Editor’s top blog post pick.

Editor’s blog post pick of the week goes to a long-time blogger friend Maggie at Square Pennies. A post she wrote caught my attention this week. It’s about creating a Money Kit with a Notebook and a Can. Budgeting is a big part of the CBB house and our budget has been created in excel BUT not everyone uses a computer.

All you really need is a book to document your income and expenses and you should easily be able to budget. What’s the can for? Fun Money… but go check out the post at Square Pennies to find out how to fill that can up.


Google search terms


Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

  • Do you have to pay back OSAP?- As much as you have to pay back any loan, yes!
  • Wife spends money we don’t have- Time to cut up those credit cards
  • How to save money at “The Brick”- Easy… don’t buy anything. $0 spent!
  • Pillers Ham Expiry-I’m pretty sure you won’t find that info out online
  • How do I pay my bills if there are too many?-Easy budget, earn extra income, stop spending and cut out what you don’t need i.e. Internet, Cell-phone etc.

Thanks for reading The Saturday Weekend Review and Welcome to 2015 on Canadian Budget Binder!!


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  1. You gave me some new ideas for my daughter’s Easter basket. She has a nut allergy, so it’s hard to find chocolate that is safe for her to eat. I usually put things like: a DVD, small toys like play doh or accessories for her Barbies, jelly beans, and a small stuffed bunny. Since she’s getting older, I really like the idea of a gift card, movie ticket and crafts. Thank you!

  2. Yay! Time to prepare for healthier Easter baskets. How much do you set per each basket? I really have to cut back the chocolates. LOL For kids to be healthier. Thanks for sharing some alternatives.

  3. When our kids were small I didn’t put much chocolate in the baskets, but I did get a couple of small toys, colouring book/crayons and a book or three. I think the funniest thing was the one year when we lived in the country, we had a TV anntena right outside the living room window. That winter, it seems, one of the local cottontails used the base as his personal potty!! So we told the kids the Easter Bunny had been watching them to make sure they were behaving… We lived in town when the younger boy was small and I would take him to the town Easter egg hunt that weekend. They had a separate area for the really little kids where the plastic eggs were out in the open and another area for the older kids to hunt a little harder. You were allowed one plastic egg that you traded for a small chocolate treat. The Food Bank gets the food stuffs you bring to donate as payment for the folks putting it on every year.
    My daughter did the plastic egg hunt with the grandson in the apartment and it kept him happy most of the day as he would find the eggs, open for the little treat/toy inside and give her the whole works to hide again for him to find…
    I got a little chocolate for him this year and I have a Disney dvd upstairs for him I got last year at the library sale in the fall. Looks like it was never even opened!! I went to make sure it would play OK and found it was still sealed! So he will be getting Disney’s The Fox and The Hound from Peter Rabbit…
    Sounds like a good week for you!! Other than having to take the older cat to the vets (he’s fine now) it was good. Stuart is back to his sweet furry self. Nice deal on the baby cereal!! Looks like I have a couple of blogs to look over!! Hope you have a great weekend!!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      That’s good that he’s doing well. Vet bills can get crazy. Lots of people are leaning more towards the coloured rocks because they can re-use them every year. It’s better when hiding them outdoors that way nothing can get at the chocolate or eggs and if one is not found some child might find it on an off day and try to eat it. It works though.
      I think that’s funny about the bunny peeing outside the window lol. Well, have a great week. How’s that lime tree of yours doing anyways?

  4. My children are adults now but I didn’t want them having too many treats at Easter. I had a supply of brightly coloured plastic eggs that opened and I would put a nickle in some and a few jelly beans or those little foiled wrapped eggs in others. I have seen bags of these eggs at Walmart and mine lasted for years.

    2 boys, 1 roll of nickles, 1 bag of jelly beans and 2 of those mesh bags of small foil wrapped eggs and it would keep them entertained for at least an hour.

  5. I think it’s all about balance. We buy special treats and do an egg hunt but also filled some (plastic) eggs with other stuff too like stickers/tattoos/toys. We don’t go overboard and i don’t want my toddler hyped up on a bunch of sugar!

    1. I said to my wife the way our son eats he’s NOT getting a full cake on his first birthday. I bet if we turn our head for 5 minutes he’ll polish it off. I agree with you .

  6. Exciting news for you!!!!! Swim diapers are reusable (if they haven’t been pooped in)! Rinse well and let dry. Sounds gross, but a swim diaper is completely different than a regular diaper. They are designed mainly to “hold in” solids–not absorb liquid. I have even washed them in the machine before!!

      1. Or you can purchase a ‘cloth’ swim diaper. I purchased one for my sons from a seller on etsy, it was around $10 and lasted through both boys and lots of weekly swims.

  7. Part of my Easter was always a new Sunday church outfit, gloves, shiny black shoes (I loved them) and a matching Easter bonnet. In our house, Easter was a religious holiday. Christmas was the other holiday for which each child received a new outfit. 🙂

    Sure the bunny left a small basket for each child on the kitchen table, but it was a hollow small bunny, a sprinkling of jelly beans and candy eggs. Rationing was firmly in place though with what we were permitted to have daily but because the treats were very limited, they never made it into the freezer.

    Mom used to use the brilliantly colored, hard boiled eggs to make egg salad sandwiches for our lunch once we returned from church. This was back in the day where Saturday night services were not an option. Where Christmas was always turkey for supper, Easter was always a ham. In fact, it was the only ham that we had all year so it felt like an amazing celebration!

    1. Thanks for sharing those memories with us Mary. It’s amazing how times have changed. I like the egg salad sandwiches idea that your mother made with the hard-boiled Easter Eggs. Smart! We have ham as well.

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