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Mom wants you to use a coupon

Mothers don't want junk you can't afford for Mother's Day. Here are some frugal gifts for the mom who cares about how you spend your money.

By Teresa Mears May 3, 2010 11:08AM

Sunday, May 9, is Mother’s Day, and that means we are being bombarded by ads for “deals” on Mother’s Day gifts.


But what does Mom really want? She wants you to call or visit, of course. She wants you to do the cooking and cleanup, or else take her out to eat. Yes, she does want a mushy greeting card. But your mother cares about your financial health, and she doesn’t want you to spend money you don’t have.


Fran Carpentier at Parade magazine put it this way:

Love. Kindness. Consideration. For Mother’s Day 2010, I want to know that my husband and son love me deeply and care enough about my feelings to create or buy me something that shows that they put some thought into it. If appropriate, I’d like them to wrap the gift and top it off with a greeting card. Not just any old greeting card, mind you, but one that they read completely and chose mindfully. And I’d feel like I won the Mother’s Day lottery if they purchased one of those sophisticated blank-on-the-inside note cards, which require the givers to compose their own sentiments. (But I’m not going to hold my breath waiting.)

And aside from world peace, I’d love to have our entire home cleaned for me from top to bottom.

Don’t get her wrong, she loves things like shoes and purses -- as well as massages, flowers, chocolate and jewelry. But, she says, “here’s the glitch”:

My “mommy mentality” is something of a killjoy. I do not want my husband or son to “waste money” on merchandise that I won’t wear or can’t use. I do not want anything expensive. “Expensive” means that they should not have spent more money than I would have for the same merchandise. Did I mention that my code name is “Smart Shopper”? (Isn’t every mother’s?) Come Mother’s Day, I already know that whether my husband and son present me with a rayon scarf, a silk blouse or a toaster oven, I could have found it cheaper myself online or at the mall.

So what do you get the mother who doesn’t want you to waste your hard-earned cash on junk? Note Fran’s comment about the card.

Then, check here for some free or cheap gift ideas:

  • Photos. Make Mom a photo slide show and burn it to a DVD. You can use a photo-sharing program, such as Snapfish, or programs that come with your computer. If your mom isn’t into technology, there is always the old-fashioned hard-copy photo in a nice frame. Or, provide some labor and organize some of Mom’s old photos into albums.
  • Poetry or coupons for chores. Write Mom a poem, suggests Marla Fisher of OC Deals in her roundup of cheap gifts and ideas for Mother’s Day. Or present Mom with a homemade coupon promising to take on some chore she wants to get done.
  • More calls and visits. “Mothers don't need or want 'things' to feel appreciated. What they want is what they have given to us all along: unconditional love,” writes Mary Ann Esposito at The Huntington Post. Her top suggestion? Say “I love you” often.

If you’re looking for a deal on a gift (moms do love a deal), here are some places to start:

Remember, Mom not only doesn’t care if you used a coupon, she would prefer that you do.

Related reading:



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