8 Mother's Day Ideas to Help You Celebrate on a Budget

Go virtual with gifts this year! Send Mom a subscription box she'll love for as little as $5, or spend an afternoon video chatting with her for free.
gift tag and flowers

Mother's Day is coming up on May 10, and during this time of social distancing, gatherings of any kind can be challenging.

Fortunately, you don't have to put off your Mother's Day celebration entirely. And our gift ideas for Mom won't cost a fortune, so you can treat her while making her proud of your savvy saving skills. Below, check out our Mother's Day ideas that will make for a fun virtual celebration.

8 Safe and Affordable Ideas for Mother's Day

Send an Online Greeting Card for $5 or Less

Whether you're social distancing or not, you can still send your mom a heartfelt or funny greeting card without having to visit the store. Hallmark has a variety of animated cards you can send, and even offers the option to make messages look handwritten. You'll have to join the website, and while that part is free, expect to pay to send eCards. However, a $5-per-month subscription allows you to send unlimited ones, so if you enjoy doing so, it could be a great investment.

Alternatively, you can pay $5 for the first month, send your mom a card, and then cancel. Odds are you would've spent around $5 for a physical card anyway, plus the costs of mailing it or hand-delivering it.

American Greetings also has eCards you can send. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial, but after that membership is $4.99 per month, $19.99 per year, or $29.99 for two years. It comes with more than the option for sending unlimited cards; you can also send physical gifts or gift cards along with your eCards, post your eCards to Facebook, access printables and member tools, and more.

Sending free eCards is an option, as well, if you use sites like Paperless Post and Someecards. Note that not every card on Paperless Post is free, though many are apparently free for up to 50 recipients. As for Someecards, if you aren't familiar, those are humor-based but may not appeal to everyone's comedic tastes. So unless your mom identifies with a card that reads, "Technically, you're not drinking alone if your kids are home," consider saving that site for your bestie.

Create a Special Slideshow

If you have the time and want to personalize your mom's gift, consider creating a slideshow just for her. Pick out some meaningful and/or hilarious photos your mom is sure to love, scan or upload them, and turn them into a slideshow. Then add her favorite music or a tune she'll appreciate.

SEE ALSO: What to Expect From Mother's Day Sales in 2020

Programs like Adobe Spark have free membership tiers that let you add your own images and music, with a couple of small caveats. The length of the slideshow could be limited, or it could have a watermark on it unless you opt for a paid version.

If you'd rather not have to worry about a watermark, know that other slideshow options are available. Google Slides is a simple-to-use program that's free, but doesn't seem to allow the addition of background music that can span the presentation. A workaround might be available, but if you consider background music a priority, then Google Slides may not be ideal for crafting a homemade gift for Mom.

Enjoy a Free Video Chat

If you just need a good face-to-face chat with your mom on Mother's Day, you can choose one of the many free video calling services. Skype is a classic app that many folks are familiar with, while FaceTime is a versatile option for the Apple crowd. Houseparty is another video chat option, and is usable with iOS, Android, macOS, and Chrome systems.

Use one of the many free video calling services, which range from Skype and Houseparty to Google Duo and Discord.

Google Hangouts and Duo are both good for video calls, too. Hangouts can also be used across devices to message friends and family, making it easy to have everyone on board and then start the video call right from the same app. In that same vein, Facebook Messenger can be a 1-stop shop for both messages and video calls, as long as everyone involved has a Facebook account.

Gamers are probably familiar with Discord, so if your mom is indifferent about which service to use for video chatting, it could be handy to set her up on that one, especially if you already use it heavily. We're all for keeping social contacts streamlined into one app or program.

Have Groceries Delivered

Perhaps your mom hasn't been venturing out to do much shopping lately. If that's the case, consider getting groceries delivered, whether you want to send her special items or help her have one less thing to worry about.

Instacart is a popular service, and if you plan ahead, you could have good luck picking a preferred delivery window. Again, costs will vary based on the area your mom lives in and what you're ordering, but you can definitely put together a care package of goodies for her for under $50.

Attend a Virtual Wine Tasting for $59

Many wineries have shifted toward offering virtual tastings during the time of social distancing. Bouchaine is a Napa Valley winery offering different packages right now, with virtual tastings as cheap as $59. Wine.com is another site hosting virtual tastings, including a Mother's Day weekend event with Lisa Vanderpump and Pandora Vanderpump Sabo. The Wine.com events are free to register for, and then you can buy the wine to go along with the tasting.

Et Fille Wines in Oregon is hosting a special event on May 9, as well. Two wines are available for that tasting — one is for event attendees only — and you can register for free by emailing the winery. Then you'll receive instructions on how to order the wine for the tasting.

Keep in mind that some states have restrictive alcohol laws, so before signing up for one of these events, make sure you can have the wine shipped to you. And if you have concerns about not receiving the wine in time for Mother's Day, be sure to have a backup plan, just in case.

Or Host Your Own Virtual Wine Tasting

If attending a virtual wine tasting isn't possible, consider crafting one yourself! Decanter has a ton of tips on how to plan one, including advice on choosing a theme and playing blind tasting games.

Consider having an assortment of cheese and wines delivered from your grocery store, and then make a social distance drop-off to share with your mom. (Leave the items on her doorstep, but warn her you're coming so she knows to grab them ASAP!). Then, when Mother's Day rolls around, you can video chat while you enjoy wine and snacks, all from the safety of your homes.

Get a Special Meal Delivered for $30 or Less

Treating your mom to brunch at her favorite restaurant might not be possible this year, but you could still have a nice meal delivered to her. You don't need to resort to fast food, either — depending on your area, you could choose from an array of restaurants on Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash, which are all national food delivery services.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things to Buy in May (Including Memorial Day Sales!)

Costs will vary based on the service and restaurant you choose, but having brunch delivered should be easy to keep under $30. Plus, you'll bag major bonus points if you share the meal over a free video chat.

Gift Her a Subscription Box for as Little as $5

Cater to your mom's particular hobby by gifting her a relevant subscription box. Many times you don't have to make any hard decisions either — sites like Page 1 allow you to purchase a gift card that'll cover the entire cost of the subscription. When your mom is ready to activate it, she can answer a few questions to note her reading preferences, and Page 1 will take it from there. If you're afraid of getting her a book she's already read, or might not like, then this is a good alternative.

And if books aren't your mom's thing, you can check out sites like Cratejoy and Hello Subscription. They're great for browsing different kinds of boxes. From succulents to jewelry to baking to crafts, there's bound to be a box to suit her tastes.

Readers, how are you planning to celebrate Mother's Day while social distancing? What are your awesome Mother's Day ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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