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40 Cheap, But Thoughtful Gifts for Mom

There are at least three important gifts to remember every year for mom: birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. You can’t break the bank with every one, so we found a nice list of gifts for less than $20 to give for a birthday or Mother’s Day. But if you use this list now, you better go big at Christmas.

You don’t need to spend a fortune to give good gifts! This list has some awesome ideas for cheap, but thoughtful gifts for moms.

Burt’s Bees Kit

Everyone loves Burt’s Bees products. They were all-natural before it was all hip and cool to be all-natural, so they know the lay of the land and they always deliver quality that works. This set of five travel/trial sizes gives mom a little beauty kit for the road.


Mom Coloring Book

Maybe mom is an artsy lady already. Or maybe you think she might need some art therapy to help soothe her nerves. Either way, this coloring book is fun, funny, and inexpensive way to get mom a thoughtful gift she can use right away. You might want to pick up some crayons to go with it.


Infuser Water Bottle

Mama’s gotta keep hydrated—and the doctor has long since told her to lay off the diet sodas. This fruit infuser water bottle is a good way to keep mom healthy with delicious drinks all day long. It comes with a book of twenty yummy infused water recipes to get her started.

Prices Vary

Schnauzer Mom

Cat lady? Dog lady? Birder? Wrong all three times: she’s a Schnauzer Mom. They’re a special breed with a special love for these special little German pups. They’re not yippy, they’re happy. They’re not spastic, they’re enthusiastic. Schnauzer Moms know. And they want the world to know, too.


What I Love About You Journal

The people at Knock Knock make journals that get it right every time. This one is made special for mom. It’s got fill in the blank prompts so you can tell mom how you feel. A great gift for young kids to mom, or older kids who want to bring back that old magic.


Organic Soap Set

Pamper mom with these luxury organic soaps and still come in under twenty bucks. You can’t go wrong. They’re all natural, organic, and free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives. She’ll get three bars or awesome: Aloe Calendula, Orange Hibiscus, and Ginger Lime.


Long Distance Mom

Pamper mom with these luxury organic soaps and still come in under twenty bucks. You can’t go wrong. They’re all natural, organic, and free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives. She’ll get three bars or awesome: Aloe Calendula, Orange Hibiscus, and Ginger Lime.


Bonsai Trio Kit

Here’s a cool way to give a gardening mom a new hobby. She can set aside the roses and leave the geraniums for a while, and try her hand at the ancient Japanese art of Bonsai. You never know: this might be exactly the new thing she needs in her life.

Prices Vary

Mom Parking

If your mom is anything like some of our moms, she’ll take this sign with her wherever she goes—and she won’t be afraid to use it. All jokes aside, this is a funny gift that will give mom a good chuckle. But we do think it would be hilarious if she tried it out at the mall.


Bohemian Pendant

Moms come in all shapes, sizes, and character types. If you have a Boho flower child mom on your hands, then get her this pendant to show her you totally get her. It will go with her tie-die t-shirts and peasant skirts she still wears, despite all of your sage counsel.


Cathedral Art Visor Clip

No one likes a backseat driver. Especially parents—they drove you around to all those practices when you were a kid, so it’s understandable. But if mom is a leadfoot and you just can’t help yourself, then say it with love. Say it with this car visor clip she’ll see every time she gets in the car.


Mom Keychain

Keep it simple and straight this year with this leather key chain. It’s stamped with the classic parent-kid saying “I Love You More.” It’s made from vegetable tanned leather and comes in a calico bag with upkeep information and closed with a gift ribbon.


Giraffe Print

There are a lot of reasons to love giraffes. Did you know that female giraffes often return to the exact spot they were born to give birth to their own offspring? True fact. Bring it back home for mom this year with this cute giraffe print.


Aromatherapy Essentials

Help mom get better sleep and get rid of stress the natural way. Aromatherapy can change the mood of a normal room into a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere in no time at all. This gift pack comes with an easy how-to guide and six essential oil to get mom started.

Prices Vary

Personalized Cutting Board

We don’t want to perpetuate any unnecessary gender stereotypes, but many of us have powerful memories of mom chopping up veggies in the kitchen—and those memories are incredibly comforting. This personalized cutting board for mom will let her know you think about her every day.


Quiet Moments Book

This gift for mom fills a special niche: it’s for new moms who are particularly spiritual. It’s got one hundred one pages of scripture-based reflections on motherhood. It’s a perfect idea for the Christian mom who loves to ponder the deep connections between baby, mama, and god.


