We’re spending $23.6 billion on Mother’s Day this year—here’s how to save on 5 popular gifts


No doubt, mom deserves the very best. You’ve known this since you were a kid, crafting her the finest artisan shell necklaces and gifting her with “coupons” that could be used in exchange for household chores, right?

As you’ve gotten older, Mother’s Day gifts have evolved of course. Now, Americans are shelling out more money than ever on the special holiday, which is this Sunday.

Mother’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average of $186.39 for the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s up from $172.22 last year, and the highest spending in the survey’s 14-year history.

About 85 percent of consumers surveyed expect to celebrate the holiday, bringing spending to a record high of $23.6 billion, according to the NRF.

Here’s what Americans are spending the most on this Mother’s Day, as well as some ways to save. (Because we’re guessing mom taught you a few budgeting skills as well).


How much we’re spending: $5 billion. Thirty-six percent of shoppers plan to buy jewelry.

How to save: Nope, if you’re old enough to be reading this, a remake of that aforementioned pasta shell necklace probably won’t cut it. But, you can save on designer jewelry by shopping at discount stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack. You can also find some fun, global-inspired jewelry at stores like Cost Plus World Market and Anthropologie, oftentimes for less than what’s being sold at the jewelry counters.  Also, if mom likes bright and fun accessories, Target now sells a line of BaubleBar jewelry. And, InStyle put together this guide of affordable jewelry brands that look expensive.

Special Outings

How much we’re spending:  $4.2 billion on special outings. Fifty-six percent of consumers expect to spend money on dinner or brunch.

How to save: Going out to brunch will likely be less expensive than going out to dinner. But, you could also save a little bit of money and avoid the crowds by making brunch at home, and serving mom breakfast in bed. Here’s some Mother’s Day brunch recipes sure to impress. Also, several restaurants will give mom a free meal on her special day or treat you to a gift card.


How much we’re spending: $2.6 billion on flowers. Sixty-nine percent of people will purchase flowers for Mother’s Day.

How to save: Ordering flowers to be delivered can tack on some extra costs. Since Mother’s Day falls on a Sunday, it’s best to make the special delivery yourself. Some lower-cost flowers include tulips and carnations. If you snub carnations as cheap and reminiscent of high-school homecoming, it might be time to give the flowers a second look. Today’s iterations are cross-bred and often have some dual color dimensions. Plus, they can last for weeks. You can find a bouquet for under $5 at Trader Joe’s. Another idea? Buy some planters of flowers and do a little gardening for mom.

Gift Cards

How much we’re spending: $2.5 million on gift cards. About 45 percent of people will purchase them for mom.

How to save: Sites like Gift Card Granny allow you to buy discounted gift cards. It’s essentially a marketplace for people to sell unused gift cards. If you’re on the buying end, this can result in deep discounts. We perused the site and saw 27 percent off on iTunes gift cards, 20 percent off at Kohl’s and 4.5 percent off at Best Buy.


How much we’re spending: $2.1 billion on clothing. About 37 percent of people will buy clothes for mom.

How to save: Try shopping online with sites like ShopAtHome.com and RetailMeNot.com. When you register for these free sites, you’ll get cash back from dozens of popular retailers.

About the Author

Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. More.