Mother’s Day gift ideas for college students on a budget

Dear ol’ mom. There’s really no sufficient way to thank her for all she has done for you over the years—from taking care of you when you were a baby, to taking care of you when you were sick, to still trying to take care of you now that you are living hundreds of miles away. But Mother’s Day gives you an opportunity to blast her with the love, while hopefully not blasting your wallet. Now you just need some Mother’s Day gift ideas on a budget! Don’t despair college students! You can make your mom feel special with just a little effort.

For Mother's Day, prepare breakfast in bed for your mom. (Credit: Thinkstock)

For Mother’s Day, prepare breakfast in bed for your mom. (Credit: Thinkstock)

Family first

Nothing is likely to make mom happier than spending a little time with you on Mother’s Day. For college students on a budget, nothing comes cheaper than the gift of time. But if you want to step it up just a wee bit, you could also consider making a family-focused gift for mom.

William Frierson wrote for the blog collegerecruiter.com4 Ways College Students can Remember Their Moms on Mother’s Day” on May 10, 2012, with some suggestions:

  • Show her what you’ve been up to. Share some photos of your year, and by all means, choose images that will make her proud (so leave out the party pics)! If you haven’t seen mom in awhile, a video chat will be all she needs.
  • Virtual campus tour. Walk mom through a typical day and show her the spots you frequent via your phone’s video camera. Feel free to lie about how much time you spend at the library.
  • Collage of memories. Create an online scrapbook of sorts for mom. She will be dazzled by the time and effort you put into this personal gift.
  • Online family reunion. See if you can get the whole gang together for an online video chat to surprise mom. It is a great, and easy, way to get all those far-flung family members together. 

Classic Mother’s Day gift ideas

Now that we’ve covered the no-cost gift ideas, what if you have a little money to spend? College students who are ready to lay out a little cash could consider giving mom some campus-related apparel so mom can display her pride for your school.

If you are able to make it home for Mother’s Day, mom would definitely appreciate breakfast, whether it is the classic, breakfast in bed or if you can swing it—brunch at a restaurant.

Of course you can also get crafty and make mom something yourself. How could mom not love something you made with your own two hands? Have doubts about your ability to create a quality homemade Mother’s Day gift? Nick Defiesta’s “Awesome Mother’s Day gifts on a student budget,” posted May 9, 2013, for college.usatoday.com, recommends checking out sites such as Etsy.com. Sure someone else may have made the gift, but it will still feel homemade.

Create a basket

Want to combine a homemade element with some purchased items? If you can stretch your college students’ budget just a bit, what about a gift basket that you make? Real Simple has some “Mother’s Day Gift Basket Ideas” that can get you started.

For instance, is your mom fond of entertaining? Fill a pretty ice bucket with coasters, drink mixer and special glasses. Maybe mom is a gardener? Get a watering can and load it up with seed packets, gardening tools and gloves. If your mom could do with a day of relaxation, fill a cool magazine rack with pajamas, slippers, a book or crossword puzzle and some tea. Whatever your mom’s hobbies or interests, you can probably devise a clever “basket” to fit them and work with your budget.

What are you doing with mom this Mother’s Day? Got any gift ideas on a budget that wowed her in the past? Let us know in the comments below.

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