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Mother's Day on a Budget

Home > Everywhere > Lists | Lists | Mother's Day | Fun Things To Do | Free | Family
by Claire Ritchie (subscribe)
Occupational therapist, sexologist, reader, writer, glutton, baker, cheese enthusiast, pub trivia aficionado, new mum.
Published April 6th 2013
Spend time, not money
If your mum is anything like mine, she's probably not interested in how much you spent on her present, or even getting a present at all. If the idea of buying expensive perfume or paying for dinner for the whole family makes you quiver in your wallet, then read on for some cheap and cheerful ways to spend the day and show your appreciation.

Get Fed


She's sick of making your dinner. Even 10 years after you moved out, she's probably still sick of making your dinner. So it's now time to return the favour.

While she might feel a pang of sweet nostalgia if you present her with some burnt toast or soggy Wheaties on Mother's Day, that's probably not going to cut it now you're all grown up.

Can you afford a carton of eggs, a loaf of bread and a couple of tomatoes? Can you stretch to an avocado or maybe a few slices of bacon? Of if he's a bit of a health nut, add a few extra pieces of fruit to your weekly shop and make her a fruit salad and yoghurt. If she's my mum the most important factor here is: are there teabags in the house?

Add a stem vase with a single flower on the table and voilà – a hot breakfast and a cup of tea made especially for her by her darling child for about $10. Just don't burn the toast.
A cuppa is a simple gesture
A cuppa is a simple gesture

If she's not an early riser, then let her have a sleep in and feed her when she's up and moving. Get the rest of the family to chip in and make it a group effort while mum sits on the couch and takes it easy. Swap the roast for a big pot of spaghetti bolognaise, a BBQ or a home-made curry if you prefer. The main thing is that mum gets waited on! Even if you're not a masterchef she'll still appreciate your efforts and not having to cleanup.

Get Cultured

Art – The major galleries usually have free entry to their standard displays, and local artists will often exhibit for free in smaller galleries, cafes, TAFEs and art schools. Get searching and discover something new together.

Music – whether it's buskers in the city, school bands at fetes, council-sponsored concerts in the park or your local town square, there are plenty of ways to enjoy free live music.

Literature – did you discover an amazing bookshop with your mates one weekend? Go back, browse, take your mum. Find a bookshop with a cafe and create your own private book club. Is there a writers group in your area? Find out if there are any public readings happening.

Get Outdoors

Although it's not exactly summer, Mother's Day can be a great time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
Get mum into the great outdoors
Get mum into the great outdoors

Take the dogs for a walk, push her around the river in her wheelchair, jog along the beach if she's a fit mum, hire canoes and laugh at each other trying not to fall out, help her with the gardening, get the whole family together for a picnic or BBQ in the park, or just take a couple of books or the newspaper and lie under a tree together. You might even find somewhere you can pick her a bunch of flowers.

Get useful

Instead of buying mum a present, wrap up a pen and paper then get her to write a list of the chores she's been avoiding.
Does the dog need a bath? Does the shower need a scrub? Do the leaves need scooping out of the pool? Well, time to make yourself useful!

Remember, the main thing here is conversation, consideration and time. She probably doesn't care what you buy her, just spend a day hanging out, catching up and returning a few favours.

What about you? What will you be doing for your mum this Mother's Day?

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Why? Because you owe her one
When: Sunday, 12 May 2013
Cost: A much as you want to spend
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