Crescent Moon Suncatcher

This little suncatcher is a great bang for the buck. It’s a crescent moon that’s got real pressed flowers between two planes of glass, set in a silver frame. An accompanying pendant hangs from the top tip of the crescent and tells mom “I Love You to the Moon and Back.”


Mom Pendant Box

If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for mom that’s ready to give as-is, look no further. This pendant says “Mother” in eight languages and comes in a gift box so you don’t have to do anything but wrap it up and give it to mom. Bang! Your shopping is done.

Prices Vary

Family Fun Bucket List

For mom who can’t get enough of family activities, this gift hits the spot. It’s the official list of must-do family stuff. The suggestions keep it one hundred percent real and grounded. It includes things like family astronomy night and volunteering together as a group. We think this one is really cool.


Scary Soccer Mom

What exactly is a soccer mom voice? We’re not sure we want to know. Actually, we’re sure we don’t want to know, because we can bet it’s the same voice mom uses when she says your entire name—middle name included. That’s always trouble.


Memory Foam Travel Pillow

Memory foam is the stuff they invented for astronauts to give them the rest they needed so they could be at their best. This pillow takes puts all that science in a travel pillow—just so your mom can get the rest she needs when she’s on the road, exploring the world.

Prices Vary

Tablet/Phone Stand

Mom needs a stand for her technology. This one is perfect: it will work for her phone, her tablet, or her laptop. She can watch streaming media, have a face-to-face chat with you (her favorite kid), or read a digital book. This one-size-fits-all stand is all she’ll need.

Prices Vary

Yoga Journal

Whether she’s a yoga mom already, or she’s never done a yoga class in her life, this journal is a good bet for mom this year. It’s a three-in-one winner. It’s got a blank section to document her thoughts, a section to record a class—if she goes to those—and suggestions for poses to practice at home.


Sugar Bath Soap

Calgon take mom away! Every mom needs a spa day. And if she can’t get away for a full spa day, she can lock the bathroom door and pretend, if even for a little while. This handmade sugar soap is made with coconut and a dash of vanilla. It’s like taking a sweet bath in a coconut cake.


Personalized Notebook

Here’s another cheap but thoughtful gift for mom that fills a special niche: it’s a personalized notebook for a child to give a mom on graduation day. It’s a nice way to thank her for everything she did along the way, and let her know she’s appreciated. And, of course—she’s loved.


Willow Tree Keepsake Box

The bond between a mother and a child is indeed a “love that transcends the years” as the words on the inside of this keepsake box remind us. This special gift is designed by Susan Lordi, who specializes in creating pieces that evoke the magic of motherhood.


Friendship Bracelet

Look closely at this and you’re sure to smile, even if you’re not the sentimental type. First of all, a friendship bracelet for mom is a nice, wholesome idea. Second of all, there’s a tiny brass sculpture of a mama elephant with her baby. Awww. We’ve kinda got the feels, here.


Bird Candle

Look closely at this and you’re sure to smile, even if you’re not the sentimental type. First of all, a friendship bracelet for mom is a nice, wholesome idea. Second of all, there’s a tiny brass sculpture of a mama elephant with her baby. Awww. We’ve kinda got the feels, here.


EZ Jar Opener

And now for something completely different: from rather bizarre art to completely functional kitchenware. Mom needs some help opening jars. You found this EZ jar opener on this list for less than twenty bucks. It’s match made in heaven—you are both now officially happy.


Mom’s Memory Book

This one is for new moms who really want to capture the memories of early childhood but barely have enough time to feed themselves breakfast. It’s made to record one line a day for five years. She can do that. We have faith; you have faith; now give her the chance to make it happen.

Prices Vary

Heart Shaped Suncatcher

If your mom isn’t a fan of the moon shaped suncatcher, then this heart-shaped one will get her right in the…heart! It’s got the same real pressed flowers between glass theme, but with a slightly different take. The accompanying charm simply says “MOM.”


Personalized Initial Necklace

Here’s another inexpensive piece of jewelry for mom—but it’s the thought that counts with these. Choose between gold and silver, and one, two or three pendants on a single chain. You can have the pendants with initials to make it mom-specific.


Best Mug

We tend to avoid the coffee mugs on our lists, but since this one is both cheap and hilarious, we had to include it. You know you’re the favorite kid, mom knows you’re the favorite kid, but you both know no one has to say it out loud—especially now that this mug can do it.


Funny Mom Apron

When mom is in the kitchen cooking, everything is going to be okay. You know the world is right. You’re at home—yours or hers—and you know a good, home cooked meal is on the way. Give mom this apron this year and let her know her cooking still rocks your world.

