10 frugal gifts your mother will love

May 9, 2013

By Sheryl Smolkin


Kids grow up and many eventually have the means to shower their Moms with expensive dinners, jewelry and other luxury items.

But if you ask most mothers which Mothers Day gift they treasure the most, they will probably tell you it is the first handmade card thier child brought home from nursery school, or the breakfast in bed delivered at sunrise that she made all by herself.

Here are some ideas for Mother’s Day gifts, in no particular order, that will create happy memories without breaking the bank.

  1. Flowers: Local markets have beautiful displays of cut flowers and plants at this time of year that are much less costly than if they are purchased from a florist. You can also buy bedding plants or a hanging basket for outdoors that will last much longer than an indoor arrangement.
  2. Plant her garden: Many seniors stay in their home as long as possible, but upkeep like planting a garden becomes challenging. Go to a garden centre with your Mom and buy her the plants she likes. Then plant her garden and commit to helping her maintain it through the summer.
  3. Sleep: Parents of young children are perennially sleep deprived. The best thing a husband or parent or sibling of a young Mom can do is give her a voucher for a kid free weekend so she can catch up on her zzzzzzs.
  4. Social media: I live in Toronto and my delicious granddaughter lives in Ottawa. I love that I can see new pictures and videos of her several times a week on Facebook. If your children’s grandmother is not on Facebook, show her how social media will help her stay in closer touch with family. Then set her up and give her a tutorial.
  5. Skype: Long distance phone calls used to be an expensive luxury. Now any two people with a computer can connect on Skype, with the added benefit that they can see each other. If your Mom has friends or family in another city or country and does not already use Skype, get her started and put a balance in her account.
  6. High tea: People are so busy with their daily lives, that often they don’t have time to keep up with friends. Pick a date and invite a group of your mother’s old friends over for tea (or coffee), party sandwiches and cake. Fancy hats are mandatory.
  7. An outing: Whether your mother’s favourite activity is shopping, going to an art gallery or catching a concert, plan a day together doing her favourite things.
  8. A collage: Moms love pictures of their children and extended family. Make and frame a collage of pictures of your children at different ages.
  9. A special dinner: Host a family dinner or barbecue and have everyone share a special memory of life with Mom.
  10. Music: Put together a mixed CD with songs she loves that will bring back memories. You can also include a book of poetry and some handmade chocolates.

Finally, consider an eReader. They are not cheap, but eReaders can more than pay for themselves in convenience over a short time. I just bought a Kobo Glow and re-joined the Toronto Public Library. I love that I can download books free from the library at any time of the day or night and up the font size to easily read at night when my eyes are tired.

Do you have any great ideas for frugal and fun Mother’s Day gifts? Send us an email to so*********@sa*********.com and share your ideas with us. If your story is posted, your name will be entered in a quarterly draw for a gift card. And remember to put a dollar in the retirement savings jar every time you use one of our money-saving ideas.

If you would like to send us other money saving ideas, here are the themes for the next three weeks:

16-May Spring cleaning How spring cleaning can save you money
23-May Budgeting How to set up a budget and why
30-May Wedding How much should you spend on a wedding gift?
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