16 thoughtful but frugal Mother’s Day budget gift ideas!

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Celebrating Mother’s Day on a budget? Here are 16 thoughtful but frugal Mother’s Day gift ideas, with little or no money needed! In the UK Mother’s Day falls on a slightly different date each year – always three weeks before Easter. This year Mothering Sunday is 10th March – so pop it on the calendar, and let’s look at how we can have some frugal fun and celebrate without breaking the bank.

There are so many special occasions throughout the year that, while it’s lovely to make people feel appreciated and spoiled, it’s important to make sure that we celebrate in manageable and affordable ways – whether it be hosting at home, using your skills, or getting the kids on the job. I’ve even included my budget friendly Etsy favourites (all under £10) and some ideas for homemade Mother’s Day gifts without spending money too!

So whether you’re a daughter or son looking to spoil Mum, hunting for gifts for your partner from the kids, treating nanny / Grandma or thanking someone special who has been there for you like a mother – here are some simple ways for you to spoil your loved ones with these budget friendly Mother’s Day gift ideas…

1. Serve afternoon tea at home

A DIY afternoon tea is a really affordable way to treat your mum or partner, without spending much money. Scones, cakes and sandwiches are cheap and easy to make but, if cooking isn’t your talent, a couple of quid spent in a supermarket or bakery will do the job. Decorate the table with flowers, add some yummy treats and have an afternoon of quality time this Mother’s Day for a fraction of the cost of eating out.

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2. Create a personalised gift basket

Show her that you know her well by creating a personalised gift basket full of things that she loves. You might want to fill it with pamper products and the promise of an afternoon off – bath bubbles, a bottle of bubbly, chocolates and a book or movie would be the perfect gift to go with some peace and quiet.

Or, go for a theme such as gardening, craft or baking if there’s something that your special someone loves to do – thinking more along the lines of useful gifts to suit their interests. Have a look at my post: How to create a DIY hamper on a budget for lots of theme ideas!

Wondering where to buy Mother’s Day gifts with a small budget? Bargain shops like B&M, Home Bargains and Poundland, as well as your local supermarkets, could be a good place to start. And, don’t forget to make the most of preloved shopping too – it’s amazing what treasures you can find second-hand (often brand new!) from local selling groups, websites like Preworn, Preloved or Vinted, and in the charity shops.


3. Give the gift of sleep

There’s no money needed for this one! For mums with young children, sleep is the best gift anyone could give. Organise for the children to sleep over with their grandparents, or take the kids out of the house and let her spend the morning in bed. Peace and quiet doesn’t cost a penny, but it’s absolutely priceless! (I’m sure breakfast in bed would go down well too!)

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4. Take a trip down memory lane

Memories are priceless and a photograph is worth a thousand words. Frame those magical moments, or create a photo album or scrap book for your partner or mum to enjoy. Time is so precious, and children grow so fast – there’s nothing better than a trip down memory lane.


5. Find something special on Etsy

I actually really love Etsy – not only is it a brilliant place to find unique, personalised and quirky gifts but there are loads of really affordable options on there too. Here are a few of my budget friendly Etsy favourites for Mother’s Day 2024 – all under £10!

  • Silver Rain jewellery is my go to for jewellery as they have so many lovely pieces, it’s all 925 silver (so no bad reactions) and there are loads of options under a tenner!

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  • This cute Mother’s Day mug is the perfect gift for a busy Mum – a good excuse to sit down with a cuppa! You could even make a little hamper with biscuits, tea bags / coffee or some hot chocolate sachets!

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  • If you aren’t a keen cook – or you’re looking for something a little bit groovy – these brownies in a box look fab and can be personalised with your own thoughtful message!

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  • These tea and biscuit boards are really popular – and a great way give a thoughtful personalised gift that’s useful and not too expensive.

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  • A personalised flower pot like this one is the perfect gift for someone who loves plants –  you could fill it with a cutting from the garden, gift with a packed of seeds or buy a cheap potted plant, without blowing the budget!

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For more Mother’s Day ideas – get some inspiration from Etsy’s Mother’s Day Collection.


6. Think about gifts you can make

If you’ve got a small budget, but are happy to roll up your sleeves, why not spend a rainy Sunday afternoon creating some homemade Mother’s Day gifts from the comfort of your own home? Depending on your skills, you could think about edible presents – making jars of homemade jams, preserves, chutneys or sauces.

You could make your own fudge, or bake some simple biscuits like shortbread. Food mix jars can make great gifts too – things like cookie ingredients, or hot chocolate kits. If you can sew or knit why not make a blanket or throw, some cushion covers or even a piece of clothing? Thoughtful and frugal!


