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Mother's Day Gifts On A Budget

Updated on April 25, 2012

With the economy in a slump we all have to cut back and gifts are no exception. What do you get your mom if you have very little or no money?

Favor coupons

Moms always love a helping hand and it’s usually more appreciated than a gift we may not be able to use anyway.

You can make a fancy one on your computer or use construction paper and crayons (which is really cute in my opinion) it doesn’t have to be perfect.

It can have specific chores or you can simply put a blank line for her to fill in.

As your parents get older they need more help with things like yard work, moving furniture or putting in a garden. Any help you give will be wonderful and she’ll enjoy the thought.

Spring cleaning is about the same time as Mother’s Day so make a coupon to help do some chores around the house.

Offer to paint the kitchen, your old bedroom or a bathroom. Let her pick the colors.

You could clean leaves and limbs out of the guttering.

Think about it and I know you can come up with something.

Make a homemade card

It’s so hard to find a card with just the right words anyway so why not make your own? It can be however fancy or simple you want. Create something on the computer or get out paper, scissors and glue.

She’s more apt to keep a card you made yourself than one you picked out from Hallmark.

If you are good at poetry you can write one but if not just write what you feel or look for clever sayings online.

Homemade gifts

Remember that Popsicle stick birdhouse you made her that she really enjoyed? Moms are suckers for anything our kids make no matter how imperfect it is. We all have macaroni and yarn necklaces in our jewelry boxes we cherish. I think I have three or four. I need to dig those out and wear them this Mother’s Day. They go really well with those pipe cleaner bracelets.

One year my youngest son made me a hanging lamp to go over my treadmill so I could see to read a book. The lighting in that room isn’t so great. He took a PVC pipe, screwed some pieces of one by twos he sanded and stained to the outside of it, attached a light kit and I have a hanging lamp.

I love that lamp, it’s special because my son made it for me and even if he hadn’t made it I think it looks great and now I can see my book better.

Think about what skills and materials you have.

What does your mom like to do?

What does she need?


Paperback book cover

E-reader cover

Tote bag for the market

Potholder for the kitchen



Seat cover for her car

Microwave heating pad for arthritis (a cloth bag filled with rice)


Something from clay or pottery

Eyeglass Case

Bookmark (laminate a collage of pictures)

Repurpose scrap furniture into shelves or a mirror

Look on Pinterest or Etsy for ideas for handmade crafts you might make for Mom. Put in a search for, “Gifts for mom” or “DIY crafts.”

Cook a meal and make a dessert

If you are handy in the kitchen and can’t afford to take her out to dinner for Mother’s Day making her a special meal is a good idea. Be sure to clean up, leaving a mess behind for her to clean later isn’t so special.

Scan pictures to disc or computer

Those old photos of you and your siblings would be great transferred to electronic files. It’s a big job and you don’t have to do them all but even picking out a group of pictures of y’all when you were little and putting them on a slide show presentation would be a great gift for mom. You can put it to her favorite music.

Be creative

Put on your thinking cap and I’m sure you can come up with some great ideas for Mom this year that won’t cost much money.


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Alcosin, I'm sure she treasured those handmade cards. Thanks for reading.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I used to make card for mom when I was much younger. I think I'll stick with homemade gifts this time. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      That is true, HH. Thanks for reading.

    • HawaiiHeart profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Homemade gifts are my favorite. You really don't need to spend a lot, or anything at all to make a treasured gift!

      Great hub!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Ishwaryaa22, I love that lamp.

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 

      6 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very smart and economical hub! I make cards for my mother on Mother's day. This year, I am planning to create some handmade gift for her. Your son's hanging lamp is a wonderful gift to you! Helpful list of suggestions! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful, Awesome & Beautiful. Voted up & Socially Shared.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Tammy. I love homemade cards.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      6 years ago from North Carolina

      Great hub with some great ideas. Beautiful, desireable crafts can be made for very little money. The home made card is a great suggestion. Good ideas!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Sorry, I read the "As a grandma" part and made the wrong assumption.

      Then you have a wonderful son. I have two sons, not married yet, who help us quite a bit. They are still young so their social lives are pretty busy.

    • Poohgranma profile image


      6 years ago from On the edge

      It is my son I was speaking of, but thank-you and yes, he is very thoughtful.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Poohgranma, you have a very thoughtful grandson, what a treasure.

    • Poohgranma profile image


      6 years ago from On the edge

      Great ideas! I know that when my son is able to find time (working two jobs) he will come over and cut our grass and run the weed eater, pull weeds and do the heavier work I can no longer do. It is such a relief for me and a real blessing.

      As a grandma, I always appreciate pictures too. Just emailing them is enough and I can store them on the computer, memory disc or have hard copies made. I so enjoy family pictures that I can enjoy whenever I want.

      Another thoughtful thing my son does is to call me when they are at the grocery store to see if there is anything we need. We live in a rural community and a trip to town and back means a fifty-four mile journey and money in the gas tank. This helps so much.

      Acts of love and kindness, being remembered and being made to feel you are part of your children's thoughts and lives are the best presents of all in my opinion and this hub does a great job of listing suggestions.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      KJ, that is an excellent idea. As moms and grandmothers get older and have an accumulation of belongings favors become a better gift and more appreciated.

    • kj force profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      My grandson came up with an idea when he was younger, no money ..

      " coupon book', which has coupons for neck massage,foot massage, car wash/wax,scrub the pool, chef up dinner..etc.These can match the receiver..Mom /Dad,Grandparents...The receiver can use any coupon when they expiration

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Teaches, I love handmade gifts much better than store bought. You know they put thought into it.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I think the simple heart-made gifts are always the best. I have several still in my memory box from years ago. Great ideas and just in time to help those who still need some good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Cheryl.

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      I love them all. Great ideas! voted up and useful.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      It will be here before we know it, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great ideas and just in time for this boy as the big day approaches. Thanks!


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