Clever, Inexpensive Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Give creative, thoughtful Mother's Day gifts without busting your budget.

May 5, 2009 — -- No matter what your budget, we've got you covered with clever gift ideas for Mother's Day. From free — yes, we found something mom would love that doesn't cost a penny — up to $20 (plus shipping), this holiday need not break the bank.

For Mom, by Mom

Your purchase not only pleases your own mom, but it supports the business of another mom because all these items are handmade by mothers throughout the country.

Customized bracelets. Among my favorite gifts are handcrafted natural wood bracelets with Mom's name or the kids' names made by Paloma's Nest in Austin, Texas. Each bracelet is reduced to $20 (plus shipping) Tuesday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 6, only.

NOTE: The Web site sold out of 500 customized bracelets this morning, so Mother's Day delivery is no longer possible. However if you reference this "GMA" offer, Paloma's Nest says it will honor the special rate when you place your order when the bracelets are back in stock. The company apologizes for the inconvenience.

Everything chocolate. From moms around the country, you'll find every imaginable combination of chocolate — from covered potato chips to cotton candy. Some popular standouts on include: Potato chips from Suzie's Confections ($8), cake bites from The Fetching Hound ($11) and potato chip clusters from Homespun Honey ($12). Cotton candy from Sugar Mohawk ($10) and cookie dough (minus the eggs) from A Sugar Affair ($14) are two other fun options.

No whining shirts. Planet Mom T-shirts offers humor and savings with its popular "Whine? No. Wine? Yes." shirt, which is discounted to $15 exclusively for Mother's Day.

Recycle for Mom

For the eco-friendly mom, select from these recycled options.

Forever flowers. Made out of recycled newspaper by young girls, these roses are $3 each and support the Lower East Side Girls Club.

ReUse patch T-shirt. Fill in the blank with a permanent marker on this $10 recycled StayVocal T-shirt to celebrate mom: "I'm making the world a better place by_____."

Collapsible customizable vase. For $6, kids can decorate this reusable vase from My Monet Blumebox.


Is there any mom who would turn down photos of her angels? There are three ways to deliver them with oomph.

HotPrint photo book. Here's the freebie I promised you. Make your own photobook using your Facebook album photos by downloading the HotPrint application: (You must have a Facebook account.) This week you'll receive credits to make 20 books — and even the shipping is free.

Photo books. If you're stuck at the last minute, take your photos on a USB drive or CD into CVS and create a photo book in under an hour. Three sizes to choose from hold up to 54 photos and range in prices from $5.99 to $14.99.

Digital keychain. Many keychains are underwhelming, but with 40 photos this is a wow, especially with a price tag of $19.99 at Best Buy stores or online.

Do It Yourself

Your time and attention is sometimes the best gift of all.

Flip flops. I bought two pairs of hot pink flip flops at Target for $2.99 each, along with a bag of $2 rhinestones at a craft store. My daughter and I made matching shoes for a total of $8. It's a fun project for Mother's Day afternoon.

Me books. Go page by page with mom to fill in the blanks on everything from her childhood toys and crushes to her views on work and the world. The conversation will make memories that last a lifetime — along with the hard cover keepsake. Picture of Me: Who Am I in 221 Questions or The Book of Myself: A Do-It-Yourself Biography in 201 Questions — each about $11 on

Green thumb. Gather the goods to garden indoors or out. Select packs of seeds, gloves and a small shovel for less than $10 for an afternoon of planting.

Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor on "Good Morning America" and CEO of Women For Hire. Send her your best Mother's Day gift ideas via Twitter at