15 Mother’s Day Gifts and Activities that Won’t Blow Your Budget

This post was written in part by Ryan from Cash Money Life.

Cheap Mothers Day GiftsMother’s Day will soon be here!

The good news is that the nature of Mother’s Day isn’t about buying expensive trinkets or wowing Mom with an over the top production.

Mother’s Day is about family and togetherness.

These ideas are just a few of the many ways you can show Mom you love her without blowing the budget.

15 Cheap Mothers Day Gifts and Activities to Show Mom You Care

1. Take a family outing. One of the best things about Mother’s Day is timing. Mother’s Day is a spring holiday and always falls on a Sunday, which means the weather is gorgeous and you don’t have to worry about rushing home from work to spend time together as a family.

One of my favorite family activities is going on a nice picnic or an outing at the park. We have a beautiful arboretum near our home that has free admission. The flowers are blooming, the little ducks are swimming in the pond and the families are walking together and enjoying the season. Sounds like a recipe for a great family outing!

2. Make Mom a coupon book. Most mothers share a common denominator – they are the glue that holds the household together. And that also means they have lot of stress from taking care of everyone and everything.

Make Mom a coupon book with coupons she can use any time she needs a break. Coupon ideas include cooking, cleaning, massages, chores, taking her to dinner, date night, or taking care of some of the items on the “honey-do” list.

Coupon books are great for involving children too. Let them suggest some ideas for “coupons” they think their mother might enjoy.

3. Cook Mom’s favorite dinner. Spring is the perfect time to have a BBQ or have a nice home cooked meal out on the patio. Cook Mom’s favorite dinner and be sure to include lots of fresh spring veggies from the local farmer’s market.

Top off the meal with Mom’s favorite desert (just don’t let Mom make it!).

4. Make it a movie night. Gather the family around the living room and watch Mom’s favorite movie. Pop some fresh popcorn on the stove, make a pitcher of grape Kool-Aid and pop in a family movie. (OK, the popcorn and grape Kool-Aid are my Mom’s favorite, be sure to customize the snacks!).

If you don’t have a copy of Mom’s favorite movie then you can save money by borrowing it from the library, or taking advantage of this Netflix free trial offer.

5. Family game night. Get the family together in the living room or kitchen table and play cards or board games. You can top it off with homemade pizza, snacks, or a giant ice cream sundae.

6. Offer up some peace and quiet. Most Moms I know would love to just have some quiet, alone time to do some things for her. Give Mom this time. She might not want to take it on Mothers Day, but make sure you schedule some time for her to get away.

7. Clean/repair/improve the house. Mom’s usually handle most of the cleaning duties, so give her a break for a few days by cleaning the house. Involve the kids and get the house spic and span. Do this while Mom is out enjoying some quiet time or whatever it is she wants to be doing.

If there are some home repairs or improvement projects you’ve been putting off, use this time to get those done for her. Don’t have any? Surprise her with an inexpensive project like painting a room.

8. New pictures of her kids/grandkids. Surprise Mom with a few new photos of the kids and/or grand kids. This doesn’t have to be anything professional. Although, it would be nice if you attempted to make them look nice. Grab a few inexpensive frames and place your new photos around the house as an extra surprise.

9. Candles, lotions, and soaps. Mom’s like to smell good and clean. These three gift categories are usually pretty inexpensive and Mom’s always running out (i.e. it will certainly be appreciated and used).

10. Bouquet of flowers. This is the classic Mothers Day gift and rightfully so. You can find moderately priced bouquets at your local market, or you can venture out to find some nice wildflowers of your own. Either way, Mom will appreciate this gift that will brighten her day.

11. Kindle or iPad, plus a tutorial. Your Mom might be itching to start reading more, but if she’s a bit older the technology of the Kindle and other readers might be intimidating. This is where you come in. Don’t just buy her a Kindle. Make plans to spend time with your Mom to help her make the most of the technology and use it properly. Your Mom will appreciate the help and the time spent together.

12. Bring new life to her old photos and videos. This is a project many Moms would love to take on, but again, the technological aspect may be holding her back. With a nice scanner (or the use of a service provider) you can digitize Mom’s old photo albums. Do the same with her old home movies so she can enjoy them from her laptop or at least DVD player.

13. Manicure, pedicure, or massage. Moms like pampering, and they deserve it. Treat the Mom in your life to a little R&R and buy her a gift certificate to a salon for one of these services. These are great gifts because they are consumable. Moms with shelved full of gifts will appreciate this clutter-free gift idea. And again, if you want to add a bonus to the gift, make plans to do the salon trip with Mom.

14. Vacuums, sewing machines, and appliances only if asked. Don’t automatically throw out these gift ideas just because you think it might offend Mom. Ask her what she wants/needs for Mother’s Day. If she offers up one of these ideas, jump at the chance to buy her an item from the taboo list of Mother’s Day gifts. Just don’t tell her when to use it.

15. Gift card is better than nothing. If you’ve waited too late to mail something on time, a gift card from Amazon.com (emailed) can be better than nothing at all. Call Mom up and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, then tell her you sent over an email with her gift card attached. She’ll be thankful for the conversation and the online shopping spree afterwards.

Showing Mom you care doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, she will probably remember and appreciate the “together time” much more than any trinket you buy.

What are you getting Mom for Mother’s Day? If you’re a Mom, what were your favorite gifts received through the years?

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Last Edited: May 13, 2013 @ 7:27 am
2 comments
Cherleen
Cherleen

Every Mother's Day, we normally give our mom a bouquet of fresh flowers and cake. This year, though there will still be cake and flower, we will also give her a framed picture of the whole family, including our kids and husbands. 

theamateurfinancier
theamateurfinancier

A nice list of some suggestions I'm sure most mothers will appreciate.  I just wish I lived closer to my own mother, so I could take advantage of some of these suggestions.

Ryan
Ryan

Thanks for sharing this article with your readers, Phil! I hope you and your family had a great Mother's Day!

We celebrated Mother's Day by going to church, taking a long hike through the nature reserve by our home, then topped it off with a homemade dinner and a banana split. It was a great day! :)

Christine | Money Funk
Christine | Money Funk

All fabulous ideas! I especially like #1 - a picnic sounds so fun. And I wouldn't mind a movie night with my husband or a scrumpcious home cooked meal by the family (with a clean house, laundry done, and children's room spotless). Is that asking too much? ;)