How to Have a Low-Cost Mother’s Day While Quarantined at Home

A family has breakfast together.
Getty Images

It may seem like the coronavirus pandemic is cancelling nearly everything, but Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be on that list.

You’ve just got to think outside the box with your plans — or rather, inside the house.

Here’s all of our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, which we will be updating every day.

While the National Retail Federation anticipates the average consumer will spend about $205 on Mother’s Day this year, being in a precarious financial situation may necessitate spending less. But don’t feel bad. Moms understand.

Here are seven sweet, low-cost things you can do to celebrate Mother’s Day under quarantine with the mom in your life.

1. Make Brunch at Home 

Going out for brunch is the classic Mother’s Day celebration. You may not be able to dine out this year, but you can still bring the brunch to Mom.

Keep your menu simple by sticking to a couple dishes that the mom in your life loves — like french toast and bacon or quiche and salad. Put in the effort to make the plate fancy, so it feels like more than just an ordinary meal at home.

If you’re looking to cut back on alcohol costs but still want to serve mimosas, go for a mocktail version — substituting the champagne for sparkling water or lemon-lime soda.

2. Create Your Own Card

Instead of turning to Hallmark, you can make your own Mother’s Day card using cardstock, markers and materials you may have at home, like thread, colored paper, watercolors or washi tape. 

With a little care, it won’t look like a 5-year-old made it — unless, of course, you’re recruiting your child to make a card for your wife.

Write a message on the inside that reflects your personal sentiments or gives nod to a family inside joke. That’ll be treasured more than any generic greeting card.

3. Pamper Mom With an At-Home Spa Treatment

Moms work hard. They deserve all the rest and relaxation they can get.

Turn home into the spa — and save on the pricey costs. DIY spa treatments — like a sugar-scrub foot massage or a yogurt face mask — can be made cheaply by picking up a few extra items during your next grocery run, if you don’t already have them in your pantry or fridge.

Create the right ambiance by lighting some scented candles and playing some calming music on YouTube or Spotify. Throw Mom’s robe in the dryer for a few minutes so she can feel warm and toasty while being pampered.

4. Have the Kids Make Cute Crafts

With the kids being out of school, they aren’t creating those sweet handprint butterflies or construction-paper flowers they would have made in art class.

Luckily, the internet is ripe with ideas to help the kids continue in that tradition. 

Melissa and Doug and have free printables for little ones to decorate. Martha Stewart’s website also has guidance on inexpensive, kid-friendly Mother’s Day crafts.

5. Go for a Drive

We all are desperate for a change of scenery these days. Break up the monotony of 24/7 home life by going on a drive to nowhere. 

Perhaps there’s a scenic part of town that Mom enjoys, or maybe this is a good time to check out well-known landmarks in your area without dealing with traffic and crowds.

Remember, it’s Mom’s day, so she’s in control of the radio!

6. Have a Photo Shoot

All too often, Mom is the one taking the photos. She’s never in the shots herself. 

This Mother’s Day, plan a photo shoot where she’s front and center.

Pick out a location with some good natural light — right after sunrise or just before sunset are times photographers refer to as the golden hour. Color coordinate your outfits to create cohesiveness, but avoid any busy patterns.

A selfie stick isn’t necessary to make sure everyone is included in the photo. Just find a great way to prop up your smartphone and use the timer feature. It’s inevitable the first shot won’t be perfect, so take a bunch. You can sort through to find the best one to frame later.

7. Tackle Her To-Do List

Flower bouquets and personalized mugs are great, but what Mom really wants on Mother’s Day — and any ole’ day — is for someone to help with all the work around the house.

Cross off items on her never-ending to-do list — from the everyday chore of doing the dishes to the more involved task of swapping out the kids’ winter clothes for summer clothes.

Letting Mom take the day off is a great way to show your love this Mother’s Day.

Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.