7. Plan something fun to do

If the weather is bright, why not plan a picnic and get out and about? Pack up some tasty treats and spend some quality time together. Perhaps visit their favourite place, head to the beach, wander in the woods or find a nearby park where you can enjoy the fresh air and relax. Find a beautiful spot and chill!

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You could even host a family party, set up a DIY escape room, or hold a games night – getting all the mums in the family together for a big celebration! (My FREE, printable Adults VS Kids Trivia Quiz is a great place to start.)

If you’re looking for a family day out on a budget – take a look at my article: Cheap UK family days out with the kids: 20 ways to have fun on a budget. These are the sorts of long-lasting memories that we treasure forever.


8. Give a personalised coupon

Personalised coupons are a great gift for every occasion, and Mother’s Day is no different – just make sure that the coupons aren’t for things that are already expected! You could get the kids involved in this one too. With two options to choose from, the link will take you to both, you can use my pre-made coupons or use the blank version to fill with your own ideas.

These vouchers don’t need to cost a penny but could be exactly what someone needs – why not offer to help in the garden, make breakfast in bed or give some DIY assistance? Not every great present can be gift-wrapped, and the gift of time is more valuable than anything you can buy. From the kids, it could be a few chores and lots of extra kisses and cuddles! Download and print my free coupons to get started.


9. Frame your child’s artwork

The best Mother’s Day gifts are usually the ones the kids make themselves! Poems, paintings, and drawings become extra special when they’re framed and displayed, and they’re the perfect gift for any parent or grandparent. Frames can be picked up so cheaply in budget stores, or even second-hand from charity shops; such a simple but thoughtful gift – you might even find one for free on apps like Olio.


10. Gift flowers or herbs

Plant up pots or hanging baskets to bring some colour to the garden this spring. Flowers will usually go down a treat – but potted plants can be enjoyed for a lot longer than a bunch of cut flowers. If your partner or mum is more of a foodie or a keen cook, why not fill a planter with herbs?

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If you have a garden, you could give cuttings or seeds as a thoughtful gift too. You could even go further and make planters from free pallet wood, or decorate old pots to give them a second lease of life. If you’re giving seeds, create something cute to store them in, or accompany it with a homemade gardening journal so that the recipient will know when to sow, plant out and prune.


11. Give a night off from cooking

I know of a few households where the dad does the cooking (that’s the dream!! 😂) but, for a lot of us, mums rarely get a night off from feeding the family. Take your partner or mum out for dinner, or eat at home for a more affordable option. Order a take-away and let her put her feet up or, better still, cook a meal for her to show how much you appreciate her this Mother’s Day – you could even get the kids involved.


12. Create something arty

As a mum myself, there’s nothing I love more than a homemade card or gift from my children. These are the gifts that I never throw out, and that I will treasure forever. Raid the craft box and the recycling bin and spend some time with the kids, creating a masterpiece for their mum. The perfect frugal gift, totally free, but completely priceless – the kids will love it, and so will she!

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If you’re an adult looking for ideas for your own mum, why not give an arty homemade gift? This could be a card, a hand-painted ornament (perhaps even repurposing one that you already own), a framed watercolour or even a decorated plant pot.


13. Book an experience

Hunt out the best deals from Groupon or Buyagift for a fun day out, a spa day or a cheap meal; they always have offers and discount codes too near special occasions – so they’ll be lots of Mother’s Day offers to choose from. Take a look at their Mother’s Day discounts here – I think the gift of something to do is a great way to give something useful, make memories and keep things minimalist.


14. Bake a cake

Nothing is tastier than a homemade cake – and it’s a great way to get the kids involved in showing their appreciation for mum or nan. Check out my budget cake post for lots of creative ideas. For a simple, no-cook cake; my tasty chocolate fridge cake is always a winner!

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15. Create a music mix

Another frugal free Mother’s Day treat – ok, it might not be the 90s anymore *sigh* so I won’t go into mix-tape territory, but you could create a personalised playlist of songs that you think the recipient would enjoy. Perhaps they’re sporty, so go with a workout vibe, or if they like to drive or have a long commute then some car tunes would be good! This could be shared electronically, or put onto a mix CD for those of us that still like listening to CDs.


16. Upcycle and utilise freebies

Keep your eyes peeled for things that people are giving away for free – sometimes they may even be in fantastic condition, but if not think about upcycling your finds. You could look for things like a planter, a photo frame, a spice rack (great for a keen cook!), a jewellery box or even a piece of furniture that you could repaint to give it a new lease of life – making it look brand new. (My upcycling how to will help you to get started!)

Olio is a brilliant way to get freebies – they have a non-food section for bits and bobs. And, check out the food too for ingredients for any homemade edible treats you might want to make.

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