Mothers Day Gifts Under 5 The Prudent Homemaker

I saw an ad the other day for Mother’s Day gifts under $100. While I love my mother, I don’t have that kind of a budget, and I am certain that I’m not the only one. Mothers appreciate being thought of on Mother’s Day, and you don’t have to spend a lot to let them know you appreciate them. Here are some gifts that fit within a modest budget:

Earrings 1 The Prudent Homemaker


1. Homemade jewelry

Make your mom a pair of earrings or a new necklace. The earrings I made above cost me 20 cents, and my mom wears them at least once a week.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker


2. Chocolate covered strawberries

Strawberries go on sale at Mother’s Day. This week I noticed them for .99 at Alberston’s! If you have some melting chocolate at home, these are very simple to make. (I buy melting chocolate on clearance after Christmas to use during the year). You can go fancier and drizzle them with white chocolate on top if you like. The grocery stores are advertising these at $1 per strawberry, but you could make a whole pound for $2.

3. A new apron

I wear an apron all the time in the kitchen to protect my clothes while cooking, baking, and doing dishes. I have another apron for gardening (I use the pockets to hold seed packets). Eventually they wear out and I need new ones. You can whip up an apron using a multitude of free apron patterns in a few hours. The one above cost me $3.39. (You can see more aprons I’ve made here).

4. Her favorite homemade jam (with or without a loaf of homemade bread)

Homemade jam is amazing. If your mom needs a low-sugar jam, you can make that, too. (My mom’s favorite is apple butter!)

Lemon Meringue Pie The Prudent Homemaker

5. Her favorite dessert

Does your mom prefer pie, cake, cookies, or brownies? Make her a treat! (Lemon meringue pie recipe here).

Graham Thomas Roses The Prudent Homemaker

6. Flowers from your garden

If you’re growing flowers in your garden, cut some to give to your mother.


Rosemary on Table The Prudent Homemaker


7. An herb plant

Visit your local nursery or grocery store for an herb plant so that you mom can cut her own fresh herbs whenever she would like. At our nursery these are $2.49. If you start herbs from seeds or cuttings, your cost is just a few cents.

8. Invite her for a meal

Invite your mom to eat with you on Mother’s Day, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.

9. Serve her

Clean her windows, clean her refrigerator, scrub her floor, dust her house, weed her garden, wash her car, etc. While this is an always appreciated gift, it is even more so as she gets older and these things become more difficult for her to do.

10. Take a new photo of her (and your father, if both are living). 

Most people haven’t had a good photo taken of themselves in many years. If you’re good with a camera, take her photo on Mother’s Day when she is dressed up. Order a print to give to her afterwards. I am ever so grateful for this photo I took of my mother-in-law a couple of years before she died. She didn’t always want her picture taken, but on that day she was dressed up and photo-ready, and she let me take her picture. The next best photo that had been taken of her was years before, at my wedding.

Alternately, your mother might appreciate a recent picture of you and your family. Walgreen’s has a free 8 x 10 offer right now (and usually does before Mother’s Day).

11. A note telling her how much you love and appreciate her

As children grow up and become parents, they learn to more fully appreciate and understand why their parents did certain things the way they did them (this is even more true when one has a child just like oneself!) Write your mom a thank you letter for the good things she taught you. This gift will cost little, but will be savored and appreciated for years.

Need a card? I’ve put together a Pinterest board of free Mother’s Day printables, including gift tags, cards, and printable gifts.

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  1. Wonderful ideas, all of them, very thoughtful too. I lost my own mother just over 2 years ago. She was a stroke victim and wheel chair bound. I made her many clothes that were fitting for her in a wheel chair. (she could not wear pants) I made gowns that were longer than normal in the front but shorter in back to help aid the care givers she had with her toilet needs. My mother was paralyzed on the left side, could not move to ‘help’ anyone with her own care. It was just so sad. The gowns I made her were very helpful to her. I let her pick fabric too.I am sure that any mother would be very proud to get any of those gifts.

  2. These are great ideas! My mother-in-law reads the New Yorker and I found a beautiful plate at my Goodwill that has a New Yorker cartoon printed on it. My plan was to stack a tower of delicious fresh strawberries on the plate so that the punch line would be revealed as a surprise when she’s finished with the berries, but now I think I’ll make them into chocolate dipped strawberries per your suggestion. The plate cost me $2! I know she’ll love this low-cost gift.

