5 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

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Woman's hands writing in journal
JupiterimagesGive mom some time to record her thoughts and memories.
By Karen Cordaway

Mother's Day is almost here, and that means it's time to start planning how to celebrate. Whether you're looking for a unique gift or hoping to do something special, here are five affordable ideas that can fit any budget.

1. Capture memories and let mom express herself. Journaling can be a way for mom to reflect, recall funny moments or just express herself.

Bookstores carry blank journals as well as those with a theme or prompts to jumpstart your writing. "I Need to Unplug" is for those who want a break from digitals gadgets and a world of too much information inundating us. If you like to freeze a moment in time, "Letters to My Future Self" helps you jot down thoughts that are meant for you to read later in the future. The book serves as a physical time capsule for thoughts.

If you'd like to give a gift that keeps on giving short snippets of rejuvenation throughout the year, "The Five Minute Journal" can help mom ground herself and release the power of positive thinking. Writing can be a tool that helps you shift your focus to a positive one with this journal. In just five minutes, you answer questions on a page filled with inspiring quotes, weekly challenges, affirmations and more using a structured format to reflect, refocus and jot down thoughts.

If you plan to write more extensively or maybe even take up blogging, Donna Freedman, who has made a living as a writer for 31 years, now teaches people how to be better writers at WriteABlogPeopleWillRead.com. "Put down more than just the cute things your kids said that day or the last-minute work project that had you pulling 60-hour weeks. Also, write about what's happening in the world at large and how you feel or fear it might affect your family," she says.

2. Make brunch at home. If food is more alluring than writing, brunch might be an option. However, eating out on Mother's Day can be pricey and not necessarily easy when you bring the kids. Even though it's your special day, you may still be on duty with the kids which isn't exactly rejuvenating. Instead of going out, consider making mom a meal at home. Consider putting your family to work while mom kicks her feet up.

Kelly Whalen, creator of the TheCentsibleLife.com and mother of four, believes in having the family take care of all the details and give mom a day off on Mother's Day. She thinks sleeping in and then starting the morning with a fresh cup of coffee is ideal. She also believes a table full of an array of favorite foods is a perfect gift such as scrambled eggs with chives, all the bacon you can eat, gluten-free strawberry muffins, more coffee and a side of mimosas are affordable options yet still special.

3. Focus on dessert. Whether dessert is the main event or a way to finish off the day, frozen yogurt is very popular. However, it can get expensive quickly. To keep costs down while satisfying your family's sweet tooth, implement a rule. Maybe everyone gets one topping instead of two. You can also remind overzealous kids to be cognizant of how high to fill up their cup since it's weighed.

4. Make mom over. For moms, priorities often shift and getting the latest mascara, eye shadow or lipstick may no longer be at the top of their shopping list. Purchase a gift card to mom's favorite place to buy makeup. If possible, schedule a makeover. Many department stores and makeup shops will do it for free. However, it's etiquette to purchase something afterwards. Call around to schedule an appointment.

5. Splurge at the grocery store. Maybe you've skipped over a fancy cheese or a costly cut of tenderloin during your regular grocery store trips. Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity to splurge at the grocery store on these types of items. On some level, it will still be cheaper than a restaurant. Check out magazines like "Every Day with Rachel Ray" to figure out what to pair together. You'll have an impressive spread and mom will be appreciate the effort and creativity you put together.

When it comes to celebrating a special day for mom, we can fall into a trap of thinking the more we spend, the better the experience will be. However, it doesn't have to be that way. As you get ready to celebrate Mother's Day, no matter what you decide to do, be sure to check out affordable options like these so you can make mom feel special without having a big bill to pay afterwards.

Karen Cordaway is a teacher and writer who currently shares money saving tips on her website, MoneySavingEnthusiast.com.
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