Don’t Go Broke Celebrating Mother’s Day – 7 Frugal Ideas

7 frugal Mother's Day ideas

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! 

It’s easily a day you can go crazy taking care of the moms in your life.  And by going crazy I mean spending gobs of cash.

It’s hard enough trying to figure out what mothers want for Mother’s Day.  Paying for it gets even trickier.

That’s not good.

But there are ways you can be frugal for Mother’s Day!  Keep reading and you’ll see some easy ways you can celebrate mom and be frugal as well.  You might even get extra points with mom for creating something on your own that was heartfelt.

Here Are Some Frugal Mother’s Day Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank:

1. Mother’s Day Cards

You must know you don’t have to go to the local card store and buy cards, right? Remember when you were a kid and you heard Mom say that a present you made was the best?  Yup, still applies!  That Mom in your life will so appreciate it if you take the time to create a card on your own rather than buy a store card.  Got kids?  Have them craft together an awesome card that shows off their love.  Mom will love it!

2. Photos

Get together some great photos of you and that special Mom (or Mom and the kids). In today’s age of digital cameras, it should be easy.  Craft a mural of different photos for Mom and design and frame it yourself.  You can also find some of your favorite photos for Mom and create a photo album for her.

You can find great photo deals on sites like LivingSocial and Groupon (I’ve used many over the years to make photo books).

3. Dinner

Going out on Mother’s Day can be hectic.  Even if you have reservations the restaurants will be crowded full of other families celebrating Mother’s Day.  And you’ll pay more just because of the day. Instead get the kids together and make dinner for her yourself!  She’ll appreciate the effort and you save on hassle and cost.  An extra bonus can be breakfast in bed for Mom!

4. Flowers

Flower companies can’t wait until Mother’s Day!  They haven’t been able to jack up their prices since Valentine’s Day! If you want to help their bottom line then go out on Mother’s Day and get your special Mom some flowers.  She’ll appreciate it for sure just don’t tell her what you spent! If you have an understanding frugal Mom to celebrate then get her flowers a day or two beforehand when the price isn’t all jacked up!  Heck, even the day after will be tons cheaper (though she may think you forgot so be careful waiting). If you have to have them on Mother’s Day then make sure you plan ahead and check online for discounts and coupons.

5. No Work Day

Mom does a lot doesn’t she?  I mean, when you think of it, she does a ridiculous amount. That’s why you celebrate her this day. Take it a step further and institute a no-work day for Mom.  She’s not allowed to do any house tasks.  Instead you’ll take over so Mom can have a day of relaxation and you can show her you appreciate all she does.  [In reality you’ll try your best and Mom will probably have to fix things the next day but it’s the thought that counts.  And it really does count.]

6. Picnic

Get a lunch (or brunch) together and head out to a local park for a picnic.  Spend it out in the sun with all of the blooming flowers and trees. Go and have a great family day!  After all, it’s Mom who’s helped make the family as awesome as it is.

7. Mix Tape

OK, maybe you won’t make a tape per se (unless she still has a tape player).  But a CD or MP3 play list of some of her favorite songs is still a great considerate gift. “Mix Tapes are cheesy,” you say. Maybe, but they are still fun to receive and she’ll love the work you put into it.  Find songs that tie into special occasions you shared.  Put together some of her favorite songs.  Find songs that will remind her of you and the family.  Get creative!

Final Word on Frugal Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is about the special Moms in you life.  It doesn’t have to be about spending a lot of money.  Go and make that Mom feel loved and appreciated!

What are some other frugal ideas for Mother’s Day?

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Published or updated April 24, 2015.


  1. Miranda says:

    Great suggestions! It’s nice to put more thought into gifts to help mom feel appreciated. I know my mom likes a thoughtful gift more than she cares about how expensive it is.

    • Glen Craig says:

      @ Miranda – A gift for Mom shouldn’t just be something you grab at the store!

    • great i contribute mine .do hair spa on her just buy avocado hair cream and apply on her hair.wrap in hot towels heated by pouring hot water on itwait 30 minutes and rinse. now your moms hair is soft and fabuluos

  2. Alissa says:

    Flowers that can be planted in the yard such as tulips or day lilies and enjoyed year after year are great. This year I am thinking about getting Mom some vegetable plants that can be grown on her deck and enjoyed throughout the summer. Her house is so packed with stuff that I hate the idea of getting her more junk to add to her huge collection of junk, but something useful like a tomato plant would be great.

    • Glen Craig says:

      @ Alissa – Using planted flowers is a great idea! I also like that you take into consideration the fact that you don’t want to add more junk and clutter to your Mom’s house. Too often gifts are given that end up in the corner somewhere never used or seen.

  3. Great tips! Thanks for including my article about how to save money on flowers! 🙂

  4. Oh, yeah, of all things to celebrate… celebrate our moms authentically, which is of course and can be frugally… don’t buy into consumer hysteria for a Hallmark holiday! Make authentic purchases and show your mom you care whatever way is most meaningful.

  5. I love the idea of a ‘No Work Day’ but I’m not sure how realistic that is. I did ask for a “no poo weekend” and I’m thoroughly looking forward to 2 days w/o wrestling Pumpkin on the changing pad. Frugalness really does help you to appreciate the little things. I wonder if I can convince Columbia the weekend starts when he gets off of work on Friday… =)

    • Glen Craig says:

      @ JC – “No poo weekend,” that’s a good one! I wonder if I could do that for my wife?

  6. There was probably a 5 year period where I would give the standard manicure/pedicure package to my mom. She has since insisted to never have me give one to her again, so now I am lost with stuff to get her. Any tips? |Something she can get use out of, flowers are pointless.

    • Glen Craig says:

      @ Craig – Crazy thought, but why don’t you ask her what she’d want? It may sound a little impersonal but a gift she truly wants is better than something that will sit on the side?

      Have any old pictures of you guys? Make a small photo album for her. Of if you have your own family you can give her an album of your family so she can always be reminded of you guys.

  7. @ffb Easier said than done. I asked her what she wanted for her 50th bday in Jan, and she told me she would let me know. I’m still waiting and she still hasn’t gotten anything, ha.

    • Kathleen Hussey says:

      a mom likes anything that is personalized , giving it that added meaning. A cup your child paints her name on ,or An apron with her name embroidered with whatever name everyone calls her like I am a mom of 4 adults ages 27 to 34 with 3 grandbabies mine would read “NannyKat – Gimme some sugar “. If she has a yard, flowers planted where he could see them each year is lovely (especially if you can surprise her with it already done that morning somehow. ) If she has no yard, you could buy a huge pot or build a flower box-even better- and plant bulbs that will come up year after year,if she has a good space for this it would be great. I am dying for a Mother’s Ring, in silver they’re not very expensive at all. I saw a bracelet in silver on HSN Home Shopping Network, for 35.00 and it had 6 hearts you could engrave on, I want one with my kids birthdates,names on it.
      But the absolute best gift you can give mom, if you are grown up now,or a teenager even, is to take one full day to be with her, just the 2 of you. Take her to a park for a walk on a trail ( or cement if you need to push her in a wheelchair), to a quirky new place for lunch or a Sunday brunch.Take her for a ride your convertible, or on your motorcycle if she is down with that, lol…you get the idea. Go to an exhibit, a crafts fair or sign both of you up for a class to learn to do something and faithfully pick her up and go each week with mom. If you know your mom needs some tutoring in using her phone or laptop, take this day to really, patiently help her learn., just as she had to tell you to wipe your butt a hundred times so you would learn to always do it- lol. Giving mom a day of your undivided attention and time is the most valuable gift to your mom, trust me I know. And one day when you no longer have her,you will have those memories , those conversations and you will find you were giving yourself a priceless gift too because in that kind of real time with her you will get to know her over again every time you do this. I wish I would’ve done this with my mom sometime. All of you can benefit from what I have learned.

  8. TStrump says:

    My mom said she just wanted us to come by and spend time with her – and not just on Mother’s Day but the rest of the year, too.
    Mothers (and Fathers) should be celebrated every day, week and month of the year!

  9. problemsolver says:

    Thanks for the reminder about Mother’s Day! A card from me is usually a good thing and self-made gifts from our sons. I wish I had the imagination to do something better. A good meal out is cliche’ but almost required. I could always give her a massage!

  10. Thanks a lot for the link FFB!

  11. I’m planning to buy a cake and cook my mom’s favorite foods. 🙂 My sister would buy our mom a flower and my daughter and nephews already made a card for her.

  12. Kathleen Hussey says:

    Also if your mom is a widow like me, you can look a around her home or apartment and see if there are any things that need repaired or any work she needs done and do those things for her. I still live in the 5 to 6 bedroom ranch style home that we raised the kids in, (with 2 renters renting a bedroom each), and trying to keep up with the jobs that need doing, like painting and staining decks ,little things that break all the time, leaves raking (ugghh I hate that so much after 28 years lol) well if she is the kind of mom who’d value such a gift- organize a few willing souls and supplies and surprise her with a day of whatever she wants done the most. I would love this , myself, so just a suggestion. Young fathers, granting mom a day where you and the kids leave and give her a free day or even 2 at home, she would likely love. love. complete it with a bottle of wine, a nice lated meal for her,and some candles for the bathroom and she will love

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