How to Find the Perfect Gift for Mom (on a Budget)

How to Find the Perfect Gift for Mom (on a Budget)

If you’re planning on giving your mom those same homemade “coupons” for an hour of housework that you’ve been gifting since you were six, it's time to rethink your strategy.

Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away, and Americans are planning on spoiling their favorite ladies with $23.6 billion in gifts — a record high, according to National Retail Federation’s annual survey.

The average gift-giver expects to spend $186.39 on the holiday, up from last year’s $172.22. How are those coupons looking to you now?

Of course, we’d all buy our moms a two-week trip to Hawaii if we could, but sometimes our budgets put us more in the island-breeze-scented-candle price point. If that’s the case, don’t panic — you can still find a gift your mom is sure to love without running your finances into the ground.

Here are some of the most popular items people will be buying this year, and how you can get them for less:

Jewelry. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents plan on bringing home some bling for their moms this year, for a total of $5 billion. If your mom can’t leave the house without sparkly accessories, enlist your siblings to go in on those pricey earrings she’s been eyeing to help offset the cost. An only child? Pick out some pieces in her current collection that need some sprucing up (maybe a cleaning or new clasp) and pay for the repairs.

Dining. Shoppers are expected to spend $4.2 billion wining and dining their moms at brunch or dinner this year. For a more wallet-friendly meal, find a place that’s BYOB — you’d be surprised how much you’ll save in the absence of $10 mimosas. Or, lose the restaurant altogether and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy outdoors where you can spend some quality time catching up instead of being rushed out the door by an overbooked waitstaff.

Spa day. If your mom’s the type to always put everyone else’s needs before her own, then you know she could use a day to completely relax and unwind. But spa treatments add up quick: the average hour-long massage goes for $60. To get the most for your money, try discount sites like Groupon or Gilt to get the same services for less; or get your mom some luxe sheet masks so she can have a DIY facial anytime she wants.

Flowers. It’s no surprise that 68.5% of survey respondents plan on buying flowers this year; they’re the Mother’s Day equivalent to turkey on Thanksgiving. If you’re delivering them yourself, check out your local farmers' market or even supermarket (don’t judge until you check out Trader Joe’s bouquets!) for a better deal. Also, go for blooms that are in-season, like daisies, paper whites or tulips.

Gift cards. Not sure what to get your mom? That’s where a gift card comes to the rescue. Consumers are expected to shell out $2.5 billion on these little pieces of plastic for Mom, but you can save some money by using sites like Gift Card Granny and Cardpool to get them at a discount.

And of course, if you’re really strapped for cash, you can always give your mom something that doesn’t cost a thing: your time. Chances are, that’s at the top of her list, too.

RELATED: The Price of a Wedding Gift Is Getting Out of Hand

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