How to Celebrate Mother’s Day on a Budget

pot-544071_1920Mother’s Day is May 8th this year and it can easily sneak up on you if you don’t prepare accordingly. As you get older, it can get harder and harder to select the perfect gift for your mom to show her your appreciation on this special day.

You can’t make handmade cards or projects at school anymore like you did as a child and you probably don’t want to do the same thing you did last year. If you’re on a budget and funds are limited, you can still celebrate this special day, but you need to think outside of the box and avoid a lot of expensive retail offers.

Start by considering what would truly brighten your mom’s day – seeing you and spending quality time together. Here are a few affordable ways to celebrate Mother’s Day on a budget.

Cook Breakfast for your Mom

Instead of joining the crowd and going out to breakfast at a fancy cafe with your mom, go to her house and cook a big breakfast for her. If cooking isn’t your thing, pitch the idea to your siblings and help purchase some of the food or ask your significant other or another relative to help.

You can literally have a delicious morning feast with homemade pancakes or waffles, sausage or bacon, muffins, and fresh fruit for less than $20 and feed the entire family when you shop for food and supplies at a grocery store.

If your mom is one of those people who’s always cooking and helping others out, she will appreciate this kind gesture.

Help with a Chore or Household Project

Has your mom been putting off a project for the house for some time? You might want to take care of it for her on Mother’s Day. Coming over and mowing the lawn, doing some chores, cleaning out the attic, or helping with the garden are all great ways to offer up your time and service over spending money on a generic gift.

Plus it’s nice to give your mom the gift of something priceless, rest and relaxation. If you are planning a surprise, you can have someone take your mom out of the house for a few hours while you work on the surprise or you can simply just show up at and house prepared to do some work and surprise her that way.

Make Some Fancy Spa Gifts

Can’t afford Bath and Body Works merchandise? Make your own. If you go on Pinterest, you can find plenty of easy DIY tutorials for homemade soap, bath salts, and scented oils. It’s easier than it looks to create these items. You can even pick up containers and jars from the dollar store to nicely package your homemade gifts so your mom can have a nice spa afternoon at home.

Go See a Movie Together

There are tons of great movies showing this time of year. It may be worth it to see if your mom would like to catch a film on Mother’s Day weekend. To make the movie theatre more affordable when I go, I usually eat beforehand so I’m not tempted to purchase those overpriced snacks and $4 drinks that should really be worth 50 cents.

I also make sure I check out the matinee showing whenever I can which is the first showing of the day for each individual film. Call your local theatre and see if they offer discounts for matinee showings each day as it could significantly reduce the price of your ticket. You may have to see a movie at 11am or noon to catch the discount, but a mid-day showing isn’t that bad, especially if you are saving a pretty penny on it.

Consider an Affordable Subscription

While it’s advised to shy away from subscriptions when you are trying to lower your expenses or get your finances in order, giving the gift of a meaningful subscription to a loved one is a bit different as long as you can afford a one-time payment.

If your mom enjoys reading a particular magazine or likes to use certain products year-round, you might want to look into an affordable subscription to gift her with. Magazine subscriptions are cheap and easy to purchase for the entire year. You may even be offered a discount on a subscription service after you take a survey or order something online so keep your eye out for those offers.

Just make sure the item or service you choose is actually something your mom will use and enjoy.

Budgeting for Mother’s Day Each Year and Setting Expectations

If you don’t want to be stuck getting cheap last minute gifts for Mother’s Day, it’s important to budget for it accordingly and set realistic expectations. If you know your mom doesn’t like fancy surprises and is more practical, don’t try to over impress her by spending a ton of money.

Don’t expect to be a mind reader either. It’s perfectly okay to ask your mom what she would like for Mother’s Day so you have a realistic idea of what your gift options are.

I would rather gift my mom with something I know she would love or enjoy so these past few years, I’ve asked her what she wanted and it’s ranged from things like a nice shirt or one of her favorite beauty products, to flowers for her garden or just a small monetary gift.

It’s nice to have the confidence knowing that what I’m doing for my mom is meaningful and I don’t have to guess in the dark about what to get her.

Since you’ll already know what day Mother’s Day is far in advance every year, it’s best to start preparing at least one pay period ahead so you won’t be bombarded with any last minute expenses. The holiday may come at a rough time of the year among many graduations, weddings, etc., so that’s why it’s important to budget accordingly and save what you can.

Remember, if finances are tight, there are quite a few free things you can do to celebrate including some of the ideas I mentioned above.

What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year?

Posted in: Family, Life Hacks, Money

Top of page