4 Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day That Won't Cost a Fortune

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on April 23, 2021

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An adult woman and her senior mom sitting on their front porch steps while smiling and hugging.

Image source: Getty Images

Don't let Mother's Day bust your budget this year. Instead, try these ideas.

When you think about the important people in your life, your mom may very well top that list. And with Mother's Day coming up, you may want to do something grand to show your mom how much you appreciate her.

But what if you're extremely limited in what you can spend? Given the state of the economy right now, that may very well be the case.

A lot of people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. Many have landed in debt or depleted their savings just to stay afloat. If you've had a similar experience, you can't afford to go overboard on Mother's Day. So here are some options for celebrating on the relative cheap.

1. Host your own brunch

For years, Mother's Day and brunch have gone hand in hand, but if you do brunch at a restaurant, it could mean paying a hefty price for an abundance of food you don't really need. Plus, with the pandemic, capacity limits could make it difficult to book a reservation. A better idea? Host brunch instead. If you have siblings, make it a group effort and ask everyone (except for your mom, of course) to bring a dish. Cooking a meal for a small group of family members is apt to cost a lot less than paying a premium to dine out.

2. Send brunch to your mom

Maybe your mom lives far away, and you'd normally fly out to see her on Mother's Day. If you can't swing the cost of a flight this year, or you're out of travel rewards on your credit card to score one for free, then you can look at sending your mom a brunch box instead. Many local restaurants offer this service, where they'll put together a bunch of brunch items and deliver it to the recipient's door. While you'll spend some money to go this route, the cost should pale in comparison to the expense of having to book a flight, not to mention getting to and from the airport.

3. Gift your mom a photo montage

Can't afford jewelry for your mom this year? Try something she's apt to appreciate just as much -- a photo montage of her family members (with a strong emphasis on the grandkids, if that applies). You can use a free service like Google Photos to put one together and send it over as a Mother's Day surprise.

4. Spend the day outdoors

If your mom is the type who appreciates nature, plan an excursion she'll enjoy. Find a new park or hiking trail you haven't been to and map out a route in advance for a smooth outing. Pack a picnic lunch with your mom's favorite snacks, and take plenty of photos to commemorate the day.

There's a lot of pressure to spend money on Mother's Day, but this year in particular, a lot of people can't afford to do that. The good news is that you don't have to bust your budget to celebrate your mom in a meaningful way -- you just need to get creative.

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