frugal mother's day gifts

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Think Mother’s Day gifts need to be expensive and/or elaborate to make a hit with Mom ? The truth is most moms all wish for the same types of gifts on their special day. And surprisingly, what Mom wants for Mother’s Day is not elaborate or expensive. In fact, most of the ideas on this gift list are completely FREE!

Frugal Mother’s Day Gifts She’ll Really Love!

A Clean House

Moms everywhere love to sit in a clean house and just absorb the peace. Seriously. We love that so much more than fancy perfume. So give Mom a real Mother’s Day treat and clean the house, the way she likes it to be cleaned. Then let her sit in it for, like, an hour, without interruption.

Here are some helpful tips to remember when cleaning for Mom:

  • Clear the Clutter
    The first place to begin any cleaning routine is by putting away all the things that aren’t where they belong. This will make the house immediately look and feel cleaner, and also give you a clear area to begin the real cleaning.
  • Start at the top
    Dirt and dust fall, so start cleaning at the ‘top’ of the room (ceiling fans, shelves, ceiling corners) and work ‘down’ to the end tables, furniture, baseboards, ending with vacuuming the floors.
  • Don’t skip the details
    Because this is a gift, don’t skip over the little details of cleaning. Trust me, Mom will notice your extra effort! Dust everything. Make sure you move furniture when vacuuming. Use a lint roller, pet gloves, or even a piece of packing tape to remove any pet hair from furniture, and give it a good once over with the vacuum’s upholstery attachment. If you really want to send Mom a message of love, shampoo or steam clean the furniture as well. Attention to the little details will definitely show Mom you care.
  • Add some atmosphere
    When you’re all finished giving the entire house a thorough cleaning, finish the job by adding ‘mood enhancers’. If your mom is a candle lover, light some of her favorite scents or melt some of her most loved wax tarts. Or put a relaxing blend of essential oils in the diffuser to make the house smell fresh and lovely. Fresh flowers, or a pretty potted plant are also great ways to add warmth to a fresh, clean house.
    Tip: No time or $$ to buy candles? Check Mom’s stash — it’s a good bet she has her faves already in stock!!

Mom Time

We love being Moms. We love spending time with our families, and making our house a home. But occasionally, Mom simply wants a few minutes – or a few hours – alone. What do we moms do with this ‘alone time’? The world may never know.  lol  Seriously, though, we can read a book or watch a movie that no one else in the house is interested in. Indulge in a luxurious home spa day. Or take a nap. However she would choose to spend the time, giving a Mom an entire day alone in her own home is a truly decadent (and appreciated) gift.

Not sure what to do with yourself and the kids so Mom can be home alone?

  • Take the kids to a double feature
    Most cities have a ‘cheap’ movie theater that offers affordable family movies. Find one in your area and make a fun afternoon with the kids by taking them to a double feature matinee, complete with theater treats!
  • Go to the zoo
    Going to the zoo is one of life’s most fun adventures – especially for kids. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it, by taking in all the animal exhibits and learning opportunities your local zoo has to offer. Don’t forget the camera, though, because Mom will be excited to hear and see all the fun she ‘missed’!
  • Parks and playgrounds
    Pack the car with sports equipment and head to the nearest park or playground. Let the kids expend as much energy as they want playing basketball, frisbee golf, soccer – whatever you’re into. Take along your own drinks and snacks – or maybe whip up some cookies ahead of time as a special treat – to make this a very budget-friendly outing.
  • Visit friends or other family
    You know who doesn’t really want to be home alone on Mother’s Day? Grandma!! Have the kids make homemade cards or gifts during the week leading up to the holiday, and hand deliver them to Grandma’s house. Spend the afternoon visiting and having fun playing board games. You’ll make Grandma’s day, and Mom’s, too!

Dinner Date at Home

Taking Mom out to dinner on Mother’s Day is a great gift. It gets her out of having to cook or clean up the kitchen, and gives her a chance to try and enjoy new things. But between hiring a babysitter and the dinner itself, the expense can add up quickly. Likewise if you take the kids with you. And taking kids along could mean very limited choices for restaurants, if you have very small children or picky eaters. Why not stay home and fix Mom a special dinner made up of her favorite foods?

Not handy in the kitchen?

  • Carry Out
    If your budget extends to it, simply call and arrange to pick up her favorite meal from her favorite restaurant and bring it home. Set the table in a festive way — get the kids in on it by having them decorate a dollar store tablecloth with fun ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ messages. And don’t forget candlelight!
  • YouTube Cooking School
    Okay, that’s not actually a real thing, but it’s close. YouTube can help you learn how to do just about anything – including cooking a special meal for your favorite Mom. Do some research before hand so you know what tools and ingredients you’ll need, and make sure to watch the tutorial a few times before attempting to cook. Mom will appreciate your effort, guaranteed.
  • Enlist a Foodie Friend
    We all have at least one friend who is handy in the kitchen. Enlist their help to prepare a custom dinner experience for Mom. Or maybe call your own mom for some meal preparation support. Again, Mom won’t be expecting perfection, but the time and effort you spend trying to create a truly special experience for her will be very appreciated.

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Of course, it goes without saying that moms LOVE handmade gifts of all types, particularly when they come from our husbands and children!


frugal mothers day gifts

But I have a special tip for husbands.  If you really want to get on Mama’s Super Special Good Side, all you have to do is …

Mark Off the Honey-Do List

Nothing says ‘I appreciate you,’ like turning Mama’s honey-do wish list into a ‘honey-done’ list! If you spend any time listening to her, you’ll have heard Mama mention the tasks she’d most like to see completed. So pick a few that won’t take a ton of time or money and get busy! Honestly, the jobs don’t have to be the great big ones, either. While a complete kitchen remodel would be an AMAZING surprise, it’s not the size or scope of the project that’s going to win points. Taking the time to finally clean out the garage, or hanging the pictures she framed from your last family vacation are small, inexpensive projects that don’t take a ton of time to complete. But doing them voluntarily, without being reminded is a priceless expression of your esteem.

Make Her Feel Valued

Whatever you do to celebrate Mom this coming Mother’s Day, just keep in mind that all she really wants is to feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel important, and recognition of all the things Mom does makes her feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Do you have any special Mother’s Day traditions in your family? I would love for you to share them in the comments! And if you have any other budget-friendly ideas for celebrating this day, I’d love to hear about them.

Be sure to follow my Instagram and Facebook page, and leave your favorite recipes and craft ideas for Mom. Also, check out my Pinterest to find other great DIY gifts for Mom! Hope you all have a blessed and beautiful day!

Love & Blessings,



7 thoughts on “Frugal Mother’s Day Gifts (that Mom will really love)”

  1. I love this article. I’m not a mom but this is the type of living and lifestyle I am working towards.. I love your tips and ideas, and how anyone can do it for anyone especially their mom’s…

    1. Thank you so much, Sonia! I really try to provide useful, budget-friendly ideas for people – not just moms. When I think back to when I was younger, newly married and on a super tight budget … well, that’s my inspiration for a lot of my posts. Have a blessed day!

    1. Thank you, Shae! As a mom, I know what I’d love to have on Mother’s Day. Or any day of the year, really. lol I’m hoping my husband and kids read my post and surprise me with a little ‘Mom Time’ this year. Blessings to you!

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