Frugal Mother’s Day Gifts that Will Score You Major Points

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Finding a Mother’s Day gift that fits the budget isn’t hard. Check out these simple and frugal Mother’s Day gift ideas that will make any mom smile.

a vase of pink tulips with a white gift bag and a heart card.

Want to save this post?

Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, I’ll send you time- and money-saving tips every week!

Save Recipe

As a child and teen, I would ask my mother every year what she wanted for a Mother’s Day gift, and she inevitably said the same thing: a clean house.

I did not like that answer. That answer took elbow grease. That answer was not as easy — or as fun — as going to the store and plunking down some cash for a little trinket or a bottle of perfume. That answer was not a quick fix.

And we all know that our culture and our economy are hurting from too many years of quick fixes. Yes, yes, it is.

So, today I propose budget-friendly Mother’s Day gifts that won’t cost you much at all — at least not where your pocket book is concerned. They may take some effort and creativity. But, as I look through the list, I know my mother would be ecstatic.

And I know that, as a mom, I would be, too.

Feel free to pass this on to all the sons, daughter, and husbands out there. 🙂

overhead shot of a salad with eggs and vegetables, with a side of sliced bread.

A Nice Meal

Food is the great comforter. And while a dinner out on the town can be wonderful, it can also be stressful if the money is not in the budget.

Cooking at home can be delicious, elegant, and budget-friendly. Try one of these great Mother’s Day recipes.

The Ploughman’s Lunch or Traditional English Snack Plate
The Ploughman’s Lunch or Traditional English Snack Plate
The Ploughman’s Lunch, aka Ploughman’s, is the UK version of the Snacky Lunch. Once a laborer’s meal, now a posh cheese and meat platter.
Learn More
Chicken & Raspberry Salad - Good Cheap Eats
Chicken & Raspberry Salad – Good Cheap Eats
Tender chicken, juicy raspberries, and tangy goat cheese party in this simple yet flavorful Chicken & Raspberry Salad. No need for take-out today!
Learn More
Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta
This Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta is sauced with sherry with cream and dotted with tomatoes and peas. It’s absolutely delicious!
Learn More

Make sure that you set the table nice and that you clean up afterwards!

array of cupcakes with we heart mom spelled out with cupcake toppers.

A Sweet Treat

For the mom in your life, this might be a box of chocolates, but for many, it’s not. In fact, homebaked goods are better. They’re cheaper, too!

Lemon Blueberry Cookies
Lemon Blueberry Cookies
Like a burst of sunshine, the tartness of lemon and the sweetness of berries combine in the perfect Lemon Blueberry Cookies!
Learn More
Raspberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe (No Cool Whip)
Raspberry Pretzel Dessert Recipe (No Cool Whip)
This classic Creamy Raspberry Pretzel Dessert gets an upgrade in this delicious dessert recipe. Real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip!
Learn More
Easy Chocolate Charcuterie Board Ideas for Dessert
Easy Chocolate Charcuterie Board Ideas for Dessert
Check out these easy chocolate charcuteries board ideas for the best dessert for chocolate lovers. Easy on the host, too!
Learn More

In a pinch though, don’t be afraid to grab some bakery cupcakes and customize them with fun cupcake toppers.

A Cheery Disposition

Ooh, that hurts, don’t it? But there aren’t too many things that plague me more than fighting or grumpy people. And I’m gonna bet, your mom isn’t too keen on it, either.

Work to have a good attitude. Say please and thank you. Ask her if you can help her with something. At least for a day, do what she asks without complaining.

That is priceless!

Good Conversation

One of my favorite things about Sunday dinner when our live-at-home kids are all together is that we sit and talk. We don’t solve the world’s problems, but we work on making life better for ourselves and each other.

Good conversation helps all relationships. Call your mom up and have a nice chat. Talk is cheap!

glass jug of water with limes, berries, and ice.

Time to Rest

I don’t think I need to explain myself here. But, in case I do…. Most moms I know are moving almost 24-7. If not their bodies, their minds are in constant motion, trying to remember the details of everyone’s life, trying to fill needs, attempting to solve problems.

Let mom have time to rest, whether that is your getting up with the baby in the night, letting her sleep in, or taking on the carpool gig this week.

Rest doesn’t have to be sleep. It can be a break from the mundane, a change from the ordinary, or a massage and hot bubble bath.

A vacation day would not be amiss this month!

bedroom with bed and cedar chest.

A Clean House

You knew it was coming, didn’t ya? Surprise Mom with a clean kitchen, with a made bed, with socks in the hamper. You’d be surprised at what little time it takes — but the rewards are huge.

Follow these tips for How to Get Your Whole House Clean at One Time and surprise her.

If the budget allows, pay for a cleaning service!

blue basket filled with christian quiet time items.

A DIY Gift

There are so many fun and easy gifts that you can pull together yourself.

close up of chocolate box of money with party decor surrounding.
Chocolate Money Gift Box Tutorial
Turn an empty chocolate box into a money gift box with this easy tutorial. It's a great way to gift money without resorting to checks or gift cards.
Learn More
square crop of multiple coupon books over a bed of gift coupons with stickers and scissors.
DIY Coupon Book Instructions
Making your own coupon book is a great way to give a custom gift. It can be as extravagant or as budget-friendly as you like. You only need a few paper craft supplies and a list of activities you want to gift.
Learn More
three colorful heat bags lined up on a black table.
Microwave Heat Bags
Sewing your own microwave heat bags is a great way to share cool or warm pain relief with someone you love.
Learn More
overhead shot of composition book covered in pretty scrapbook paper with a ribbon bookmark and a label that reads give thanks.
Gratitude Journal
Transform a composition notebook into a fun and meaningful gratitude journal.
Learn More
close-up shot of items in spa gift basket, focused on printable pamphlet.
DIY Spa Gift Basket
Pull together a fun spa gift basket that is custom-made for your giftee.
Learn More
milk bath in plastic jar with lid off
How to Make Lavender Milk Bath
It takes just minutes and a few household ingredients to mix up a batch of Lavender Milk BathPerfect for relaxing or giving as a gift, this homemade milk bath is super frugal and a great way to DIY on a dime.
Learn More
lavender scrub in closed glass jar
Recipe for Lavender Sweet & Salty Scrub
It's easy to make Lavender hand scrub with lavender flowers and a few simple household ingredients.
Learn More
close up of purse essentials wrapped with a bow.
Purse Essentials Gift Bag
Give your favorite mom friends the gift of a purse essentials refresh. These fun basics make great gifts that every woman needs.
Learn More
close up of Mom's Quiet Time Basket.
Christian Gift Basket for Mom
Make an easy DIY Christian Gift Basket for Mom. This particular curation includes everything she needs to take a time-out and refresh her mind, body, and soul.
Learn More
we love mom cupcakes on a cake stand.
Easy DIY Cupcake Toppers Even if You’re Not Crafty
Whether you bake your own cupcakes from scratch or buy a dozen simple cupcakes from your favorite bakery, making your own DIY Cupcake Toppers is the easiest way to personalize your treats for the occasion. This simple tutorial will show you how to make perfect cupcake toppers for any occasion: baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, Mother's Day, and more.
Learn More
wrapped smores kit in a brown box with a white bow.
S’mores Kit
Put together a S'mores Kit to give as a gift. It's easy to make and super fun to receive.
Learn More

This list of gifts may not be a perfect fit for every mom, but I’m guessing that there are at least two or three on the list that are a great match. You don’t have to spend any money, either.

But, they will cost you something. The result, however, will be good. Trust me.

What works for you?

Leave a comment below and let us know what works for you.

This post was originally published on May 5, 2011. It has been updated for content and clarity.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’d love someone to clean the house. Breakfast in bed is also nice. I think the best of all would be a day with no sports. Both our local soccer league and baseball league have games scheduled for Mother’s Day. Ugh!

    My day-late post is about saving money on eye care – basically what I’ve learned so far.

  2. I got a good laugh from your post. Last year I asked for help cleaning the garage, and this year I am considering asking for help cleaning the office/untouched room full of junk. I don’t even want my husband to do it for me, just keep the kids (2 and 7 mos) occupied while I do the work and help me move heavy things if necessary. Getting to some of these nagging projects makes me happy for months afterwards! But you’re right… these are harder gifts to give than something you buy.

  3. Good conversation means the world to moms any day. : ) I also like the cheerful disposition for both moms (dads too!) and kids no matter what the age. There is so much scoffing and sarcasm in the world we need to keep our homes that cheerful place and haven.

    Thoughtfulness rules on Mother’s Day no matter what the gift. : )

  4. I thought and thought about what I wanted and finally told my husband I just wanted time to go shopping for a few new clothing items without any distractions (after two pregnancies and some weight loss, I have NOTHING!).

    I also want a picnic in the park with my family that I don’t have to plan and pack everything for. 🙂

    I really don’t want more stuff, just the gift of time. It’s amazing how my priorities and “wants” have changed since becoming a mom.

  5. My mom always used to ask for a “bag of cooperation.” I didn’t do it this year, but I think next year I’ll sew a little bag and embroider “cooperation” on it – I know she’ll get a good laugh (and laughter is a great gift, I think!).

  6. One year we gave my Mom an afternoon of yard work — whatever she wanted we did. She loved that!

  7. All of the above would be fantastic.
    — Add to that washing my car, cleaning the inside too.
    — Breakfast in bed.
    — Picnic Lunch. I love to be outside, so a picnic is PERFECT for me.

    Hugs Jess and Happy Mother’s day!


  8. My mom ALWAYS says, “I don’t need anything – I just want to be with my kids!” Well, this year she’s only going to have 1 out of the 5 (ME!) with her, but we’re doing a meal together and a friend is coming who has no family. In addition, I always try to find that “perfect” gift for her, but I also know she’s really trying to clean out and she really doesn’t need any more stuff. I went with something she could eat and wouldn’t normally buy for herself. She’ll love it and it won’t clutter up the house – win-win! 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to you Jessica – hope your kids give you a clean house this year! 😉

  9. If I had to choose one of those mother’s day gifts from my family it would definitely be time to rest. Ahhhhhh! That sounds so nice. Anyway, thanks for hosting a great linky party. Happy Mother’s Day everyone.

  10. I love these tips! I keep telling my family they don’t have to buy things just because advertisers tell them they should! And I, for one, don’t need more stuff to manage! LOL

    We always used to do the ironing for my mom for Mother’s day, Christmas, and her birthday. She hated ironing and ignored it as much as possible.

    Happy mother’s day!

    Annie Kate

  11. Excellent! Thanks!

    I think I might ask for the cheery disposition one!

    My mom has invited us to dinner. She said she just wants to not have to do the dishes afterwards! I think that’s fair!

  12. Every year my kids ask me what I want. And every year I answer “for you to clean your room.” They do not like that answer at all. They want to get me “something.” My mom used to always say she wanted “for us to behave.” Some things never change…Happy Mother’s Day!