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Easter Dinner Under $50 from Smart & Final

Can anyone else believe that we are nearing the end of March, and approaching Easter? February and March have just flown by for me! I have been crafting and cooking up a storm over here, trying to get ready for Easter. To show you all that you can create a cheap Easter dinner that is tasty enough to serve to royalty, I planned and prepared a pre-Easter dinner last night.


I decided to take the challenge of whipping up an Easter meal for $50 or less and I scored at Smart & Final. In taking a look at the meat department I decided to go with the ham because it was a nice price at $1.59/lb, and we all love ham for Easter dinner! There are a couple of things we always have at Easter dinner and the rest varies. We always have ham, some type of roll, a green veggie, and a potato dish. Sometimes we even have a jell-o salad of some sort. In the past couple of years, my mom and I take turns making a bunny cake, which is always a big hit among the kids.
Easter Dinner for under $50
When I told my family that we were going to have a pre-Easter dinner, they were so excited! I even invited my parents over to join in on the delicious meal. I knew I’d have plenty because my Easter recipes are meant for larger groups! Everything turned out so yummy, so let me break it down for you….

sliced ham

I prepared the ham according to the package directions, and even used the included glaze. The ham turned out great! (Just a small portion of the ham is pictured here)

Cheesy Potato Bake

My favorite Easter dish is my mom’s Cheesy Potato Bake recipe, which I just posted about. You can find a printable version of the recipe on that post as well. This dish combines potatoes (found at Smart & Final), a homemade white sauce, sour cream and lots of cheese. YUM!

Asparagus seems to be coming on around here and I spotted some Green Giant Asparagus at Smart & Final, and decided to serve that as my green veggie. To cook the asparagus I just lay them in a casserole dish with about 1 tablespoon of water. Place a couple of pads of butter on the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-5 minutes, depending on the quantity. I like to cook the asparagus this way because then it frees the oven up for the potatoes and ham!

empty tomb roll

A fairly new family tradition of mine is to bake Empty Tomb Rolls. I think they have great symbolism for what we really celebrate on Easter Sunday, and they’re super tasty! You bake a roll with a large marshmallow in the center (yeast and marshmallows also purchased at Smart & Final). The marshmallow melts and creates an empty space in the middle of the roll! This adds some sticky sweetness, and a great lesson for the kids. You can find a printable version of the Empty Tomb Roll recipe.

bunny cake

To finish the meal off, I purchased a Triple Chocolate Cake Mix at Smart & Final, and made my annual Bunny Cake! I was a little rushed for a Friday night so I don’t think he turned out quiet as cute as last year, but he’ll do. I was happy to see that Smart & Final even had the jelly beans and things to make the bunny’s face!

For table decorations, I just used some of the Easter craft projects that I had from last year and this year. I haven’t posted the carrot tutorial yet, but you can find my Easter Candle Holders diy post, which is fairly affordable as well!

Easter Dinner for under $50


See what a nice meal you can put on with a low budget? We even had enough leftovers to serve up an entire second meal! I love holiday leftovers for lunch the next day, don’t you?

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About the author

Emily Buys


  • It was a fabulous dinner – thanks for the invite! It was a nice, unexpected treat for a Friday night – pre Easter dinner. So great that it fed 8 of us with enough leftover for a whole other meal. So, that adds up to $50 to feed like 16 or so people? Looking forward to the “Real” Easter Dinner with the whole gang! Love me some Potato Bake – my fav comfort food.

  • This doesn’t really apply to nor is it a practical holiday dinner for my family. It might be a nice dinner for a small family on a regular Sunday afternoon but except for the bunny cake, it’s not an “Easter” dinner. Holidays at my house include extended family. Come up with a meal for 20-30 people on a budget around $100 and that’d be an article worth reading.

  • Hi Afton,

    I’m sorry you didn’t appreciate the post. Like I said in the article, I fed 8 people with enough left over for another meal. So if you double that, you would get a meal for 32 for under $100.

  • The Potato Bake is quite big and has 8-10 medium-large potatoes. You basically figure 1-1 1/2 potatoes per person if you are feeding all adults, or older children. So plan accordingly for your family.

  • Emily,

    I’m 52, and I think you do a wonderful job with your blog and facebook posts! I think everyone sees celebrations differently. I recall when I was young, the fine linens, good dishes, and silverware. Things always changed as we were a Military family. Now, living on disability, I find the simple yet complete meal you posted something I would choose to do now. You made the cake, and that celebrates the Bunny side for kids, but you also included special rolls, to symbolize the true celebration for Easter! You had all the food groups covered, and everything looked delicious. And, your decorations were cute as well!

    Different locations in the US the prices will vary. New York, Alaska, and Hawaii I can assure would be more expensive than somewhere down south. Keep up the great work you do!!!!!!


  • Thank you Kay! For Easter Day we do use our fancier plates, napkins, etc. However, this was Friday night and just a pre-Easter dinner. I was mainly showing the affordability.

  • Hi Afton
    it’s very easy to feed a group for $4.00 per person.
    i have a business that i cook for people for about 3-5 per meal.
    let me know if you have any questions

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