Do you try and limit the amount of chocolate your kids get for Easter? Because we come from such a big family, Porkchop usually gets pretty spoiled. In an attempt to limit the amount of chocolate he ends up with, my husband and I usually give him a small gift instead of chocolate. I’ve put together a list of things we’ve given him over the years that I think make great Easter gifts that aren’t chocolate.

Plastic eggs filled with tiny treasures

Everyone loves a good Easter Hunt. Plastic eggs containing little trinkets such as stickers, balloons, even tiny figures, make excellent treasure instead of chocolate eggs. Another great thing about them is you can keep the eggs and reuse them again next year.

Winter pyjamas, slippers or a dressing gown

Easter marks the beginning of cooler weather, so warm pyjamas, slippers or a dressing gown make an excellent Easter present.

Easter marks the beginning of cooler weather here in Australia, so warm jammies, slippers or a dressing gown make an excellent Easter present. This has been our go to gift the last few years.

A mug

As the weather cools down, drinks such as hot chocolate, are a perfect way to warm up. The year Porkchop got his own mug, he felt very grown up indeed.

A stuffed toy

A soft toy they can snuggle makes a great gift idea for babies that are too little for chocolate.

This is my favourite idea for babies, when they are too little for chocolate, a soft toy they can snuggle. For his very very first Easter, we gave Porkchop a cute little stuffed bunny. I still like to bring it out every Easter and will continue to do so in years to come, no matter how much it embarrasses him (sorry buddy).

A book

There are some great Easter books available that make perfect Easter gifts. One year, Porkchop was gifted the book “That’s Not My Bunny”, and we must have read it everyday for over a year.

How do you celebrate Easter? This year, we’ll be getting Porkchop some new winter pyjamas, and one Easter egg. What do you do for Easter, gifts or chocolate? I’d love to know in the comments.



When money is tight I find one of the simplest ways to reduce our budget is to look at our spending at the supermarket. I have written about how to save on groceries before and today I am sharing more ways to reduce your food costs.

To see my other posts on ways to save click here.

When trying to cut your food costs soft drink is one of the things to take off your grocery list.

Stop buying soft drink

I’m not a huge fan of fizzy drink, but my Husband is and I do like to have some on hand to offer to guests. However when I am trying to lower our spending this is one of the things I cut first from our grocery list as it’s definitely not something we really need.

Switch to home brand products where you can

If I was only shopping and cooking for myself, there’s a good chance I would buy home brand everything. My Husband can be incredibly fussy about the things he will and won’t eat so I know this one can be tricky. My suggestion is to give home brand products a go, work out the ones you can live with and go from there. I find essentials such as oats, flour and sugar are a great place to start.

Compare the unit prices of items when shopping.  Most supermarkets now conveniently put on the price tag, you just need to look closely.

Check the unit price

Sometimes I look at the price of something compared to other products around it and think, ‘Wow! That’s a bargain!’. But when I stop and compare the unit prices (which most supermarkets now conveniently put on the price tag, you just need to look closely) I realise I’m paying more in the end. Be careful not to fall into this trap.

Only buy what your family will eat

It’s easy to convince myself buying something that’s half price is a great idea because I’m saving money, but if no-one will actually eat it I’m just wasting money. Sure it’s great to try new things, but when money is tight I stick to things I know my family will eat, and save more adventurous meals for less frugal weeks, that way it’s not such a huge issue if everyone hates it.

Adding lentils added to bolognese or a curry, is an easy, cheap way to bulk out a meal and make it stretch a little further and help cut your food costs.

Go meatless

This is another work in progress in my house. My husband is not a fan of anything vegetarian (that he knows of) but a can of lentils added to bolognese or a curry, is an easy, cheap way to bulk out a meal and make it stretch a little further. If like me you have a picky eater trying adding in small amounts to begin with and increasing it over time.  What my husband doesn’t know won’t kill him. Unless he’s reading this, in which case, I’m sorry baby.

So there are 5 more ways to reduce your food costs. I’d love to hear your tips for saving money at the supermarket in the comments below.

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I am lucky to have some pretty awesome women in my family. We are hugely outnumbered by the men, but I like to think that just makes us that bit more fabulous. All of them have their own strengths and talents, and I am so fortunate to have such a wealth of knowledge available to me through them. GG, my Mum’s Mum, is an avid reader who always has a good recommendation to offer. Auntie Lizzie, is a sewing master who makes some amazing outfits. My Mum is a writer who has the quickest wit of anyone I’ve ever met and a way with words I aspire to.

Nanny, my Dad’s Mum, knows about food. Not in like a fancy cooking show type way, although I definitely think she could give some of them a run for their money, but more of a bellies filled with delicious warmth kind of way. If I have a cooking question, she is usually the first person I call. I remember going to my Grandparent’s house for dinner as a child, she always made the best roasts, and now I am older I love to (try to) recreate her recipes for my family.

Last week I made Corned Beef using Nanny’s recipe. It’s one of my family’s favourites and who doesn’t love a good corned beef sandwich the next day. These days she tends to email me her recipes, (she’s got this Internet thing down!) but I still treasure the few hand-written versions I have. Even if I can’t always read her writing. I’ve been thinking about sharing some recipes on here, and sharing some of Nanny’s recipes seems to me a good place to start. So keep an eye out in the upcoming weeks for recipes of some of my family’s favourites, including Corned Beef, just like, though not quite as good, as Nanny makes.

I would love to hear in the comments below what have you learnt from the women in your family, or what you hope to pass on to your kids and grand babies!