Happy Mother’s Day! 5 Frugal Last Minute Gifts

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Somehow Mother’s Day always seems to sneak up on me. If you’re like me and scrambling a bit to put together a mother’s day gift then here are 5 ideas for quick frugal gifts this Mother’s Day.

1. Photographs

In a frame or decorating something like coasters or an apron or shirt. Really anything involving photographs is going to be a safe bet. Nostalgia always wins.

It’s easy and fast to make such an item, so long as you have a printer you just need the following for these photograph gift ideas.

For a picture, you simply need a frame.

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Supplies for a customized apron, get an apron and some iron on paper.

For coasters, you just need some tile, felt feet, and mod podge.

2.Handprint cards

Remember when you were a little kid and you put your hand in paint and then left your handprint on a piece of paper that got framed. Chanel your inner child, this holiday is all about celebrating Mothers, a mother is someone who has a child.

For extra fun write your name and age next to your handprint.  My brother and I recently did this as a birthday card for our dad, I’m 27, my brother is 25, our dad loved and got a real kick out of it.

Though if you have actual children this would also work equally as well. If you are doing it as an older child, get creative and mix your own color or marble it. Supplies needed: Finger Paint and Paper.

3. A Mixed CD/Playlist

There is so much music out there that can describe how amazing the mother in your life is, let her know by sharing some tunes.

4. Time

I know your time is very valuable, but it is the easiest thing to give. Visit and spend some time with them, play a game, watch a game, cook a meal and then enjoy the meal. At the very least make sure you give them a call on Mother’s Day.

5. A Keepsake from Your Town

If you live far away, cooking a meal might be tough, but how about sending them something that is from where you live now? Something that every time they see it reminds them of where you are located.

You can even make something that is distinctive to your new hometown or home state, it will help keep you connected. It doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, if you live by the beach make a frame covered in sea shells.

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

Maybe Mother’s Day snuck up on you or perhaps you’re just looking to save some money on a gift. Either way, here are 5 frugal Mother’s Day gifts you can pull together fast.

  • A picture
  • Handprint cards
  • Playlist/ Mixed CD
  • Your Time
  • A Keepsake from where you live

Enjoy celebrating!

Life tools & resources I recommend

The Skimm (for staying informed) I've been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what's happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.

Winc (for Wine Delivery) I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I'm very pro free wine.

Checkout 51 (to save on groceries) To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.


Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • I love the idea of grown up handprint cards! There’s nothing like a handprint to capture life and memories, so it stands to reason that mothers would love this gift from older, grown up “kids”, as well as young ones! Great ideas. 🙂

    • says:

      Thanks! The card was definitely a big hit with my Dad.

  • Vickie says:

    Such good ideas! It’s true about the time…if nothing else I would like to see them on Mother’s day if possible!

    • says:

      Absolutely. I wish I could be spending time with my Mom tomorrow, but I live too far away. She will definitely be getting a phone call/face time.

  • Mel says:

    I love that you repurposed a little kid project with those handprint cards. That’s really clever! I’m a big fan of picking an inexpensive Groupon or LivingSocial activity to do with them. Last year my mom and I went tubing on the Delaware River for the day for like $20 for both of us with a Groupon.

    • says:

      Smart! I always forget about Groupon for gifts, even though I’ve received them for gifts myself. There are some great experiences on there for a steal. And experiences are always more memorable than things.

  • I have a feeling my husband may need to read this… :p

    • says:

      haha- send him over to the page 😉

  • A photo is a great gift, especially if you have done outings together. My personal favorite was a cheap frame from the Dollar Store and a king size Hershey bar inside the frame. On the outside you write “for emergencies”.

    • says:

      That is awesome. Simple works best.

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