Expensive Mother’s Day gifts, like a tablet computer or a sparkly pair of diamond earrings, can dig deep into your pockets.
Consumers across the nation are expected to spend about $20.7 billion on Mother’s Day gifts, according to a 2013 survey by the National Retail Federation. Researchers predict this holiday will cost each consumer an average of $168.94.
Why not treat your mom to a more frugal and creative present that shows you care, while letting her know that her children are financially responsible.
10 Thrifty Mother’s Day Gifts
Pitcher This: While new china and glassware is always exciting, a simple pitcher stuffed with fresh flowers can double as a vase. It’s useful and eye-catching.
Mom, Meet Pinterest: Most moms are big on quality time. Spend an hour showing them Pinterest, a popular social networking site. Open their eyes to Etsy, a fun shopping website. Remember that navigating the Internet may come naturally to you, but it may take mom some time. This is also a good time to show her how to use her credit card responsibly for online purchases and avoid credit card fraud.
Floral Tumblers: Whether your mom’s a die-hard coffee or iced tea fan, pretty tumblers are fun and convenient for on-the-go beverages. Even if she’s staying away from caffeine, ice water from her own special glass will always remind her of you.
In Her Shoes: Skip the pedicure at the expensive salon and prepare mom’s toes yourself. Pick a few bright colors of nail polish, and, depending on your mom’s taste, a pair of comfy sandals or sparkly flip-flops. Now she’s ready for summer.
You’re on the Phone: Literally. A picture of you and the siblings can be mom’s snazzy new phone case. Moms love showing off family pictures, so find out the type of phone she has and order a customized cover with the family portrait. She’ll take her phone everywhere and brag about her family.
Flowers That Last: If your mom enjoys gardening, go the extra mile and give her flowers she can plant. Tulip bulbs are a beautiful choice that you can pick up at your local gardening store. Win bonus points by planting them together.
Made with Care: Mom spent years cooking for you. Now it’s her turn to be waited on and served a home-cooked meal. Even if you don’t consider yourself the world’s greatest chef, she will appreciate the time you spent preparing her that special dish.
A Local Theater Outing: Going to a show with mom is a nice change from renting movies and eating out. Plus, high schools and local theater troupes often put on exciting shows worth far more than their ticket price.
Love beyond Measures: By now, mom’s probably lost or broken the collection of measuring cups she received as a wedding present. Buy her a colorful new set to replace the old ones. Better yet, fill the new cups with chocolates and place them in a basket for an edible and useful surprise.
A Day in the Life: If your mom lives far away and doesn’t get to see you often, your daily life may be a mystery. Take pictures of your day-to-day activities and the places you visit. Print these up and write little descriptions as if she is on a celebrity tour with you. Opening up a door to your world will let her know that she is a part of it.
Thoughtful Words Go a Long Way
If you cannot afford to invest in a gift, cash or gift card this year, send mom a greeting card filled with memories.
Jot down the memorable moments when she was there for you. Express the things you cherish most about her personality, whether it’s her sense of humor, crazy flower print scarves or her ability to make the world’s greatest macaroni and cheese.
Tell her you noticed and say thank you.
Alanna Ritchie is a content writer for Debt.org, where she writes about personal finance and little smart ways to spend (and save) money. Alanna has an English degree from Rollins College.