You probably plan ahead a little for Christmas gifts and birthdays. You might even have a special account just for these occasions so your credit card bills don't come back to haunt you later on. Then Easter comes around and the kids are suddenly expecting the Easter Bunny to visit. Here are some tips for making cheap Easter baskets filled with goodies.

Make the basket yourself. You can even crochet an Easter basket although it won't be the sturdiest thing around. Look around your house for existing pails and wicker baskets that you can redecorate for Easter. Just tie a ribbon around the handle, it will instantly be sleeker than the plastic ones that you get at the store. Plus, this will really cut down on the items that you have to store year-round if you are short on space. Sometimes being on a budget is a blessing in disguise.

Bring back the Easter egg. Sure, kids' really don't need a basket filled up with twelve eggs, no matter how cute or healthy they are. It seems like Easter gifts have gotten a lot more elaborate through the years and people forgot the traditional elements. You can decorate plastic eggs with permanent markers and then fill them up with little items that your kids might need like costume jewelry or even spare change. One of the best parts of the Easter eggs is not knowing what is inside.

Do your own cooking and crafts. This will help you fill up the baskets inexpensively. Make your gifts from items you already have. Sure your kids probably won't be thrilled with an imitation iPod that you knit. However, you can make scarves, hats and artwork inexpensively. You could try giving them a room makeover in a basket by seeing how far you can stretch your creativity and fabric scraps.

Get ready to bake. You might want a healthier alternative than all the candy that is usually in Easter baskets. Plus, you can save money and cut down on fat. (Ok, so it's not really healthy, but it's Easter right?) Try out several different no bake cookie recipes. You could make caramel apples or even fudge if you give yourself enough time to prepare. Plus, you already have most of the items in your cupboards so it's an inexpensive way to fill up those Easter baskets.

Use filler. This is a must if you are really on a budget or you just have an oversized basket. That's why so many people use that fake grass even though it gets all over the place. You can also make the filler into part of your gift by substituting hair ribbons, new socks or stuffed animals. You could even try your hand at making origami roses or stars for more of an elegant touch.

Cheap Easter baskets might even look more expensive than the ones that you get at the store. The secret is to plan ahead and think outside of the basket. These gifts will be more memorable and signifigant because they are custom made by you for each person.