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This is the mother of all gift guides — at least for those on a budget.
Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day, and for many people, it means spending a ton: The National Retail Federation estimates that this year Americans celebrating the holiday will spend an average of $196 apiece, compared with $180 in 2018. But often times, that money goes to waste, with plenty of moms lamenting online about gifts gone wrong.
So we asked shopping experts and moms (I’m one myself, so I’m not putting anything on here that I wouldn’t love too!) what to get your mother this Mother’s Day. The criteria: It must cost less than $20 — and it has to be something she’ll likely adore or use often. Here’s what we uncovered.
A gift she’ll keep forever: “What I Love About Mom” fill-in-the blanks book, about $10 on Amazon. You buy the book and fill-in the blanks (things like: “I always want to know what you’re going to say about ___.”), and mom gets a book that’s personalized just for her. Courtney Jespersen, NerdWallet’s consumer savings expert, calls it a “unique option.”
A twist on the traditional bouquet: This set of 5 adorable succulents, about $16 on Amazon. Smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch notes that you can also go for an orchid or another potted plant — which run you about $10 – $20 at the grocery store — all of which are an upgrade from the traditional bouquet: “What’s so nice about this gift choice is that your mother can watch it grow and enjoy its beauty for more than a few days,” she says.
To remind her daily that you love her: A precious “Remember, I love you mom” glass dish, about $17 on Amazon. This glazed, square ceramic dish could be used to hold jewelry, soap or other trinkets — and it’s sentimental message is a reminder to mom how much she’s loved.
For the mom who loves to travel: This soft fold-and-go travel blanket with its own case, about $20 on Amazon. “I take this on every flight. It can be used as a head rest or lumbar support, or it can unfold and be used as a fuzzy, cozy blanket. It clips onto a travel bag when not in use,” says Smart Shopping Expert at TrueTrae.com.
If you want to make her laugh: “MomLife: A Snarky Adult Coloring Book” for about $9 on Amazon. She can color pages with sayings like “I look so peaceful when my kids are sleeping” or “This is my circus, these are my monkeys.”
Customized jewelry, like these beautiful hand-stitched initial necklaces, for about $18 on Etsy. Woroch notes that there are tons of options on Etsy for “unique, handmade jewelry like charm necklaces or bracelets that you customize with children’s initials or birthstones. You can find plenty of options for under $20!”
Something practical: This sleek mobile phone stand, for about $8 on Amazon. Does mom use her phone when she’s cooking, or struggle to find it by her bed? This mobile phone stand — which comes in a variety of colors — ensures the phone screen is right at her fingertips.
For the mom who loves to cook and garden: An organic herb growing kit with basil, cilantro, chives and parsley, for about $20 on Amazon. Few things elevate the flavors of a dish more than fresh herbs — and a kit like this makes it easy for mom to have them at her fingertips. Another option? This vegetable growing kit.
The gift that keeps on giving for months: Vouchers for mom — for things like a “no complaints day” — about $13 on Amazon. Sometimes mom just wants a day off from her usual duties – and that’s where a gift like this comes in. You can give her a voucher for breakfast in bed, a day without anyone complaining, and more.
To give mom a moment of chill — every day: This sleek aromatherapy essential oil diffuser — about $20 on Amazon — in a classic wood grain finish. She can pop in her favorite essential oils — lavender is great for relaxation — and it will gently scent the air for six hours.