  3. I often buy artscow gifts with pictures of the kiddies. Added bonus – their special offers always include free postage anywhere in the world so if I time it right I don’t have to pay a fortune to send the pressies overseas. A funny moment from this morning’s Mother’s Day gifts – my kids used their pocket money at the school stall. “Mummy,” my daughter said, “They wanted $3 for this, but I talked them into taking $1 for it.” She knew I’d appreciate her mad-keen bargain hunting skills!

  4. I was inspired by the beaded earrings you made in an earlier post, and made my mother a pair this year. The beads came from a necklace I bought at a thrift store; the necklace wasn’t very wearable, but the beads were the exact colors my mother wears all summer (hot pink and yellow; hey, when you’re in your seventies, you do what you want). They cost me under $5, and I have leftover supplies for more earrings in the future! Thanks for the idea.

  5. I love the apron. I was beginning to think I was the last person in the world that still wears one! They do wear out but first they get so stained with oil and other debris, I can’t imagine what my clothes would look like if I didn’t wear one! And I’m only cooking for two most of the time, although I do cook mostly from scratch. I will use your link to look at the apron pattern. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  6. Anna Jarvis, who started Mother’s Day to comfort mothers who had lost son’s in war and encourage them to work for peace, envisioned this day as one of quiet fellowship with one’s own mother. She fought bitterly to keep it from becoming commercialized as Mothers’ Day.

  7. Well, the great thing about the ideas in the post is that they are so uncommercial! A much more loving and simple way to honor your mother than buying her an expensive commercial present.

  8. I love this. I am actually so very proud of my children when they do frugal things. I was telling my daughter what I learned about not using so much laundry soap and it being harsh on our laundry. (I actually didn’t think I used that much, but I cut back even more and things are so much better. I used to put too much in the diaper load. Thank you all for that!) Anyway, my college daughter told me that she still has the detergent I got for her in her freshman year (she is a junior now) and then she reminded me that I got that from a garage sale! Ha ha. That sounds like me. Anyway, I love the frugal and thoughtful gifts best.Yesterday, at a garage sale, a lady brought three mini bundt cakes of varying flavors to her mother all wrapped up beautifully. It was really a lovely gift, but the frugal side of me thought of how brilliant it was. Thank you for posting this. I have been working harder at trying to come up with more frugal gifts for other people. I do okay with my own children, but I feel more self-conscious with other people. The gifts pictured above are all so lovely. ~Liz

  9. What a lovely picture of your mother-in-law! I make sure very Christmas to try to get a picture of two of my mother, father, grandmother, etc.–not just the kids.These are good as birthday presents, too. My mother likes the novelty of getting flowers at work, but one year I couldn’t afford to send them. So instead, since I lived locally then, I baked her a cake and drove over there with my baby to eat cake with her and her aides (she’s a teacher and it was a workday). Fun and cost almost nothing!

  10. Brandy,I wanted to say that a month or two ago you posted on facebook about a free Shutterfly calendar and I ordered one with pictures of my nieces with perfect quotes or scripture to go with each picture. I gave it to my mom today and she was completly blown away. We rarely get to see these little angels due to some complex issues, so it was hard to find 12 pictures, but I was so glad I did.You made an amazing contribution to our family happiness today!Patty

  11. Love your ideas…my favourite picture of your is the meringue pie with the ripe citrus…long time since I’ve made one of these…My girls gave me a card made of crafting supplies with a hand drawn voucher for a morning tea which I’m going to insist is at home. We’ll all bring goodies and put it together and then the little boys can have room to spread and have fun :)Hope you and all your readers had a love day to share.Alexa from Sydney, AustraliaBlogging at

  12. Those all look like fabulous gifts! I LOVE jewelry! Especially when it’s made of quality materials. Ordering from a catalog such as Blue Mountain Beads (or something like that) can get a person quality material such as sterling silver. I am allergic to metals in lesser quality jewelry so prefer to wear Sterling Silver or 10K gold items. Sterling Silver is much cheaper of course. My Mother is the jewelry making queen in our family. She has made plenty of necklaces and earrings with beach glass. We live near Lake Erie. It’s fun to spend an afternoon searching for new pieces of glass, especially after a rainstorm. She gets her items from the Blue Mountain catalog I mentioned to put together her pieces. Sometimes she sells them to ladies on her bowling team or for gifts for friends and family. Mostly she makes jewelry for fun.I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day Brandy!! You certainly deserve it!!

