4 Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day Without Busting Your Budget

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Last year, consumers spent an average of $220 on Mother's Day gifts.
  • If you can't afford to splurge on your mom this year, you're in good company.

Here's how to pull off a great day even if money is tight.

Many of us are more than grateful for our moms -- not only for bringing us into the world, but raising us to be the fine humans we are today. At the same time, many people can't afford to spoil their moms this year as they'd like to. We can thank inflation for that.

Living costs have been soaring lately, forcing cash-strapped consumers to make difficult choices in an effort to avoid sky-high credit card tabs. And so you may need to take a more frugal approach to Mother's Day this year if money has gotten unquestionably tight.

The good news, though, is that when it comes to Mother's Day, it's really the thought that counts. If you're on a budget, here are four options to consider.

1. Invite your mom over for a home-cooked meal

Chances are, your mom has spent a good chunk of her life in the kitchen. And so the mere act of giving her a break in that regard could go over very well. If you can't afford to take your mom out to a fancy brunch or dinner, cook a meal you know she'll enjoy and make sure she has absolutely no hand in preparing it or cleaning up after it.

2. Plan a picnic in the park

Want to celebrate Mother's Day outside the confines of your own home? Rather than host a meal, pack one up. Make a variety of sandwiches, pick up a bottle of your mom's favorite beverage, bake some cookies, and gather your family for a picnic lunch.

3. Have a Zoom brunch if you can't swing the cost of travel

Not everyone lives within driving distance of their moms. If visiting your mother requires you to board a plane, and that's not a cost you can swing right now, set up a Zoom gathering instead. To be clear, it won't be the same as celebrating with your mom in person. But the last thing your mother probably wants is for you to land in debt as a result of coming out to see her, so if you have to celebrate from afar, so be it.

4. Make your mom a gift instead of splurging

In 2021, the average consumer spent $220 on gifts for Mother's Day, according to Retail Dive. It may be that you can barely afford to plunk down one-tenth of that sum this year. But if that's the case, don't stress about it. Instead, come up with a low-cost gift for your mom that's meaningful.

If you're tech savvy, you could design a website for your mom that's loaded with pictures of her family and full of her favorite recipes (that way, she can simply pull up that site rather than constantly dig through her kitchen looking for recipe cards). You can also make your mom a photo collage or something equally simple that's loaded with sentimental value.

Tempting as it may be to splurge on Mother's Day, if you can't afford to do so, you shouldn't. Instead, dig deep into your brain and come up with inexpensive ways to convey to your mom just how much she means to you.

Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until nearly 2025

If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee. 

In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes. 

Read our free review

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow