35 Affordable Mother's Day Gifts for Moms Who Say They Don't Want Anything

But they actually do (you know it).

April 19, 2022
Photo by Mark Weinberg

Moms are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. It’s objectively true that the vast majority of moms “don’t want anything” for Mother’s Day, maybe just “spending time together” if possible, along with some kind of heartfelt card or even just a quick phone call.

But given all the work they did to keep us alive well into adulthood, they definitely deserve a lot more than that. And since you know mom doesn’t want you to spend too much, we're sticking to a budget this year. Ahead, 35 affordable Mother's Day gifts all ringing under $35—don't forget to give her a call though!

Photo by Uncommon Goods

1. My Life Story So Far, $25

This clothbound journal has thoughtful prompts for her to fill in with memories about special moments in life, friends and family, and more.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

2. Birth Month Flower Paint-by-Number Kit, $30

If she loves her me time, this paint-by-number kit featuring her birth month is a lovely, low-key way to spend a night in.

Photo by Terrain

3. Pursoma Unplug Citrus Bath Soak, $16

Or if she’s the type to relax in a bath, she’ll appreciate a pack of invigorating bath salts with French green clay, jojoba oil, and citrus essential oils.

Photo by Rocky Luten

4. Big Little Recipes Cookbook, Emma Laperruque, $25

Our very own Emma Laperruque turned her popular column into a cookbook with tons of new recipes that are big on flavor, short on the ingredients list.

Photo by Otherland

5. Otherland Candle, $36

Okay, so this is a dollar over our budget, but it’s well worth it! Each candle comes in a beautiful Mother’s Day gift box with a set of matches and a personalized note, so it’s all ready for gifting. The hardest part will be selecting her fave scent.

Photo by Amazon

6. She Explores: Stories of Life-Changing Adventures on the Road and in the Wild, Gale Straub, $24.95 $13.39

An inspirational book about badass explorers, she’ll be itching to plan her own adventure into the great outdoors.

7. Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $19.95

She should be using good olive oil every day, not just when you’re visiting. And this is the good stuff, made only with Koroneiki olives grown in the Peloponnese region in southern Greece.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

8. Repurposed Sari Patchwork Apron, $30

Both a piece of art and a kitchen essential, this apron is handmade by artisans in Bangladesh with swatches from previously loved saris and featuring kantha stitching in contrasting colors. The patchwork is on the front of the apron (which also has a large pocket) while the back features a single print.

Photo by Brooklinen

9. Brooklinen Mulberry Silk Eyemask, $29

For the mom whose only wish is to get more sleep, a silk eye mask can help. It’s super soft on the skin and won’t cause any frizz or breakage on her hair, and most importantly, blocks out light for as long as she wants.

Photo by Bath & Body Works

10. Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Hand Cream, $7.50

Grab a few tubes of moisturizing hand cream in her favorite scent so she’s never without one when she needs it most. Go the extra mile and stash one in every purse and jacket pocket, we bet she’ll smile at the thoughtfulness the next time she (inevitably) forgets to grab one before leaving the house.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

11. Essential Oil Shower Steamers, $15

A bathroom remodel complete with a freestanding tub is likely out of the question, but she can still get all the spa vibes with these little shower steamers. Drop one on the shower floor and let the water dissolve the puck and release essential oils like energizing eucalyptus and calming lavender.

Photo by Brooklyn Candle Studio

12. Brooklyn Candle Studio Sunday Morning Minimalist Candle, $28

Help her feel like every day is Sunday morning with this inspired candle. Fruity and floral with a woodsy base, it’s a perfectly balanced scent with great throw even when it’s not lit.

Photo by Nordstrom

13. Lake & Skye Lavender & Sandalwood Pillow Mist, $24

A few spritzes of this editor-favorite pillow mist means she can drift off to dreamland more easily. It’s a little luxury she might not buy herself, which makes it a great gift idea.

Photo by The Sill

14. The Sill Snake Plant Laurentii, $28+

If she prefers stick-around plants over flowers that wilt too soon, a hardy snake plant fits the bill. It only needs to be watered every few weeks (in fact, too much water will send it straight to the nursery in the sky) and can grow in low-light conditions, but make sure pets don’t confuse it for a snack.

Photo by Material

15. Material The reBoard, $35

If she prefers thin, lightweight cutting boards over thick, heavy ones, this best-seller from Material is a great gift idea. It comes in a handful of colors that would brighten any kitchen, though we’re partial to the blush-toned To Pó-Po with Love board that gives half its profits to Heart of Dinner.

Photo by Anthropologie

16. Anthropologie Bistro Tile Vanity Tray, $28 $22.40

This Parisian bistro-inspired catchall tray is perfect for specs, keys, and jewelry—don't be surprised if she asks you where you bought it so she can grab a few more.

