Did you know that Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908? There were always various celebrations of mothers, but the first officially recognized holiday became official after a three year campaign by social activist Anna Jarvis. While the spirit of the celebration remains the same, these days it’s easy to overspend: because who doesn’t love and adore their mother?
While it can turn into an expensive affair, it doesn’t have to be. The typical route of flowers, cards, and gifts can be expensive, but if you’re creative, you don’t have to break the bank. The key is focusing on making it a special day for your mother, rather than an expensive one.
Here are a five ways to enjoy and save money this Mother’s Day.
Did you know that the three biggest days in the restaurant business are New Year’s Eve, Valentines Day and Mother’s Day?
That creates a couple of complications for the holiday. One is traffic. Unless you are taking mom to a restaurant that accepts – and honors – reservations, you could end up standing in line waiting for a table for a very long time. That’s not exactly the way to create a memorable holiday.
The other is price. Because it is a high-traffic day, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get any kind of deal on the meal. There’s simply very little reason for any restaurant to cut prices or offer discounts on a day as busy as Mother’s Day. In other words, going out to dinner on Mother’s Day is likely to be more expensive than it will be on any ordinary day.
The best workaround is to enjoy dinner at home. Prepare a delicious home cooked meal at home with an expertly set up table and you can replicate the restaurant experience. If you’re not a great cook, you can always order takeout and put the food on plates yourself.
Like Valentine’s Day, the floral industry has a field day with Mother’s Day. Those simple bouquets that normally sell for $25, can now be had only at the “bargain” price of $50 – complete with free next day shipping.
You can likely get something far less expensive at the floral corner of your local grocery store. You can save even more money if you avoid that old stand-in, roses. Just pick out a selection of brightly colored spring flowers, and you can probably get a nice arrangement for under $20.
It seems almost trivial to target Mother’s Day cards for savings. After all, what do they go for, $5? In most cases this won’t be much of a problem, but what if you have multiple mothers that you need to buy cards for? If you need to buy cards for your wife, your mother, and your mother-in-law, now you’re looking at $15 for three cards. And if you have two or more children, and each want to buy a card for mom, you’re now up to five cards at $25. And that assumes that they don’t pick anything really fancy.
The less expensive route – in fact it’s practically free – is to create cards on your computer. You can do this with a basic Word program. You can get appropriate images all over the web, and you can add your own wording. If you have a decent color printer, you will have all that you need to create as many cards as necessary without having to spend any money at all.
If you don’t want to print it out, consider making your own cards or hand writing a letter. The card itself is almost secondary to the hand written message inside, so focus on that because that’s what will be memorable.
If you want to get a gift and your budget is small, use your imagination and consider services instead of products. And by services I mean where you do things for her, rather than you buying things for her.
Here are some suggestions:
- Let her wake up to breakfast in bed
- If she normally does most of the cleaning, have the whole family spend part of the day doing it for her
- Treat her to an at-home back massage
- Let her sleep in on Mother’s Day
- Have each member of the family read off a list of what it is about her that they really appreciate
- Provide a homemade gift card promising to take her out for coffee or dessert (this can work well with a grandmother, who may want companionship more than a physical gift)
- Put together a family photo album, complete with notations
You can add anything to this list that you know that she particularly enjoys, and turn it into a gift rather than actually having to go to a store and buying something.
Mother’s Day activities don’t always have to be expensive, or even complicated. Often, just spending a quiet day together as a family is plenty. For example, you might visit a quaint town, historic site, park or beach that she really enjoys.
Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the house to have enjoyable activities. She might find it fun to watch family videos. Many families spend more time taking videos than actually watching them, and this can present an opportunity to do just that.
Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be an expensive affair. A little bit of creativity will go a long way toward creating a special holiday, at a much lower price.