  13. For gifts to my mom, MIL, or SIL’s I order free gifts from Shutterfly or Snapfish. I have to pay shipping that isually $5.99, I have it shipped directly to them. For Christmas I had a bunch of free calendar codes, for mother’s day I had a free coffee mug, I took bluebonnet pictures of my 3 girls and put them on a mug and shipped it to my MIL. Sometimes I get free photo book codes, I made a free photo Christmas book for mom’s march bday, and right now I have a few $20 off any gift codes I’ll be making ahead some gifts, one for my oldest daughter, something for my MIL’s bday this fall, if I get more codes I will then start on Christmas gifts:D

  14. I made bouquets for Mother’s Day out of flowers and plants from the yard and free glass vases for the ladies.I also made chocolate covered strawberries for the brunch because of your suggestion. They were a hit!

  15. I was lucky this year to find a half dozen roses and a mixed flower bouquet at Aldis for 3.99 a piece which was a 1.00 less then the large bouquets. I put the 2 together for my mother-in-law. Minus 1 rose and some greenery which I put in a vase from the dollar store for my grandmother who does not have a lot of space at the nursing home. So I got two gifts for under $10.00. My mom got a refrigerator magnet with a picture my daughter drew that was $6.00. That was my gift too.

  16. My mom’s favorite gift that I ever gave her was a little book made of memories from many people she had known through the years, including neighbors, friends, and family. This was before email and computers. I called everyone up to explain my plan and they mailed me their memories of my mom. I typed them up and but them in a small binder. She cried when she opened it and kept it till her passing. I have the book now and it’s fun for my sisters and I to read all the comments. She was a special lady.

  17. I have relatives along the west shore of Lake Michigan and I used to walk with cousins picking up the the pieces of sand and water smoothed glass. We’d be just as excited as if we had found real gems. Blue was always the rarest find. I still have a candle holder I epoxied glass pieces to…. it holds a small votive candle.

  18. These are wonderful ideas! I have strawberries in the fridge, and candy chocolate in the pantry. I would love to have someone else put them together for me. 😉 Maybe I’ll send this post to a certain someone as a hint…

  19. One year for Christmas we gave my mother in law 6 weeks of coupons redeemable for home cooked dinners from me. She said it was the best present she had every had and was bragging to all of her friends about it.

  20. One of the best received gifts I made for my Mom one year was a jar full of 365 memories of my Mom. I typed each one of them on my electric typewriter (back in the day) and cut them so you could just fold them once. It’s an endless jar… because every day she can take out a memory and read it and then store it in a second jar. Then every year, just start over. When I have visited over the years, I add memories to the jar — so now it lasts for more than a year. And I always sneak the new ones into the jar so she gets a new surprise. Moms just love to know they are remembered. I had the two jars and the ribbon to add to the top. I had the paper, the typewriter and the time. I know I would love to receive a gift like this. My Mom says that she loves to read them all year even if they repeat because it jogs her memory and touches her heart even though she’s read them for years and years.

  21. We continue to make changes to our gifting . This year , I sorted my greeting card collection out and pulled out anything suitable for mothers day. Sugar cookie wrote out heart felt letters to the people that mean the most to her. We sent cards off to her grandmother with dementia , her former stepmother and to the nurse practitioner that tends to her. My new neighbor gave me a ride into town one evening to pick up my car. College boy had it and I needed to get to sick college girl. I was so grateful. We have a gift of Bath and Body Works for her. I am always so touched at the generosity of others and want them to know how much they mean to us . Friends and family members who no longer show up except with a wish list are no longer acknowledged. It is sad that not all families are strong. Once again, sugar cookie has been disinvited to a Mothers Day event. Seems they invited someone else and don’t have room for her now. It hurts me as bad as it does her. Meanwhile, we are baking cream cheese banana but bread for all of our elderly neighbors in our tiny cul de sac. I promised the kids a big ham dinner. I am a blessed mommy. So for all the mother’s out there I hope your hearts are full.

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