Mother's Day Gifts that Don't Cost a Bundle

By Matt Diehl, May 05, 2016

As Mother’s Day approaches, many people feel pressured to buy an expensive gift. A mother’s love is priceless, after all, so the desire to say “thank you” properly is always a challenge. You never want to disappoint your mother and especially not on her special day.

But many mothers don’t want a fancy, luxurious present. Mother’s Day gifts often fall under the category of “it’s the thought that counts.” If you put thought and effort into making her feel loved and appreciated, that will be worth more than any dollar amount. You are her “bundle of love” - she won’t expect you to spend a bundle of money to make her happy.

There are a variety of bargain-friendly gifts that don’t require expert craftsmanship. What they lack in monetary value, they make up with thoughtfulness and consideration. Here are some thrifty Mother’s Day gift ideas any mom will cherish:

Handmade card

A handmade Mother’s Day card is a perfect way to express your unique affection and gratitude. Whether you go to the craft store and create everything from scratch or print an online card template, your heartfelt messaging will make it one-of-a-kind. Just like the woman you are giving it to.

Breakfast in bed

Remember how excited you were when your Mom made your favorite meal? It’s time to return the favor. Wake up early, cook Mom’s favorite breakfast and bring it to her in bed. Get the whole family to join in and make mom the center of attention. If the flowers in the backyard are already in bloom, cut a few and place them on the food tray for a special touch.


Scrapbooks are the perfect way to collect and preserve memories. Go through your family photo albums, make a copy of your favorites and write captions of something funny or memorable that happened that day. If you have personal memorabilia, add that to the book as well. As an added touch, leave blank pages in the back so you can keep the scrapbook going.


If the weather cooperates, pack up a picnic and spend a few hours enjoying your Mom’s company. Keep your cell phones in the car - the only electronic device you need is a camera. Bring along her favorite foods, drinks, music and soak up the sun together.

Decorated plant pot

The decorated plant pot is a Mother’s Day gift that has been treasured for ages. Get some paint and get creative. In addition to the loving message and custom artwork on the pot, Mom will enjoy caring for the plant daily and watching it grow. She'll be reminded of you every time she waters the plant!

Mom’s favorite activities

You may not know this, but Mom probably did a lot of stuff she didn’t like because you liked it. It’s time to return the favor. Help her garden. Watch her favorite movies. Take her to the amusement park and ride her favorite roller coasters. Whatever makes Mom happy, be her sidekick for the day.

Coupon book

It’s time mom received the pampering she deserves. Create your own little book full of coupons such as “One Full Course Dinner” and “One Full House Cleaning.” You know your mom the best, so customize the coupons to make her life a little easier. Just don’t include an expiration date!

Video message

Does Mom live far away? If you can’t fly out to see her, a thoughtful video message would certainly make her day. Get the kids involved or go to a meaningful location you two share. A sentimental video message is the next best thing to being there in person.

Treat your mom to the gift she deserves

The second Sunday in May has been dedicated to showing gratitude to mothers for over 100 years as part of American tradition. Hopefully you found one (or two) gifts on our bargain-happy list that will make her day even more special this year.

Happy Mother's Day!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of OneMain. The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial, legal or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else. The author was compensated by OneMain for this post.

Personal and auto loans from $1,500 to $25,000

Get the cash you need for:

  • Debt Consolidation
  • Auto Loans
  • Household Bills
  • Vacations