Prices Vary

Veggie Cookbook

Turnabout is fair play. Now that you’ve reached the age when you can tell your mom she needs to eat her vegetables, you can back it up with this cookbook. It’s got recipes for turning old home-cooked classics into modern, healthy version that follow the rules of the low-carb, paleo, and raw food movements.

Prices Vary

Magnetic Picture Collage

There’s not much that can make a mom happier than a refrigerator covered with pictures of her children. Except maybe a refrigerator that’s made all neat and tidy by this cool magnetic collage frame that can hold picture of her children. Yes—that will make her very happy, indeed.


Porcelain Bird Bud Vase

This one is elegant and simple. Mom can cut the buds of the new flowers growing in her garden this spring and display them in this porcelain bird vase. It’s baby-blue and glazed inside and out so it won’t leak. A perfect accent piece for the kitchen windowsill.


Vintage Diary

This diary looks like an ancient tome unearthed on an archaeological expedition. It’s rough-hewn leather is bound with a suede thong. Mom will feel important, and her daily entries will be imbued with a sense of gravitas missing from regular, paper bound journals.

Prices Vary

Baby Grand Music Box

She’s always wanted a baby grand piano. This year you can get her one for cheap—but it’s not the baby grand she’s been thinking of. It’s a music box that will go great on top of her dresser or out in the living room on the mantel piece.

Prices Vary

Handcrafted Jewelry Box

This jewelry box is incredibly tasteful for the price. It’s dark wood with and abstract floral design on the top. Mom can keep all her little knick-knacks inside, and clear up space for—more knick-knacks. Which creates a virtuous cycle: you can buy her another little box next year. And the next…

Prices Vary

10 Cheap DIY Gifts for Mom


What’s a momster? Well, you have to do this DIY to find out. From what we can see, a momster is a cute and silly pillow you make for your mom. The idea is to make her laugh. Download the pattern and put your sewing skills in action.

Photo Holders

Mom is all about the photos, and this list clearly reflects that. But these DIY photo holders are something else. They’re just as cool as anything store bought. Even cooler, actually, because you’re going to take the time to make them yourself for you old dear.

Wardrobe Racks

An organized closet brings joy and peace to life. And we know you want to bring your mom joy and peace, so we included this excellent DIY for you. With basic tools, material from any hardware store, and an open afternoon, you can make these two fully functional wardrobe racks and come out looking like a pro.

Roe Peatal Bath Soak

What’s better than a bath soak? A bath soak made by hand by someone who cares. This DIY is simple and easy. All you need to do is find an appropriate jar, combine all the ingredients on the list, print to downloadable label, and voila: you have a happy mom who feels much appreciated.

Mudcloth Pictrue Frame

This is an excellent art DIY for the art-challenged. As the tutorial says, a mudcloth drawing is easy to make, even for people who have trouble drawing a basic stick figure. If that’s you, then all you need is a cheap picture frame, a chalk pen, these instructions, and you’re an artist. Yay, you.

Seed Packet Art

Cheap, thoughtful, mom-oriented, easy-peasy: that’s what you’re looking at here. Cheap: free downloadables. Thoughtful and mom-oriented: if your mom loves gardening, you’re in. Easy: all you need is glue. Your only challenge will be to find a way to mount these on the wall, but the good thing is—it comes with instructions.

Knit Mom Pillow

Knitters of the world, you’ve found your gift for mom. You will need some knitting skills for this one, but if you’ve got those, then this free pattern is all you need to get going. The end result is a special pillow that reads “MOM.” This makes a perfect, cheap gift for a birthday or Mother’s Day.

Nest Necklace

This very clever DIY nest necklace uses two beads and wire to make a birds nest with two eggs resting peacefully inside. You can include as many eggs as you like—one to represent each child the mom you’re giving it to has—but the tutorial recommends keeping it to five per nest.

Pocket Watch Photo Album

This one is very clever, two. It shows you how to fit an entire photo collage inside a pocket watch. The trick? Think accordion, and you’re on the right track. You’ll need some supplies from an art store and a bit of time to do all the cutting and pasting, but you and your mom will be very pleased with the result. Most definitely worth it—for mom.

Photo Collage

Here’s a final take on a photo collage to round out our cheap and thoughtful list. Because nothing ticks both boxes—cheap and thoughtful—better than photos you already have. All you need for this one is some poster board, some glue, a (cheap) frame, and a selection of pictures you know your mom will love.

(You may also like: 100 Best Christmas Gifts for Moms of 2016)


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