Easter 2011 Shopping Tips

Easter 2011 Shopping Tips

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Easter Sunday is very late this year, arriving on April 24, 2011, the latest date in memory for most people. Easter always falls on the Sunday following the first full moon of the Spring Equinox which this year doesn’t happen until April 18, thus the late date.

For some Christians, the celebration has already begun, marking a 40-day Lenten period that culminates with Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and, finally, Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday as the observance is known by some.

The late appearance of Easter has some retailers in a quandary. That’s because spring clothing is being bought now by people who want to don their winter gear for something lighter and more colorful. For people who dress up for the holiday, they may wait until April to buy their Easter finest.

With these things in mind, you’ll want to do the following as you shop for Easter:

Shop early — Retailers are still being very careful about inventories following several years of cutbacks. Shelves began to fill up with Easter candies, baskets, cards and decorations before Valentine’s Day which means that inventory has long been in place. Some retailers are likely to keep inventories in check to avoid getting stuck with items they’ll have to slash in price after the holiday. That means harder to find items may not be restocked if they run low before Easter.

Shop for crafts — A later Easter does have one important advantage: early spring craft shows which normally were held after Easter will be held before Easter this year. Expect artisans to show up with pictures and decorations, items sometimes hard to find a these particular events. Other finds may include live plants, hanging decorations and your favorite Easter foods.

Shop for specials — Higher gas prices may change the shopping habits of some consumers, but when it comes to Easter that means most people still want to hit the stores and get what they want, when they want it. Expect that to mean online retailers will be fighting for your dollars and offering specials to get you to shop the Internet. If free shipping is included, then you may have a real bargain. Still, when it comes to marshmallow peeps, chocolate bunnies and baskets, those items are usually picked up at K-Mart, WalMart, Target, CVS and other big retailers.

Shop with a budget in mind — Easter’s importance on the Christian calendar is duly noted. It is also a holiday where people spend a lot of money on candy, second only to Halloween. Candy is dandy, but cavities and weight gain are not. Consider limiting the candy and substituting the same for some toys. If you’re doing an Easter egg hunt, filling plastic eggs up with knickknacks and coins can be a fun thing for young children.

Shop with gift cards — You know those unused gift cards you have from Christmas? They’re like money in your wallet. Go through your cards and spend the remaining balances on Easter items before they expire and your money is lost for good.

Adv. — If you’re looking for online Easter bargains, then the nBuy Shopping Plaza is the place for you. With more than 5,000 participating retailers, there is something for everyone and for every holiday or event, not just Easter.

Photo: Smallwon via MorgueFile.com

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