Style Girlfriend-Approved

    Mother’s Day is on its way: Budget-savvy Gift Ideas from Mr. Everyday Dollar

    7th May 2013


    This article comes from my friend Chris over at Mr. Everyday Dollar.

    I mean, I’m sure you guys all have had your wives’ and mother’s presents on locks for weeks now – months, even! – but ju-u-u-u-s-t in case you’re still looking, he’s got you covered.


    Have you ever found yourself at the gas station the day before Mother’s Day, looking at a collection of picked-over greeting cards, cheap waxy chocolates, and bouquets of limp roses? I know I have, and it doesn’t have to be this way, guys. Deciding what to give the special lady in your life – be it your mother, grandmother or wife – on Mother’s Day can be stressful. You want to get them something special and personal, but maybe can’t – or don’t want to – break the bank either.

    While we can’t put a price tag on all the wonderful things the special ladies in our lives do for us, perhaps there’s a less expensive, yet better and more meaningful option, than buying a Sharper Image Shiatsu Massage Cushion for them.

    1 massage

    {uhh, no thanks}


    Your email inbox and mailbox is likely flooded with “Mother’s Day Gift Idea” advertisements for this Sunday, the Super Bowl of Hallmark holidays. According to the National Retail Federation, most mothers will feel the love to the tune of $18.6 billion this year, which means the average consumer will shell out more than $150 to celebrate this holiday.

    Today, I’ve got gift ideas that are sure to be a hit yet don’t carry such a hefty price tag. Save yourself a weekend of drinking with your buddies and boom – you’ve got these gifts covered all for $30 or under.


    While flowers might seem like a no-brainer, I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no” to a bouquet. The problem is that they only last a week (if you’re lucky) before they start to droop and the petals fall off. Even though many women love flowers, I say we can do better.

    Gadgets are always cool, and we men love them. But while these can be an affordable and useful gift, a pedometer or garlic press isn’t going to make the women we love feel special.

    Also avoid any kind of pointless, disposable tchotchkes. If it’s something you can envision collecting dust on a shelf – and that goes for jewelry too – it’s also something likely to end up in a yard sale or landfill. We want to make a timeless memory.



    2 frame

    1. Create a photo book of your last vacation together or frame one special photo.

    Companies like Shutterfly and Snapfish offer 8 x 11″ photo books for under $25 and run sales for occasions like this. If you decide to frame a photo, decent frames can be found at Target for $17or IKEA for $5.
    Cost $5-$25.

    3 candle

    2. Plan an at home spa day, especially nice for your wife.

    Buy a candle like the 5.5 ounce Pacifica French Lilac for $16, draw a warm bath using $5 bath salts like Dr. Teal’s, pop a bottle of $9 FreixenetCava Brut bubbly, cue up the Pandora spa channel, and make sure everyone’s out of the house so she can enjoy some ‘me’ time. She’ll be impressed.

    Cost $30.

    4 tree

    3. Consider a donation to a non-profit.

    For example, if you’ve got a granola mom, Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree for as little $7.50 and you can either have them send a certificate to the recipient or design a custom one and print it at home.

    Cost $7.50+.

    5 herbs

    4. For the gardeners, purchase an herb garden kit.

    The one above is just $30 from Olive Barn, while a perennial like a hosta ($16) can be planted and enjoyed for years. This gift is great because it will grow and continue to share the love, just like your relationship (queue awww’s here).

    Cost $16-$30.

    6 shampoo

    5. Indulge in small indulgences.

    Like a Green& Black dark chocolate bar for $4, or Malin + Goetz moisturizing shampoo, $25. Simple yet fancy.

    Cost $4-29.




    1. Handwrite a list of the reasons you love and care about her.

    This will take some effort, and maybe even some courage, but it’s guaranteed to go over well.

    Cost $0.

    8 powerwash

    2. Perform an aspect of “work.”

    This means tackling an item or two on her to-do list, such as power washing the deck or cleaning out the gutters. She’ll be happy and we get to play outside.

    Cost $0.

    9 farmersmarket

    3. Check the local city event calendar and take her on a special surprise outing.

    A sampling of free events just for this upcoming weekend is a farmer’s market, music, art festivals, a belly dancing show, comedy shows, and a plethora of museums and art shows.
    Cost $0.

    10 trail

    4. Spend quality time with her by going on a walk or hike.

    If she’s anything like my mom, she’ll tell you that time together is the most meaningful thing to them.

    Cost $0.

    11 volunteer

    5. Volunteer together at a local soup kitchen, food pantry or nonprofit organization.

    You both can feel good about this and hopefully brighten a few other peoples lives that might not be so fortunate.

    Cost $0.


    Tell me: How are you celebrating Mother’s Day with style this year?

    Mr. Everyday Dollar publishes practical articles for people striving to better their personal finances. Individuals and families can use his tips, tutorials, and resources to make decisions on how to obtain, budget, save, invest and spend for the long haul. Connect with him on Twitter @MrEverydayDolla or Facebook

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    • Matt M

      Funny, my mom actually sent an email to my sister and me about Mother’s Day gifts. She specifically requested us to pool our money together and donate it to a worthy cause rather than get her a gift. According to her, she has enough ‘stuff’ and there are plenty of people out there who need even the littlest of things.

      I try to volunteer at least once a month in my free time for various charities and know a number of worthwhile causes to donate to that I know she would be appreciative of. The above advise regarding those two ideas is great.


      • Mr. Everyday Dollar

        Your mom gets it! I hope she has a good Mother’s Day, and props to you and your sister helping someone in need.

    • Holly

      Love it!

    • AJ

      Ok…..If I don’t get my mum flowers on Mother’s Day she will literally end my life.

    • TJ

      I live too far from my mother to see her in person this mother’s day. I’ll have to come up with something that my sister and I can buy together and have her give in to my mom in person.