Mother’s Day On A Budget


Mother’s day is back! This day always sneaks up on me, as most years I consider myself the mother, and I forget about my own mother for Mother’s Day (sorry mum!) So with a few days to go, I’ve compiled a list of cheap and cheerful ways to say “Hey mum! I love you! And I’d totally buy you jewelry if I had the cash, but I don’t, so here’s what I got you instead!” (Don’t worry, my mum hasn’t been completely deprived, her birthday was a couple of months ago and I bought her jewelry then!)

***Under $10***

This is where being a bit creativity pays off! It’s pretty tricky getting much for under $10 without a bit of searching or DIYing. I think the difference between being “cheap” and being “inexpensive” is making the gift meaningful. That said I’d still be happy with some flowers and chocolate from Aldi –you’d still have change from a $10 note!

Get the kids to help. Things like kids drawings or paintings, homemade cards, salt dough hand prints or ornaments or frame photos of the children or family. (Kmart have both frames and printing that will cost less than $10) Also save money on wrapping paper and cards by getting the kids to decorate some paper themselves!

Op shopping. If mum wouldn’t mind a second hand gift; books, hand bags and jewellery can all be found for under $10 at an op shop, if it’s to her taste and appeals to her from recycle and reuse point of view, then that could be a winner!

Get crafting! If you knit, sew, crochet, bake, or have any other crafty talents, this is the time to use them! Even bake mum a cake or a batch of muffins to say you care.

Write mum a letter. This could be pretty much free if you have paper and pens at home. I wrote my mum a letter one year as a teenager, just thanking her for just being so awesome, and she embarrasses me by bringing it out and reading it from time to time, but I think it really hit the spot.

***Under $20***

There are a few more options for under $20, but it still won’t necessarily go a long warm, so still need to be a bit creative and shop for bargains.

10271628_10202321399860562_8414241324627377397_nFlowers.  If you buy flowers from the super market, rather than a florist, you’ll find they’ll be much less expensive. Then head to the craft section or party section of the supermarket (or a thrift store/”dollar” store) and grab some cellophane and ribbon and wrap up the bunch yourself to make it extra special!

Slippers. I really actually want slippers for myself this mother’s day – and if I didn’t already know that’s what my brother got for my mum I’d be getting her slippers also myself.

Body wash. Head to Lush or The Body Shop. I think with pampering items it’s better to get a small amount of something good quality than a bigger package from a cheaper store.

Candles.  Stores like Dusk, and those “hippy” type stores that sell incense and crystals, have really lovely big candles, don’t forget to a get a little ceramic plate or candle dish for mum to put it on.

***$20  to $50***

Being totally honest, I find this the most awkward amount of money to spend on someone. It’s not enough to buy something really impressive – like fancy jewelry, decent electronics or appliances – but it’s an amount of money that I wouldn’t want to waste on something that wasn’t wanted. I tend to keep the receipt if I’m spending more than $20 on a gift – just in case they want to return it.

Dressing gown. Or a set of warm pjs! The thing I like about Mother’s Day is it comes right when the weather starts to cool down so it’s a good time to start to buy winter woollies.

FYI to my own family, I want one of these dressing gowns from Mix, they’re only $25!

CDs, Books and DVDs.  If there’s something you know she listens to, reads or watches, these are pretty safe gifts.

A scarf. Scarves are clothing item where knowing mum’s exact size isn’t really so important – as long as you know what colours are going to match their style.

Gift card. I like gift cards when they also show some thought, for  example, if mum is keen on gardening or home DIY – get her a Bunnings or Masters gift card. Otherwise you can get one of those Visa gift cards which can be spent anywhere, but put a note like “Hey mum, you mentioned you needed new lip stick, but I wasn’t sure what brand or colours you like.”

***Over $50***

This is a little bit more fun; having the freedom to buy something that maybe mum wouldn’t buy for herself.

These colourful baskets are $6 at "The Reject Shop"
These colourful baskets are $6 at “The Reject Shop”

Make a hamper. Pre-made hampers don’t always suit the person you’ve bought it for and there might be items they don’t really want or use. You can buy various sized baskets from stores like Kmart or The Reject Shop, and then fill one with things like mum’s favourite chocolate, biscuits, tea or coffee – and maybe add some of the other items suggested above like pictures of the kids, homemade items, bath products or whatever else might make mum feel special!

Appliances.  If you get a chance maybe scope out her kitchen for something that looks like it may need replacing soon. Or maybe get her a set top box and hard-drive and put videos of the kids and family on it for her (and show her how to use them!)

Kitchenware. Some nice wine glasses (and some nice wine to go in them), or maybe a beautiful tea pot set with some nice tea from T2 would be more to mum’s liking.

Take mum shopping. For example, I know my mum would like a new coat for this winter, but I wouldn’t want to go and buy one for her without knowing it’s exactly the right style and size for her, so if I could I would take her shopping and let her choose what she likes.

Magazine Subscription. Then Mother’s Day can come to you mum every month, to remind her that you care.


***Mother’s Day Activities***

Take mum out. If a main meal at a restaurant is out of budget, maybe take mum out for morning or afternoon tea at a café instead. Coffee and cake each shouldn’t hurt the hip pocket too much, but you’ll still make mum feel special by taking her out.

Family picnic. It’s probably going to be a busy day to be at the park, as there’s probably quite a few other people with the same idea, so if possible bring a picnic blanket and avoid a BBQ queue by packing sandwiches, or picking up a hot roasted chicken and premade salads from the supermarket.

Cook a meal. Invite mum over for a home cooked dinner to repay her for the countless meals she’s cooked for you over the years. Cook her favourite meal, or your own “specialty” (I’m a one-trick-pony, if I want to impress people I make Kebabs) Or maybe cook up a traditional Sunday roast with all the trimmings!

Movie night. Going to the cinema can be wildly expensive these days, but grabbing a couple of DVDs, maybe a pizza (and some wine) and having a night in with mum instead is still a pretty thrifty evening.

What are you doing for your mum this Mothers’ Day? 

 (I’ve decided I’m crocheting my mum a beanie with some beautiful rainbow pure wool! Better get onto it! )



Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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