It’s okay to cheap out on a gift for mom as long as you go with something thoughtful. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered recipe books, board games, and plenty of other ideas to consider.
Mom deserves a break… or at the least a show of appreciation when Mother’s Day rolls around on Sunday. We’ve already pooled together a variety of gift ideas that we’re confident will make a pleasant present for moms of all molds, but with this mini gift guide, we’re focusing on budget-friendly ideas that are just as clever.
Some affordable gifts highlighted below include a one-of-a-kind phone case decked out in Japanese decoden-style adornments, a cheap fitness tracker, and even an adorable recipe book featuring cat-inspired cookies and cakes. Even if you normally just treat your mom to a fancy brunch or dinner on the day of, showing up with one of these small gifts can help ensure her Mother’s Day will be a memorable one.
Obviously, at this point, it’s getting difficult to order something that will arrive in time for the imminent holiday, but even if one of these gifts is late, you can rest assured it will feel worth it.
The best Mother’s Day gifts under $50
Keeping a lovely plant like an orchid alive for long is tough, and if mom doesn’t have the greenest thumb, then Lego’s version makes for a more enjoyable experience — one that won’t ever be soured due to lack of water. The 608-piece kit takes a couple of hours to build, and this includes the cute pot that allows mom to showcase her new plant.
Moms often have too many things to worry about, so a little assistance tracking a set of keys or a bag goes a long way. Fortunately, if your mom owns an iPhone or iPad, then an AirTag makes for a handy low-cost gift that will allow her to easily keep tabs on her most vital belongings.
AeroPress Original Coffee Maker
Putting on a whole pot of coffee is overkill if you just need one good cup for yourself. The AeroPress is a simple manual brewer that makes an amazing cup of the black stuff or up to three espressos even when you’re away from home. They’re great for camping and other forms of travel, too, especially if you hate the tar that typically gets served at hotels.
Belkin BoostCharge Magnetic Wireless Power Bank 2.5K
If your mom owns a MagSafe-compatible iPhone, a magnetic power bank is a great everyday charging accessory. The 2,500mAh Belkin BoostCharge is good for small to medium top-ups, and it’s compact enough that it can easily fit in a bag or purse. The best part is that your mom doesn’t have to worry about toting a cable along with it — she merely needs to stick it to the back of her phone and go.
A lovely board game about growing plants
Tabletop games are no longer about antiquated property buying or complex dungeon crawls, at least not all of them. In Planted, two to five players compete to nurture the best collection of houseplants. It’s easy to learn, family-friendly, and filled with zen vibes. Plus, if you can’t keep a mistletoe cactus alive in real life, at least you can pretend here.
Gold Leaf Soft Touch Gloves
For moms with actual green thumbs, get them the best gloves. The Gold Leaf gardening gloves are the same ones trusted by Great Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society and the pro gardeners of Buckingham Palace. They’re a nice reminder that mom should feel posh and appreciated, even when she’s getting dirty in the garden.
Coowoz Large Travel Backpack
A stylish and functional backpack is a must for traveling. Coowoz’s lightweight pack comes in a range of pleasant colors and holds a whole lot, including a 14-inch laptop. The inner cavity is spacious enough to accommodate clothes, too, and even features a separate shoe compartment, which can be a deciding factor if you’re thinking about checking a bag or sticking with your carry-on.
StylusHome pencil for iPads
A second-gen Apple Pencil is a great — albeit, pricey — accessory for an iPad user, but it’s a bit overkill if you just want to take notes by hand or draw some fun doodles. This third-party stylus alternative by StylusHome offers most of the Apple Pencil experience with just small sacrifices in the software integration department.
An adorable decoden-style phone case
Phones are pretty much designed to go into cases these days, and few options are as cute as those dripping with the decoden aesthetic. “Decoden” is coined from “decorated” and “denwa” (Japanese for “phone”), and while cases with excessive amounts of kawaii tchotchkes may block conveniences like wireless charging, they’re just so joyous.
Madewell MWL Keeta Sport Sunglasses
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a quality pair of sunglasses with exquisite style. The Keeta Sport Sunglasses from Madewell’s MWL athleisure line are light enough to wear on a casual run or bike ride and sleek enough for a spring afternoon on the town.
Amazfit Band 7
Amazfit’s Band 7 is a great fitness tracker that nails the essentials for a mere $50. It packs a nice OLED display, a comfy design, and up to two weeks of battery life (or slightly under a week if using the always-on display). Just try and hit those numbers with an Apple Watch.
