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Got Last-Minute, Frugal, Mother’s Day Tips? Win $25!

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I totally spaced on Mother's Day this year. I had been running around my job, new dog, and this blog. That doesn't give me a lot of time to research some frugal Mother's Day Gifts. So I figured I'd run an experiment... a little contest. One person who leaves me a frugal, last-minute Mother's Day gift or tip as a comment on this post will win $25 in the form of an Ebay or Amazon e-mail gift certificate (winner's choice).

A few rules:

  1. The first idea is what counts - If you give me an idea that is a repeat of someone else's, I can't count it.
  2. Two tip ideas per person, please - I will give you credit for a maximum of two entries if you include two tips. If you have 3 or 5, feel free to pass them on... I just want everyone to have a chance to win.
  3. Please use a valid email - I can't send you the prize if you don't leave a valid e-mail.

Contest Ends on Thursday night at 11:59PM PT. I'll announce a winner this weekend.

Last updated on May 5, 2009.

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19 Responses to “Got Last-Minute, Frugal, Mother’s Day Tips? Win $25!”

  1. chris says:

    My husband would always ask for what I wanted…for birthday, mother’s day, etc. My reply aways was, “…a box of film.” ($10.00 max). By the way, I never got that box of film.

    That was when I took pictures with my film cameras. Moms love pictures. Moms are usually the picture-takers in the family. Give Mom a box of film, an extra battery for the digital camera, a little case to protect the camera…all these things run about $10.00 and support/protect what mom’s like most – the memories of her kids. Most moms take tons of pictures and anything to make the picture taking easier would be awesome!

  2. Anna says:

    I have been asking for this for the last several years and haven’t gotten it-I would love for one of my children to burn me a CD with some of my favorite songs-the songs I like will usually only be a $1.00 each online so it wouldn’t be very expensive and I would be most appreciative. I’ve also recommended they could put some songs on an old mp3 player they have for me (you can now purchase one of these for around ten bucks) I’m still waiting on that as well…..

  3. How about “free” for the cost?

    Your mom is across the country, so she’d probably like to see you on mother’s day. Grab the camcorder and make a video. Perhaps talk about some fun experiences from your childhood or some importance lessons you learned from her.

    Pop it on the internet and point her to it on Sunday. Or perhaps even zip it across the internet to a friend who could hand deliver it in DVD format?

    Anna – that’s a head scratcher. If you were my mom, you’d definitely have the CD :)

  4. Jen says:

    My suggestion, that I’m going to attempt myself, is to find a friend or other family member that has her favorite spring flower and pick some for her. Cost… well the price of gas, maybe.

    Also, you could take her (if she lives nearby??) out for the day somewhere inexpensive or free, such as a festival. I live near Rochester NY so the Lilac festival would be great.

    And I love the video idea. I did something like that for my sister’s sweet sixteen.

  5. Tyler says:

    Give your mom a hug, that’s certainly a frugal way to show her you care.

    Or, if you’re willing to spend a little money, make her a macaroni statue.

  6. Charlotte says:

    Instead of sending flowers I went to the local nursery and bought live plants for her garden. Live plants are just as pretty and last much longer.

  7. Joshua says:

    This Mother’s day I thought I would so something special for my Mother that wasn’t about spending money but about spending time.

    So, I picked some tulips from my flower box, hand wrote a letter telling her how much I lover her, and will then affix it to her door.

    When she wakes up to grab her paper she will see it. When she calls to thank me I will invite her out to her favorite park and I will serve a fancy lunch in the form of a picnic. This will include some wine from my stock, home made bread sandwiches, cheeses, and home made dessert.

    This can all easily be done for less than $25 and will give her a lasting memory for years to come.

  8. laura says:

    Michaels (the craft supply store) is hosting an entire week of crafts dedicated to Mom. Every day they have a new activity your kids can do to make a gift for you. These workshops are free all week! The activity for today is a coupon book using scrapbook materials and it is super cute.

    One of these handmade gifts, a hug and I will be glowing on Mother’s Day!

  9. Pat M says:

    There’s an e-book for moms that’s free for download over the weekend that they might appreciate. It deals with finding balance in your life.


    “You’re only a click away from receiving a FREE download of the award-winning book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal, How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life, by nationally-recognized career/life balance coach Renee Trudeau (a $20 value).

    Featured extensively in national media and described as “The best book on balance,” by women’s health guru Dr. Joan Borysenko, author of Inner Peace for Busy Women, this book can help you:

    * reconnect with who you are
    * manage your energy and practice saying “no”
    * tap into the Transformative Power of Self-Care”

    Also, TGIFriday’s is offering a free dessert for Mom with purchase of an entree on Friday, May 10. I’m sure many other chains and local restaurants will follow suit with similar offers through the weekend so keep your eyes open if going out to eat is on your agenda.

