Despite the fact that I have no idea of the origins of the Easter basket as a gift for Easter, I have long since succumb to this long standing tradition. They can be insanely extravagant with enough candy and sweets to put any kid into a sugar high for days. I, on the other hand, prefer to keep it simple and, most importantly keep costs low. These baskets are the other baskets I purchased with the Target deal ($3 each). The usual theme of my basket gifts are make sure most, if not all, items are reusable. This year I was trying to be even more waste conscious as there is a movement to try to recycle and reduce plastic Easter eggs. Every item in these baskets is either consumable or things that will be used over and over again. There is also a very small amount of candy. The individually wrapped chocolate was just thrown directly in the basket and there is just one bag of candy pre-wrapped in plastic shaped like a carrot which can be recycled.
Some other ideas for waste conscious or even health conscious baskets are shelf stable fruits like apples, oranges, pears, etc. You can even throw in homemade sweets where you can control the sugar content, not to mention it is cheaper. I even thought of cake pops or chocolate covered pretzels, muffins, etc. The total cost of these basket were $12 each, it could have been $9 if I bought the basket at the Dollar Store. They actually had some nice looking baskets.
Other budget friendly ideas include:
small box games
mini stuffed animals
small packs of crayons/markers
$1 coloring books