Photo by Rocky Luten

17. Thomas Keller K+M Bean-to-Cup Hot Chocolate, $24

Fancy coffee is one thing, but how about fancy hot chocolate? This blend, crafted in Napa, California, will make for a really lovely treat.

Photo by Rocky Luten

18. Palais des Thés Signature Tea Blends, $24

Or if she's more of a tea person, this set will make your mom feel like French royalty.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

19. Sunflower Garden Grow Kit, $12

If you usually send a bouquet, switch it up this year with a grow-your-own sunflower kit that includes seeds for six heirloom varieties and easy-to-follow instructions.

Photo by Ty Mecham

20. Fellow Carter Travel Mug, $30

This gorgeously designed mug will keep drinks hot for 12 hours, and cold for up to 24.

Photo by Sephora

21. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $22

Beauty lovers swear by this overnight mask to help prevent cracked, chapped lips. Market editor Jada Wong uses it every night to soothe and moisturize.

Photo by Crate & Barrel

22. Crate & Barrel Acrylic Block Picture Frames, $11.95+

Photo frames will always be a thoughtful gift and we bet they don’t have these modern acrylic block frames. They’ll go with any decor or vibe, and can also be used to display ticket stubs, photo booth pics, and more.

Photo by Ty Mecham

23. Piecework Modern Jigsaw Puzzles, $32

If your mom has taken up jigsaw puzzles during the pandemic, these food and booze designs will be a fun surprise. Pair it with actual snacks for a double whammy.

Photo by Lululemon

24. Lululemon Uplifting Scrunchie, $8

Or if your mom has a habit of “borrowing” your scrunchies, send her one of her very own.

Photo by James Ransom

25. Mikuni Noble Handcrafted Tonic 01: Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup, $29

Perfect for weekend breakfasts at home.

Photo by Amazon

26. A Little Tea Book: All the Essentials from Leaf to Cup by Sebastian Beckwith and Caroline Paul, $20 $16.79

If your mom’s a tea enthusiast, this book will be a massive hit. For bonus points, get one for yourself so you can compare notes.

Photo by Uncommon Goods

27. Blooming Lollipops, $20

Instant candy gratification and long-term florals.

Photo by Julia Gartland

28. Bee's Wrap Reusable Food Wraps, $18-$46

Help mom green her kitchen with reusable food wraps to keep her bread, vegetables, and cheese fresh without plastic. It might even mean more snacks-to-go for you.

Photo by Bombas

29. Women's Tri-Block Ankle Socks, $12.50

It’s an undeniable fact that a good pair of socks are, in fact, a fantastic gift because no one ever buys nice ones for themselves.

Photo by Rocky Luten

30. Five Two Silicone Baking Mat, $15

If your mom is still fussing around with parchment paper and tinfoil, gift her this multipurpose silicone mat for all her baking needs.

Photo by Nordstrom

31. Nécessaire The Body Oil, $35

Made with a whole host of seed oils packed with antioxidants and vitamins, this oil still manages to be lightweight and absorbs quickly. It can be more efficacious than lotions and creams that can just sit on top of skin, so she can get her day started asap.

Photo by Dermstore

32. Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels, $15

Because moms are gonna mom, which means worrying about everything from if you've eaten dinner to if you're wearing enough layers in the winter.

Photo by Amazon

33. Swedish Dream Sea Salt Soap, $21.95

Surely we all deserve some nice soap after using harsh hand sanitizers that smell like rubbing alcohol.

Photo by Rocky Luten

34. Five Two Wool Dryer Balls, $36+

Because your family's miracle worker needs a few miracle workers of her own. Go on, make laundry day easier, eco-friendlier, and just plain happier.

Photo by Rocky Luten

35. Bushwick Kitchen Salted Honey, Set of 2, $27.99

This is the condiment mom didn’t know she needed.

This post was updated in April 2022 to add even more affordable gift ideas.

How are you celebrating your mom for Mother's Day this year? Let us know in the comments!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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  • bookjunky
  • Vannes_Et_Sa_Femme
Nina is a writer, editor, and enthusiastic home cook in New York City.


bookjunky March 10, 2021
As a mother of two adult children, I would take a pass on most of this. A lot of it would make me downright sad to receive. What I would like is for someone to make me a nice meal, and give me some big hugs, and be happy to spend time with me, A nice bottle of wine and a friendly game of Scrabble would be the icing on the cake.
Vannes_Et_Sa_Femme February 9, 2022
I cannot imagine offering my mother a single thing on this list. A nice brunch, bottle of wine or some lovely flowers, and quality time would go so, so much further.