The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .
Whether it’s serving a holiday meal to friends or taking their kids egg hunting, Americans planned to spend a record-setting amount to celebrate Easter in 2023.
The average American said they would spend $192.01 on Easter this year, according to a March survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics, the costliest Easter since the NRF began tracking the holiday.
The high cost of eggs isn’t the only factor driving up costs — people planned to spend more on nearly every shopping category this Easter, particularly on food and seasonal flowers. The average household planned to spend $58.11 on food this year, up from $53.62 in 2022, according to the NRF. They also planned to spend $14.24 on flowers, up from $10.79 in 2022.
This is how much more people planned to spend to fill their Easter baskets in 2023.
Key Easter spending insights
- This year’s Easter will break the previous 2020 record. Americans planned to spend a collective $24 billion on Easter this year, the highest amount on record. In 2020, the previous record-setting year, Americans planned to spend $21.7 billion. (NRF)
- One third of household Easter budgets are going to food. The average household planned to spend $58.11 on food, the largest amount on any Easter category. That’s 30.3% of the average household Easter budget. (NRF)
- High egg prices aren’t over yet. Though prices have cooled slightly, eggs were still 55.4% more expensive in February 2023 than in February 2022. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- You don’t need to celebrate Easter to buy bunny-shaped chocolate. 54% of those not celebrating Easter still planned to buy Easter items, mostly candy and food. (NRF)
Average cost of an Easter basket: What to expect in 2023
Americans planned to spend $24 billion in total this Easter, a record high, according to the NRF. Spending has jumped since 2022, when families planned to spend $20.8 billion, a year-over-year difference of $3.2 billion.
Despite high spending, most people planned to spend Easter through home-cooked meals or other quiet activities, according to the NRF. The most popular Easter activities in 2023 were expected to be:
- cooking a holiday meal (56 percent)
- visiting family and friends (50 percent)
- going to church (43 percent)
- planning an Easter egg hunt (34 percent)
- watching TV (32 percent)
The largest percentage of households’ budgets for Easter were going to candy and food. Nearly everyone celebrating Easter planned to buy candy or food (90 percent and 89 percent, respectively). Around two-thirds (65 percent) of households also planned to buy gifts, 50 percent planned to buy decorations and 47 planned to buy greeting cards.
Altogether, a household buying gifts, candy, decorations and greeting cards to build Easter baskets was expected to spend $79.57 on average, according to NRF data analyzed by Bankrate.
In 2022, the average Easter basket cost households $71.40 — $8.17 less than in 2023, according to the NRF data analyzed by Bankrate. Last year, households planned to spend an average of $24.32 on candy, $24.04 on gifts, $11.50 on decorations and $7.54 on greeting cards.
Inflation and springtime holidays: How much more you can expect to spend in 2023
Prices on Easter food, flowers, clothing and, yes, eggs are all up year-over-year, as inflation continues to impact most household goods and services in the U.S.
Prices on all U.S. goods are up 6 percent between February 2022 and February 2023, the latest data available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Eggs, a holiday staple for cooking, baking, decorating and hiding in Easter egg hunts, are expected to see the highest inflation of any Easter good. After months of skyrocketing prices, eggs are still 55.4 percent more expensive in February 2023 than in February 2022.
Several holidays have come and gone since Americans first began enduring the hottest inflation in 40 years. The one lesson they’re sure to learn is that inflation-busting your holiday budget can be next to impossible.— Sarah Foster, U.S. Economy Reporter
However, the inflation rate for eggs is no longer rising like it did in 2022. After rising 11.1 percent between November 2022 and December 2022, egg inflation has slowly cooled. Prices rose slightly less (increasing by 8.5 percent) between December 2022 and January 2023, but decreased by 6.7 percent between January 2023 and February 2023.
Families will still expect to see higher prices on most Easter items:
|Easter category||Percentage increase from February 2022 – February 2023|
|Stationery, stationery supplies, gift wrap||13.1%|
|Candy and chewing gum||10.6%|
|Food away from home||8.4%|
|Fresh sweet rolls, coffeecakes, doughnuts||5.1%|
|Women and girls’ apparel||4.3%|
|Alcoholic beverages at home||4.3%|
|Indoor plants and flowers||3.9%|
|Men and boys’ apparel||2.1%|
Similar to the most recent Valentine’s Day and the winter holidays, prices for gift wrap (13.1 percent increase year-over-year) and candy (10.6 percent year-over-year) have been hit hard by inflation between February 2022 and February 2023. But parents can find some relief in their toy budget: Toys only rose 1.2 percent in price between February 2022 and February 2023.
About half (51 percent) of people celebrating Easter said inflation and a potential economic slowdown, such as a possible recession, will moderately or significantly impact their holiday, according to market research company Numerator. Those people plan to adjust their spending accordingly:
- 58% planned to buy items on sale.
- 37% planned to use more coupons.
- 29% planned to prepare more budget-friendly foods.
- 26% planned to shop at dollar or discount stores.
How those who don’t celebrate Easter will see inflationary impact
Most Americans (81 percent) planned on celebrating Easter, according to the NRF. Among those not celebrating, 54 percent still planned to purchase Easter-related goods, spending an average of $23.41 on mostly candy and food.
Americans observing other holidays this spring, such as Passover or Ramadan, may have also seen inflationary impacts, particularly on food. Though typical meals vary widely between families and cultures, those celebrating Passover or Ramadan can expect inflation to impact many ingredients:
Passover (April 5, 2023-April 13, 2023):
|Passover item||Percentage increase from February 2022 – February 2023|
|Cakes, cupcakes and cookies||15.8%|
|Crackers, bread and cracker products||14.6%|
|Fresh fruits and vegetables||2.6%|
|Uncooked beef roasts||-2.4%|
Ramadan (March 22, 2023-April 20, 2023):
|Ramadan item||Percentage increase from February 2022 – February 2023|
|Other processed fruits and vegetables including dried||11.1%|
|Dried beans, peas and lentils||6%|
|Fresh fish and seafood||4%|
Easter budgeting tips
It’s possible you planned Easter on a budget this year. Amid inflation and the possibility of an upcoming recession, 34 percent of U.S. adults are focused on paying down debt and increasing emergency savings, according to Bankrate. That may leave less room for holiday spending throughout the year.
Consider these steps to celebrate Easter with your loved ones while keeping costs down:
- Have a meal or potluck at home. It’s likely you have a meal with friends or family during Easter. Prix fixe meals are popular at restaurants around Easter weekend, but celebrating brunch at home with friends or a potluck with family lets you celebrate without the cost.
- Hit the discount or thrift stores. Many U.S. adults planned to shop at discount stores this Easter. Check out thrift stores for seasonally appropriate clothing in your favorite pastel colors, or check out discount stores for lower prices on candy and decorations.
- Skip the real eggs. Eggs have seen a big hit from inflation this year. Consider fake eggs to paint with your family instead of real eggs. You’ll thank yourself later if you end up losing one under the couch.
The study on emergency savings (that was conducted in January 2023) was conducted for Bankrate by SSRS on its Opinion Panel Omnibus platform. The SSRS Opinion Panel Omnibus is a national, twice-per-month, probability-based survey. Interviews were conducted from January 20-23, 2023 among a sample of 1,032 respondents in English (1,007) and Spanish (25). This survey was conducted via web (1002) and telephone (30), while surveys prior to 2023 were conducted entirely via telephone. The margin of error for total respondents is +/-3.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All SSRS Omnibus data are weighted to represent the target population.