We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but enough with the homemade coupon books: Now that it’s time to start gift shopping for Mother’s Day 2022 (which falls on Sunday, May 8 in the US), we’re gonna sit you on the milk stool and tell you what Mama never could, which is that no one wants to “redeem” their hugs. You know what they do want? A really nice candle, or a thoughtful kitchen accessory.
We’re now functioning(ish) adults, fully capable of budgeting for Mother’s Day 2022—but we’d be lying if we said it hasn’t been a long and expensive year, and while we’re not proud to admit it, we’ve spent a lot of our hard-earned cash on ~things~ that would make mother wag her sweet finger, and say something like, “Stop spending so much money on [redacted]. I don’t need nothin’ for Mother’s Day.” The thing is, you don’t need to spend hundreds, or even over $50, to give Mommie Dearest a memorable gift. You just have to get crafty, and that should be easy—Mama didn’t raise a chump.
The best affordable Mother’s Day gifts don’t have to feel over-the-top, but they do have to feel put-together. It’s about bundling elevated essentials for the kitchen, or the perfect ingredients for a game night; it’s about finding the most affordable ways to dabble in luxury, from fancy hand soaps to artisanal condiments; and it’s about narrowing down the best affordable foot massagers on Amazon. Whether you’re shopping for your mother, my mother, or the mother-like figure in your life, here are some of the best cheap Mother’s Day gifts that will make every Queen Goose feel absolutely fawned over.
The total game night package
You know what wise moms do best? Judge you in near silence around the game table, reminding everyone of their power while whooping your buns at every card game. Pay homage to her tutelage and put a bow on a vintage version of UNO and a set of stackable, easy-to-store wine glasses.
$11.08 at Amazon
$36 at Uncommon Goods
Fancy hand soap
We belong to the cult of fancy hand soap, and we don’t care who knows it. Besides, who do you think indoctrinated us? Mom taught us to take pride in curating our restroom vibe, which no longer includes the Softsoap fish, and only deserves Aesop, the same brand of herbaceous hand soap beloved by our collective manager-mommy Kris Jenner. The brand’s iconic Resurrection Hand Wash has lightly exfoliating microbeads, and aromas of orange, rosemary, and lavender oils that will make loo time feel like a mini spa moment.
“I don't know if I have purchased a more delightful item.”
It’s not easy to find a great foot massager for under $100, let alone $50 —but this Nekteck foot shiatsu (yes, they can do that to your feet) machine is one of the most popular models on Amazon with a 4.5-star average rating from over 20,000 reviews. “I don't know if I have purchased a more delightful item,” writes one reviewer. “I tried one of the $150 Homedic foot/calf massagers the other day and it seriously holds nothing on this item… and at half the price.” A worthy throne for your queen’s toes.
Elevate her pantry staples
If you ever gave your mother a bag of table salt on her special day, we would gently spank you with a limp trout. If you gave her Maldon salt, on the other hand, we would personally place a gold star on your deserving forehead. The luxury salt brand makes some of the best items in the culinary department on Amazon, with over 33,000 reviews and a 4.8-star average rating. “I know more than average about salt,” writes one reviewer. “I read a book on it, and have tried some of the fine salts, smoked salts [but] I tried this for the first time on my poached eggs. Suddenly, I understand why, long ago, salt was so valuable it was used as currency. Yes, it was a clean, clear taste [...] It is an almost surreal experience.” Gift it to mother with this black marble and wood salt cellar, and then offer to feed her grapes.
$5.44 at Amazon
$23.99 at Amazon
Is your mother a Midwestern, bratwurst-loving queen? A sandwich savant? Gift her this pail of Dijon mustard—which is made by the last family-owned Dijon moutarde in commercial production—and top it off with some cheery flowers, a choice sausage from the Wurstkuche, and the best kind of pocket pickle. “[I] love that the mustard is in a large glass jar inside the pail,” writes one reviewer of the five-star rated spread, “and the cute pail can be used for other things.” The taste is sharp and complex, but smooth enough to be used in dressings and sandwiches without being overpowering.
While it’s not an official shopping category (yet), comfy tech is anything that makes your ability to doomscroll a little easier, and the probability of experiencing iPhone wrist pain à la Kim Kardashian a little less likely—and if you, too, have a boomer mom addicted to her smartphone, then a little gear upgrade might make her Mother’s Day. This OtterBox POP case has a 4.7-star average rating on Amazon and over 500 reviews praising its grippability and ergonomic design. The circle attachment just pops out to give your wrist more support, and to give mother the option of propping it up sideways.
We all wish we could binge Antiques Roadshow from the comfort of our own beds, but Mom really deserves to. Fix her up with this 4.5-star rated gooseneck tool, which clamps onto any surface and makes it so much easier for her to listen to podcasts, watch YouTube, or chat with your Aunt Mary for hours while keeping her hands free.
“I’m not like other moms, I’m a cool mom”
Perhaps she’s the whimsigothic mom who raised you in the 90s, a forever Deadhead, or an off-the-grid homesteader. There’s no shortage of weed and CBD-lovin’ mamas out there, and Dad Grass—the maker of the mellow CBD joint tested (and loved) by VICE for its breezy, low-vibration effects—has lovingly rolled out a joint venture for its signature product, Mom Grass. It's noted to be even smoother than most CBD joints, according to one reviewer, and offers a naturally sweeter taste. “Likewise, the calming effect is still there, but you feel it in different areas. With Mom Grass, I can sit outside in the evening and listen to some music with a cup of coffee, or I can do some homework with a clear and focused mind.”
The best affordable jewelry
The best jewelry brands for moms should feel playful, personal, and worthy of the Swedish monarchy. Ten Wilde’s Eva Necklace looks way more expensive than it actually is, and its rectangular cut gem comes with a gold-filled, adjustable chain. It’s fancy, but not so over-the-top that she can’t wear it to the YMCA for water aerobics with the gals.
A ready-to-gift candle
Remember: The power of your gift is in the presentation, and brands such as Seda France make well-packed, best-selling candles that can give mother all the elegance of Diptyque’s candles—for half the cost. The brand’s Citron du Sud candle is almost sold out on Amazon, and is the perfect fresh, vibrant springtime smell for Mother.
Mini heritage cookware
One day, we’ll be gifting mom the BIG eight-piece Le Creuset cookware set and a whole chariot of new Staub pans.However, there’s also power in gifting someone something that’s unbearably adorable, such as this miniature, artichoke-shaped cocotte from Staub. Lucky for us, it’s more than half-off the original price (but just as charming—even Beatrix Potter would lose her noodle over this cottagecore gem.
The French cookware brand Le Creuset has been around for almost a century, and in that time they’ve set the gold standard for enameled cast iron pots and pans that bring even heat distribution, high quality construction, and a pop of color to our countertops. The brand’s blue miniature cocotte is so good, you’ll want to keep your American Girl Doll’s hands tied until it’s safely in mother’s arms.
For the helicopter mom
Nothing but respect for my president. Mom will need these binoculars for watching birds, keeping tabs on where the neighbor’s dog does its duty, and staring into your soul. They even come with a tripod, so she can go hands-free while she sleuths.
Well done, mother lovers.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.