Frugal Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day 2011


Image courtesy of Mothers&Daughters via Flickr

Mother’s Day is on May 8th–just around the corner. Contrary to what the flower, chocolate and greeting card industries would have you believe, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to show your appreciation for your mother. You only have to spend…love.
We have ideas for Mother’s Day gifts pretty well covered, so I wanted to focus on ideas for activities. Here are a few ways to spend a happy, frugal Mother’s Day.

1. Family Potluck Brunch

If you have siblings or any other relatives attending your Mother’s Day celebration, have a potluck brunch (or lunch, dinner, or whatever you prefer) in which every non-mom brings a dish. That way, the cost is spread out among many people, and you’ll (ideally) end up with an interesting variety of dishes. Plus, you can avoid restaurants, which will inevitably be packed. Here are a few suggestions for easy-to-make brunch dishes.

2. Picnic

Another non-restaurant meal option is to have a picnic at a scenic location in your neighborhood. Consider  a regional or state park, a beach, arboretum or botanical garden. Pack foods that are simple and easily transportable. Check out Allrecipes’ ideas for picnic foods for some good suggestions. Note: picnics can also be done potluck-style!

3. Day of Nostalgia

If you live within a reasonable distance of it, visit a place that has special meaning for your family. This could be as simple as a park that you used to visit every Sunday. If you want to get extra ambitious, choose several nostalgic places reasonably close to one other, and make a day trip out of visiting them.

4. Forget it, Mom. It’s Flower Town.

You could give your mother the standard bouquet of flowers, or you could bombard her senses with a visit to a flower garden, flower field, or other flower-based attraction. Admission is cheap (usually around $10 for adults), and May is the perfect time of year for such an excursion. If you live in southern California, check out the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

5. Family Game Night – 2011 Edition

If your family is anything like mine, you got sick of playing all your board games years ago. The problem is that board games are confusingly expensive, not to mention they take up too much storage space. The solution: word game apps for your smartphone! (I think it’s safe to assume that there will be someone at your Mother’s Day celebration with a smartphone.) Try the highly-rated iTabo, basically the smartphone version of Taboo, for $0.99. If you get tired of that one, here are ten more party game apps ranging in price from free to $2.99.

How are you planning to spend Mother’s Day?

Comments (5)

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  1. SavingsIQ

    4 years ago

    I like the potluck idea! It’s great to sample a variety of food without breaking the bank.

  2. Susan.Yoo-Lee

    4 years ago

    I’m spending it with my family, but I will be calling my mom on Skype!

  3. ShoppinHolly

    4 years ago

    Great tip on Carlsbad Flower Fields…and I thought Descanso Gardens were beautiful. This place looks heavenly! I agree, that would be a perfect Mother’s Day excursion.

  4. Allegra.Ringo

    4 years ago

    @Holly- thanks for the tip on Descanso Gardens, it looks awesome! It’s so close to LA, but I’d never heard of it.

  5. SavingsIQ

    4 years ago

    Descano gardens is gorgeous! they even have a train tour that you can take through the grounds.

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