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There is something intensely powerful about a mother’s unconditional love for her children.

According to Time magazine, Mother’s Day spending per year is in the billions.

Marketers capitalize on the love we have for our moms. The other day I was at a hotel where I saw a Mother’s Day spa package for $300. That same hotel has a Mother’s Day brunch that is $68 per adult and $35 per child, which would run our family $206, not including tax and tip.

The resounding message from marketers is: Your Mom is awesome!  No expense should be spared. I mean how can you outspend what your Mom has done for you?

At the same time, around this time of year I start feeling like: I work really hard as a mom. I deserve to be pampered. I deserve a $300 spa package….and a $200 brunch doesn’t sound bad either.

Coming from a mom, I thought I’d give you some ideas for how to make a mom feel special, without bustin the bank:

1. Make breakfast in bed

Instead of spending a lot of money on brunch for the family, try breakfast in bed. I love eggs benedict so my husband is learning how to make poached eggs (thank God for YouTube). We’ll see how the hollandaise sauce comes out…

2. Have a picnic

As a mom, I can tell you I don’t want to cook on Mother’s Day. Our plan this year is to get some picnic foods from the market and then to head to the beach for family time.

3. Make a card

I’ve indicated in past blogs how annoyed I get when I see the cost of greeting cards. This week my daughter wanted me to buy a $9 card with hamsters that lit up and sang ‘I love you Mom.’ Nothing beats a homemade card from your children showing a little effort.

4. Make a coupon book

We’ve all heard of making a coupon book with coupons like: 30-minute massage, free me-day, cleaning of the house, making of dinner, etc. The key to making this gift valuable is to impress upon the recipient the need to redeem the coupons and how they will be honored (with a great attitude).

5. Make a video of your kids

I was telling a friend’s kids they should make a video telling their mom all the things they love about her.  I’m kind of secretly hoping for this for Mother’s Day. Given my husband is my proofreader, this one should be loud and clear. What could be cuter than having a video from your kids saying what they love about you?

6. Let Mom have a me-day

To a mom, this is pure gold. Actually, it’s more like the holy grail. Any mom living in our country is stretched thin and feels the weight of caring for her family everyday. To give her this gift is wonderful and it doesn’t cost a thing. Kind of hoping for this one too. If you have a friend who is a single-mom, offer to watch her kids for a day. It will be such a gift.

7. Make a craft

I’ve asked my husband not to buy me something for Mother’s Day. I much prefer a craft from my kids.

8. Make dinner

I need to reiterate again (refer back to idea #2) how no mom wants to cook on Mother’s Day. Even if it’s burgers on the grill, to not have to worry about cooking for a day is truly a treat and a gift for any mom.  Of course, don’t forget this includes clean-up too.

9. Pick or buy flowers from Trader Joe’s (or comparable store)

My husband is awesome at buying me flowers. His favorite place to get them from is Trader Joe’s, where you can buy beautiful bouquets for $8-12 (instead of a $50 Mother’s Day bouquet from a fancy florist).

What do you do for the moms in your life that is special, but doesn’t cost a lot?

If this has benefitted you, please share this.  Thanks!