Decorated Easter potatoes are a fun, cost-effective alternative to dyed eggs

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Easter is around the corner, and families usually get ready for the holiday by decorating eggs. However, the price of eggs has fluctuated so much in recent years, causing sticker shock for many people around the country. For those of us trying to stick to a tight grocery budget as prices on most foods remain high, this can mean the annual Easter egg coloring session might not be the best or most affordable option.

A recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows that the cost of eggs rose 3.36 percent between January and Febuary 2024. The U.S. Inflation Calculator reports that as of Jan. 2024, one dozen Grade A eggs will cost you about $2.52 on average.

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Additionally, the expected increase in demand for eggs during the Easter holiday season will likely make the price of eggs soar — especially given the fact that the latest round of the avian flu is leading to the termination of flocks of egg-laying hens that produce eggs for top-producing poultry farms in America.

Meanwhile, as of February 2024, there are favorable reports on the state of potato crops in America, and potato prices are stable. You can get a three-pound bag of yellow/gold potatoes for just $3.29  Not to mention, potatoes have a larger surface area to decorate — even more bang for your buck.

Another plus for decorating potatoes over eggs? They are so much less fragile and less wobbly than eggs — and they can be set flat for painting if that’s how you choose to adorn them. Toddlers in particular will benefit from these handy attributes of the trusty spud, making the process much more fun for them.

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So, what are families who want to keep their Easter traditions alive — minus the eggs — supposed to do?

While there are other clever alternatives to dyeing eggs, such as this delicious Rice Krispies Treat Easter Eggs recipe and even Jell-O eggs, what about moving away from the concept of eggs entirely?

At first, the idea of decorating Easter potatoes may seem odd. This can be evidenced by the many memes that popped up last year amid sky-high prices  commenting on the price of a dozen (or more) eggs, and the resulting swap to spuds.

But a number of bloggers are sharing their colored Easter potatoes as a cost-saving way to keep up a family favorite tradition. Additionally, decorating potatoes is a perfect way for plant-based and vegan families to partake in the festivity.

Brittanie of the Simplistically Living website shared a photo of a basket filled with brightly colored potatoes:

So, how do you make these colorful potatoes?

In her blog post on Simplistically Living, Brittanie shares a recipe that offers two options for dyeing the potatoes: water-based food coloring and gel food coloring. Just note that gel-based colors, while vibrant, may not dry as quickly.

Because food coloring creates the color, you can actually eat the potatoes if you don’t add other inedible decorative items. Because the texture may be affected, it’s best to use food-colored potatoes in recipes. As Single Girl’s DIY points out, you might get some pretty colorful mashed spuds or French fries as a result.

Just grab your food coloring, your potatoes and a paintbrush, and you’re good to go!

If you’re not concerned about eating the potatoes and want the color to last longer, then the website Marathons and Motivations recommends adding hairspray to your list of supplies. Simply spray on liberally once the food coloring is dry to prevent smearing.

No matter which way you choose to decorate your potatoes, your kids are sure to have fun and make memories!

About the Author

Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at marierossiter.substack.com and connect with her at [email protected] More.

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