Are Dyed Potatoes the New and Improved (and More Affordable) Easter Egg?

This cost-effective, colorful alternative to dyeing Easter eggs will save you some major bucks.

Young farm potatoes. Raw potato on a table.
Photo: Yulia Naumenko / Getty Images

Dyed eggs are a staple in Easter baskets, but if the high prices have you second-guessing your holiday traditions, this new trend will save you a few bucks (and turn some heads along the way). This year, colorful Easter potatoes are officially the new budget-friendly alternative to dyed eggs.    

With the price of eggs up a whopping 55.4% in February compared to last year, people are turning to spuds as a budget-friendly dyed Easter egg dupe. While the root veggie doesn’t naturally scream spring, they can be just as colorful as the classic decorated Easter egg.

The idea first started circulating on TikTok in January, right around the time egg prices were skyrocketing. Now that Easter is upon us, people are making dyed potatoes a reality. Here’s everything you need to know if you plan on swapping in spuds.

Why Are Eggs So Expensive?

A strain of Avian Influenza that broke out in 2022 is reducing the number of chickens in the United States and lessening the number of eggs produced. In fact, the virus is so deadly for birds that it kills 90% to 100% of chickens who encounter it within two days, making it one of the deadliest outbreaks of bird flu in American history. The shortage has driven costs up to record highs.

The price of shipping and packing materials, chicken feed (impacted by the war in Ukraine), and fuel prices (used for transportation) are also at an all-time high, impacting egg prices even further.

Why Potatoes?

According to the USDA, the national average for a dozen eggs is about $5, while the average price for potatoes is 90 cents per pound. Combine this with the fact that the average grocery bill is on the rise, and there are more than a few reasons to try potatoes instead of eggs this Easter.

If you’re willing to give dyed Easter potatoes a go, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yellow or white potatoes (the lighter color picks up the dye better)
  • Food coloring
  • Paint brushes
  • Gloves

First, clean and dry the potatoes. Then, paint a layer of food coloring on the entirety of the potato and allow them to air dry on a piece of newspaper. To get a brighter hue, add a second coat of dye. Continue the process with as many colors as you like.

Use food-safe products for coloring to make your potatoes the centerpiece of a colorful (and delicious) Easter dinner. As for breakfast (if you usually hard boil and eat your dyed eggs), substitute in banana bread, a glazed ham, or a festive bread.

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