  10. MLR says:

    A $10 or $25 gift card to Global Giving (.com). Or Kiva (.org).

    The gift that keeps giving!

    You can even sit down with her and choose a charity that she really connects to.

  11. thisisbeth says:

    My mom got a new laptop this fall. When I was a kid, she loved reading Nancy Drew stories. Target (and prsumably other places) has the Nancy Drew video game. I don’t know that she’ll love it–she might not get a chance to play with it until winter–but I know she’ll appreciate the thought.

    If she lives near you, how about taking her out to a park or a zoo? Most parents appreciate the gift of time from their children more than anything.

  12. Brian says:

    I enjoy making stuff for my friends, family and my girlfriend. It’s more fruitful for me and I think they can see the effort I put into making it.

    1.) Create a card. I made one for my girlfriend some weeks ago out of construction paper because I made a really dumb mistake and I felt horrible about it. I wanted her to know that I really meant my apology so I made her a card and she absolutely loved it.

    The math? Construction paper, glue and scissors, and maybe some crayons. Most of this stuff we probably already have and if not, the construction paper is a cost of 2$ or so that will last a while for future projects.

    2.) Make a fabulous dinner. One could easily feed the entire family for under 25$ at home.

    It’s the thought that counts, not the cost.

  13. Vic says:

    Here are two tip ideas for you. The latter is on the extreme end of frugality.

    1. Get all your mom’s kids together and take a group portrait, then print it, frame it, and give it to her. This works much better if you are not an only child obviously. Do this in a frugal way by taking the picture yourself. You can even make the frame if you have time! We did a few takes at a professional studio. For the last take, we dropped the formal poses and all picked a weird prop from a box. Guess which take ended up getting printed?

    2. Feeling like trying something new? Dumpster dive for flowers that are always thrown out in bulk the day after artificial holidays like mother’s day and valentine’s day. Gather enough flowers in one night that you can do something extravagant like fill up every surface in her entire kitchen with flowers by the next morning. Yep, weird idea but it’s an amazing surprise. I think this was done in the movie Big Fish (minus the dumpster diving part).

  14. Jon Anderson says:

    I just sent my mom a bunch of homemade mothers day coupons for things like weeding the garden and washing her car. Of course, I’m 100 miles away so I can’t do it. The copied fine print boilerplate from other coupons and added a clause mentioning that my little brother will be responsible for actually doing everything.

  15. Candice says:

    I am going to make an iPhoto book for my mother. Have already sent her a card telling her that a special gift is on its way. I’ll call on Mother’s Day and mention the gift. It won’t arrive in time since I haven’t started–but at least when it is ready to be ordered (this weekend), there won’t be a lot of competition for resources to produce it.

  16. Slinky says:

    Tip # 1 – Don’t do mother’s day. Do the Sunday AFTER mother’s day. It’s much easier to treat out for brunch or something AND gives you an extra week to find a frugal gift (Post mother’s day sales, maybe?). Of course, my mother is a florist so she works all day on Mother’s Day and so rarely celebrate on that day.

    Tip # 2 – Make something. My grandmother wears scarves (babushkas). I was going to knit her a pretty lace one. It’s just a big square, so it’s very simple.

    Tip # 3 – Especially for Grandmother’s who are getting older, treat them to a special homemade dinner. Make something really awesome.

    Tip # 4 – Just spend the day with them playing board games or card games or if they’re like my grandmother video games. :)

    Tip # 5 – If you play an instrument well, make a tape or cd of you playing.

  17. Robin Gauthier says:

    Italian dinner in a basket. I go to Christmas Tree Shops or the Dollar Store and pick up a cheap basket for 1.00 or maybe a little more. Then I go to the grocery store and buy some spaghetti, a jar of sauce, some imported grated cheese, some imported black olives, and you can add a stick of pepperoni and some Italian bread if you have room. Cost is under $20.00, and if you are feeling fancy, you can add a bow.

  18. robyn says:

    let’s see… i f my mom wwere still alive [she died in 1986] i’d pick her up on sat mornign and hit all her favorite yard sales and flea markets. then we’d go back to my house, sort through her goodies while eating sandwiches [decide what she keeps, what she’ll give to the needy]. then, we’d head out to a museum [i’m a member of all the local museums, year long admission for a reasonable price and tons of reciprocal admissions] for a few hours and laugh at what passes for art.
    for me? every year my kids take me to waffle house for dinner. crowds are gone, i love the waitstaff and home fries with jalapenas.
    ps: used the gift card to take kids out to dinner, straight A’s. using balance to see ‘the ride’ movie about a guy who rode cross country raising funds for MS. all theatre proceeds going to national MS society. thank you lazy man!

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