9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom

Being a mom is the hardest job of all, and it's tough to find a gift that will reflect your appreciation. What it comes down to is how much thought you put into the gift. My mom still talks about the time in middle school when I attempted to make a six-course meal. She still raves about my poorly made pâté to other people, which to me just proves that moms really think the world of their children. So what are you gonna get your best cheerleader? Read on for some suggestions.

RELATED: 6 Fun and Frugal Activities to Do With Mom on Mother's Day

Homemade Potpourri

Create a natural air freshener from your mom by making a bowl of potpourri with a carefully picked blend that caters to her preferences. Here are a few tips to make potpourri.

What to Dry

Dry flowers, roots, plants, fruit peels, and more. Pick something that you think will make the potpourri aesthetically pleasing. Tipnut has a nice list of potpourri ingredient suggestions.

How to Dry

Hang the plant upside down and tie it to a piece of string. For things like twigs and roots, place them on top of a screen. Place the items in a dark area. Alternatively, Proflowers explains how to dry your plants in a microwave.

Essential Oils

If you're disappointed by the faint smell of your final product, buy an essential oil and sprinkle some of it over your potpourri.


Put the potpourri in a cute jar or bowl that will complement your finished product.

The potpourri will take some time to make unless you decide to dry it via microwave. Remember to carefully follow the instructions from Proflowers before proceeding.

DIY Bath Salt

This is such an easy yet practical (and beautiful) present to make. Not to mention, it's budget-friendly and you can get all the ingredients at the supermarket! Here's what you have to do:

Buy Salt

Go to a supermarket and choose the salt you want to use in your product. You can mix different types to make it look more appealing. Be sure to take note of the grain sizes.

Add Fragrances and Color

You can choose to mix in essential oils or food extracts to make the salt smell nice. Add in food coloring to make the bath salt look prettier. Test out your fragrances and coloring on small amounts of salt beforehand.

Store It

Pour your salt into a jar and use decorative labels or ribbons to make it look more professional. You can even reuse jars that have contained food you've eaten, such as jam or pickles — just remember to clean it and take off the original labels.

Make Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

If your mom has a sweet tooth, this is the perfect gift for her. Melt some chocolate and dip strawberries into the mixture. Place them on a baking tray and cool it in the fridge. If you need more guidance, YumSugar details the process with pictures.

Buy Her Groceries

Moms definitely love and appreciate practical gifts. If you know your mom well, buy her groceries before she makes her regular trip to the supermarket. Or, ask her for her grocery list and tell her you'll be making the trip for her as a mother's day present. If you like, you can slip in a surprise such as a card.

Clean Up

Tell your mom to take the day off and clean her residence until it looks like it's spanking new! Mop, scrub, and polish until you can see your reflection on the surfaces.

Organize her items if necessary, and if you're ambitious, you can attempt to color code her closet!

Draw a Bath

Draw a bath for mom and fill it with bubbles or throw in some bath salt. Pick a book or magazine for her and leave it beside the bath with a towel for her to wipe her hands on. I recommend checking out Oprah's book club for suggestions! Or, set out an old favorite of hers if you know she likes to reread novels.

You can also set up your ipod and speakers (if you have them) in the bathroom and play relaxing music or an audio book for her bath.

Tulip Bulbs

Go out to Home Depot, Walmart, or any other superstore to buy tulip bulbs for your mom. Call before going to see if they have it in store. You can also choose to buy potted plants for her to brighten up her apartment if she doesn't live in a house. Plant the bulbs together with Mom, and watch them grow!

Mix Laundry Detergent for Her

If your mom is a cleaning fiend, she'll love this homemade laundry detergent. There are plenty of recipes online, but I favor this simple recipe, which requires two cups of grated soap, a cup of borax, and a cup of washing soda. Here are a couple more detergent recipes from Tipnut if you want to experiment around. Put your finished product in a nice container or jar and you're set to go!

If that seems like too much work, you can get homemade laundry detergent from Etsy ($20) if you want to splurge a little.

Pretty Lockets

Buy some intricate lockets from Etsy such as this rose journal locket necklace ($8) and Bird and Patina ($30). You can find even cheaper lockets in stores like Forever 21.

Once you have your locket, insert a picture in there. You can pick photos of your children or ones with you and your mom in them. She'll be wearing a memory on her neck!

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Being a mom is the hardest job of all, and it's tough to find a gift that will reflect your appreciation. But we have found 9 thrifty, frugal, but meaningful gifts for mum. | #gifts #giftsformum #christmas

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Meg Favreau's picture

I'd love to hear what other frugal, meaningful things folks are doing for their mothers this year -- or best Mother's Day gifts from years past.

Guest's picture

While I'm not yet a mother - I always do DIY mother's day gifts for my mom. I think putting some effort and love into making a gift is worth far more than stopping by a store and spending 5min and $50 to buy flowers.