Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts
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Frugal and Homemade Mother’s Day Gifts

Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

Written by Stacy Karen, Contributing Writer

Mothers work hard for many, many years. Because of how hard our mothers work, it is natural to want to break the budget and spend a small fortune, just to show we care.

Thankfully, most mamas don’t want that. In fact, a simple gift that expresses your love and gratitude, is usually more than enough.

So how can we honor Mom on a budget? Here are a few ideas:

Write a heart-felt note

Mothers are often unappreciated and their daily service can sometimes be taken for granted. A letter written by a child, remembering special moments, acknowledging her mother’s service and sacrifice is a true treasure. The more specific you can be, the better.

A simple notebook (or scrapbook) of memories

Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

If you find there is more to say than fits in a card, perhaps a small notebook is in order. Many craft stores (such as Michaels) have lovely notebooks for $1.

Write down some important memories and special words for Mom, including the character traits you respect and admire. Pictures are a lovely addition too. If pictures are not available, have the kids illustrate some of the memories you are sharing or simply draw some “happy” artwork for Grandma (or Mom).

The notebook does not have to be filled. A few pages of heart felt gratitude will be appreciated. This could also be a new tradition in which you write some thoughts and memories from the previous year each Mother’s Day.

Of course, all of the above could be included in a scrapbook, which would be a frugal option if you already have supplies on hand.

Provide a service

Perhaps Mom wants to clean and organize the garage. Or maybe the flower beds are overrun with weeds. Doing these jobs for (or with) Mom is a nice way to bless her (as long as you do it the way she wants). A coupon for these services could be included with your card or notebook.

Make your own body care products

I always like to give homemade body products because they are a special treat that allows Mom to pamper herself a little.

Most homemade body products are much less expensive than a comparable product at the store. For example, a sugar scrub from a popular bath and body shop costs close to $20! You’d spend less than $5 making a similar product yourself.

Here are two frugal recipes that make lovely gifts:

Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

If you already have a lot of essential oils on hand, you may like to try my favorite Lemon Lime Sugar Scrub.

Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts

Frugal and Homemade Mother's Day Gifts
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Relaxing and Therapeutic Bath Salts

Author: Ann Timm


  • 3 cups Epsom salts
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • Lavender and/or Chamomile essential oil 10 to 15 drops of each, or 20-30 drops of one


  • Mix all ingredients until well combined. Place in a jar and add a label (be sure to include how to use the salts).
  • To use: add approximately ¼ cup to the bath while the water is running. Soak and enjoy!

The essential oils can easily be varied or left out entirely (the Bath salts still have a therapeutic effect without them). If you do not have Epsom salt, the bath salts can also be made with baking soda and salt alone (as I did in this Energizing Citrus Bath Salts recipe).

I hope this has given you a few ideas for blessing Mom with a frugal, yet thoughtful gift.

What frugal Mother’s Day gifts have you given or received?

Top image by Jason M.



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  1. Your blogs and newsletters just jump start my day! I love your suggestions, and helpful tips and hints, and admire your dedication to making the world and better, safer, greener, loving place to live! God Bless the keepers of the home fires!

  2. It’s so true. We don’t want break-the-bank gifts. I have always told my kids to ‘make’ me something nice. They roll their eyes sometimes, but what comes from the heart and hands means so much more. And I’m not expecting a handpieced and handquilted item. A card from the heart or bath salts mean so much. I still have the homemade ‘perfume’ my daughter made 20+ years ago. It never smelled good, but she decorated the bottle and it warms my heart today.

  3. I made my mom a scrapbook one year, it wasn’t entirely frugal, but it’ll last years and years 🙂

  4. Thank you for the ideas. One that I know would mean a lot to my mom is the season of life she is in would be a heart felt letter. 🙂

    1. @Danielle A, Whenever I have given a heartfelt letter, I am always amazed at how much it actually means to the recipient. It really is a special gift.

  5. We like the coupons in our family. One year for Christmas, we were asked to give to the church building fund in liu of gifts. I still felt like I couldn’t show up to Christmas empty handed, so I made coupons for individuals and taped them to large candy bars which I wrapped up. Most of them were for time with us in some way. I also have planted hanging baskets with flowers (even cheaper if you reuse the same baskets).

    Personally, i think I wouldn’t mind the royal treatment: meals cooked for me, a basin for a warm foot soak, a shoulder rub, and a little bit of pampering would be fantastic. I am not expecting this type of thing as it feels totally self serving to ASK for special treatment, but if any dads or kids are reading . . . 🙂

  6. I just mailed mother’s day cards out to my children’s grandmother’s. Inside we tucked homemade bookmarks. My daughter drew a portrait of each of her grandmothers on linen and wrote their names. Then, I embroidered over her work, sewed around the edges to keep it from fraying and presto! They turned out SO SO cute! I read it in a books somewhere….I don’t recall where.

  7. What’s the best way to use the brown sugar scrub? I used a friend’s homemade scrub for my hands a few weeks ago and just wondering if this is similar. Thanks!

    1. @Alex, Yes, I like to use it on my hands and feet too. Especially hands. It really makes them soft. I have friends who keep it in the shower for an all over body scrub.

  8. Thanks for the ideas. I just finished making the sugar scrub for my mom. We’re on a tight budget right now and I think this gift will be great – homemade and special. I’m going to combine it with a lotion that my mom really likes but rarely buys because it is a bit expensive (for every day use) but this is a special ocassion. It will be great!
    thanks again


    1. @Danielle, That’s great! I’m so glad you were able to make the scrub. It sounds like it will be great paired with that special lotion. What a treat for your mom!

  9. I just wanted to let you know that I was about to make the salts when I came across some information online that the baking soda can somehow cause glass jars of bath salts to explode. I have no experience making them or anything, but thought I’d let you know.

    1. @Michelle at Openeyehealth, I have not heard that before…but will definitely look into it! An exploding jar would not be a fun gift.

      Every time I’ve seen a bath salts gift idea in a book it suggested a glass jar. I’m off to google…

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