An Igloo cooler straight out of the ’90s
Whoa, that’s one totally tubular cooler, umm… Mom. This endearing Igloo is big enough for stowing lunches and drinks at the beach along with groceries on the way home, making it a great everyday helper. It can fit up to 36 cans of what I assume should be Mountain Dew. You know, to go with the vibe.
The best Mother’s Day gifts under $25
Cushionaire Feather Slide sandals
A comfortable pair of sandals is a small blessing during the warmer months of the year, and Cushionaire’s Feather Slides offer nearly two inches of support. Your mom will feel both comfortable and tall while wearing them, so really, it’s a win-win.
The Great British Baking Show: A Bake for All Seasons
Is mom more of a Paul Hollywood or Prue Leith? (I’m hoping, for your sake, it’s the latter.) Either way, any Great British Bake Off fan shouldn’t be without this recipe book, which collects a wide variety of their bakes. It’s the kind of gift that gives year-round, too, since the recipes take into account seasonal ingredients inspired by nature.
Anker 313 Magnetic Wireless Charger (with USB-C adapter)
A magnetic charger is a handy way to charge a newer MagSafe-compatible iPhone overnight. Even when you’re exhausted, all you need to do is plop your phone onto it and let the magnets snap it into place. Anker’s 313 charger may not offer the fastest speeds, but it’s relatively affordable and features a lengthy built-in cable.
Apple Arcade subscription ($4.99 a month)
There are plenty of great mobile games you can get into with an Apple Arcade subscription, including Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! and Monument Valley 2+. One of the best aspects of the service, however, is that mom never has to worry about annoying ads or predatory microtransactions. The one downside is that the only way to gift it is with a standard Apple gift card.
Bake Me a Cat
Bake Me a Cat is a cake and cookie recipe book that instills the essence of author Kim-Joy’s quirky and cutesy baking style. You don’t have to be a Bake Off fan to enjoy the recipes, art, and photos in this book, as long as mom is a fan of cats, sweets, and some sweet cats.
AmorArc cat and dog mugs
Dog and cat moms, we see you, too. AmorArc’s matching set of ceramic mugs makes a nice gift for any pet owner, especially since each extra-large vessel holds up to 22 ounces of liquid.
E-Senior Collapsible Water Bottle
You gotta stay hydrated, and a collapsible bottle is one of the easiest ways to do that, regardless of where you are. E-Senior’s cute milk carton-like bottle allows you to stow up to 20 ounces of water and, when empty, rolls up so that it easily fits in your bag or purse.
Kodak M35 Film Camera
Anyone can appreciate the charm of analog photography (and should) with an easy-to-use camera. The Kodak M35 is kind of like a classic disposable 35mm camera that’s reusable, one that comes in a slew of vibrant colors. It may not produce the sharpest photos, but the beauty is in the process and the slight imperfections.
Amazon Smart Plug
Does your mom hate it when you leave a certain light on? Do yourself a favor and pick up an Amazon Smart Plug. The handy device will allow her to make that light — or any other device — smart so she can set it on a timer or turn it off remotely using a phone or tablet.
Stars Above Cotton Gauze Top
Comfort is key. If your mom enjoys spending time relaxing at home, then a gift of casual comfort that still looks fashionable may be just the ticket. This cotton gauze top from Stars Above is perfect for those quiet spring or summer days (as rare as they may be).
A foldable, washable picnic blanket
Whether for a beach day or a picnic in the park, these foldable blankets are a perfect fit for lounging or eating outside on a lovely day. They can fit a couple of adults and small kiddos, and their waterproof material makes it easy to rinse off messes. Plus, the extra large blankets fold down nice and small, complete with a carrying handle.
The Verge Mug
Your mom is cool and hip. The Verge is cool and hip (we swear). So just imagine how cool and hip your mom will look sipping from one of these sweet mugs. The mug is microwave- and dishwasher-safe, too, and comes in orange, yellow, and pink.
Subpar Parks started out as a light-hearted Instagram account that used quotes from bad national park reviews as inspiration for cheeky, tourism-style illustrations. Now, however, you can view them in a beautiful coffee table book. The lovely art, which depicts famous institutions like Yellowstone and Yosemite, is paired with hilarious real-world reviews like, “Save yourself some money, boil some water at home.”