While the meaning of Easter certainly goes beyond candy and new dress clothes, it's still a holiday that can require some shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $15.9 billion this year on Easter candy, clothing and other holiday-related items.

If you're celebrating the holiday, there's a right way and a wrong way to do Easter shopping. For example, your children will likely appreciate an Easter basket with some treats and maybe a small trinket or two, like a coloring book. But it's not necessary to shower them with extravagant gifts.

And if you or your family need new dress clothes to wear to an Easter service, keep the shopping to a minimum, because dressy spring clothes will be marked down dramatically by the end of the month. Here are a few other pointers that will help you stay on budget.

Goodie baskets

World Market, although it's generally considered a store for adults, has a unique selection of inexpensive toys and candy. This week, the retailer has marked down stuffed bunnies and felt baskets to $2.99. Other candies and trinkets are priced as low as $1.

For traditional Easter candy, Bi-Lo appears to have the best prices overall this week. Target has packs of fillable eggs for 89 cents. Wonder Works, a local toy shop with locations in Mount Pleasant and West Ashley, will give away free baskets to customers who spend at least $25 on Easter goodies.

Apparel

When it comes to Easter attire, department stores still appear to be the place to buy your Sunday best. Belk has all kids' dresswear and many women's dresses marked down 40 percent off.

Sears and J.C. Penney have select kids' dress items priced as low as half off. Kohl's also has a good sale going on until Saturday, with men's dress pants marked down 30-40 percent off and sports coats on sale for 40-50 percent off.

Easter edibles

Eggs are a top-seller right now, and Target appears to have the best price of any other supermarkets this week with a dozen eggs for a buck. If you're buying them to decorate, however, it may be best to buy synthetic dyeable eggs. Walmart has a dozen for $1.97.

Ham is another big Easter feast item. Publix has a semi-boneless premium ham half for $1.79 per pound, which is nearly 20 cents cheaper than Walmart or Bi-Lo.

Reach Abigail Darlington at 937-5906 and follow her on Twitter @A_Big_Gail.