Cheap Mother's Day Gifts

By in Saving, Tips

I’ve been a mom for 2 decades and a daughter for quite a bit longer. I’m also a bit of a control freak when it comes to consumption. I don’t want anyone telling me what to buy and when. That said, I’m not a total malcontent. I’m lucky to have a wonderful spouse. El Carino doesn’t share my viewpoint and insists on taking me shopping for Mother’s day. (And of course I appreciate it!)  So, last week end we hit the outlet mall for a sale outfit from Banana Republic! At 40% off it was quite a bargain.

Cheap Mother’s Day Gifts Any Mom Would Love

Jr. Carina is not as financially set as her dad, and this article is informed by her wonderful gifts to me over the years.

Gifts Under $20.00

Magazine Subscription; I love decor and anything “home” related. There are many magazine subscriptions to be had for under $20.00. Some mom friendly recommendations include; House and Garden, Redbook, More, Good Housekeeping, Oprah, Real Simple, Self and many more. Although that list is rather gender stereotyped, consider your mom’s interests and hobbies and choose one that is a fit for her. Obviously, if your mom is interested in personal finance like I am there are scads of magazines. One of my low cost favorites is Fast Company.

Books; Sometimes mom wants a particular book but hesitates to buy it for herself. Downloads for Kindle and eReaders are a real bargain and you could surprise your mom with one she would enjoy. Used bookstores are great spots for bundles of bargains. I recently picked up a coffee table book chronicling the American Home for $1.00. Two recent favorite reads are The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo by Stieg Larsson and Risk Less and Prosper by Zvi Bodie and Rachelle Taqqu. Game books like Sudoku and Crosswords are great for keeping mom’s mind sharp. One of my all time favorite gifts was a Doonesbury cartoon book.

Pampering Treats; It doesn’t cost much to indulge mom. Buy a designer lipstick for under $15.00. Lotions and bubble baths are so sensuous. What about a premium nail polish? Buy a small perfume sample, on sale during this season. Consider the treats that mom covets.

Music; Who doesn’t like music? Downloads, full price, and discount CDs abound. Introduce mom to a new artist you think she might enjoy. Download it onto her phone or MP3 player. If your mom is a bit old school like I am, you can grab a CD from the bargain bin or a music resale shop. Songs from your mom’s teens and younger years can bring back those memories of carefree days.


I adore home made gifts. Anything my daughter has made me over the years is still a treasure. In fact, a beautiful plaster of paris shell paper weight has a place of honor on my bedroom shelf. There’s nothing like those adorable kids paintings in a frame to spruce up a bare wall. And the framed photos with artistic editing  are sitting in my office.

Arts and Crafts; The list is only hindered by your imagination. Mom will appreciate a painting, drawing, sculpture, or collage for the day. Paste some photos of you and mom on a box (use one that’s laying around the house), cover with a few coats of mod podge, and you have a lovely keepsake box. For inspiration check out pinterest.

Beauty Services; Give mom a home manicure or pedicure. The time you spend together is priceless and creates a memory. Or treat mom to a massage.

Time; Mom’s cherish time with their kids, especially as they get older. Give mom an afternoon of mom and kid time. Do something free like visit a park, go for a walk, visit a gallery, window shop, or go antiquing. Jr. Carina and I recently visited a local museum and made clay sculptures together. It was so fun, and her two clay animals are a constant reminder of the afternoon together. Gear the time towards mom’s interests and passions. Select a special and memorable activity.

Food; Of course there is the time tested breakfast in bed. What mom wouldn’t like that? How about trying a special family lunch or dinner with a unique menu? Barbecues are perfect this time of year. For brunch there are amazing pancake and french toast recipes. My mouth is watering right now!

Spend some time thinking about what mom likes. If she’s like most moms, she puts others first and would really appreciate a nice hand written card and a “from the heart” gift.


For More Cheap Mother’s Day Gifts;

What are your favorite low cost Mother’s Day Ideas?

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