By Gerri Detweiler
NEW YORK (
)--If you're on a budget, you can still find ways to show Mom you appreciate her without breaking the bank. Two of the most requested gifts are flowers and spa days, according to the Shoppers Trend Report from RetailMeNot.com. Gift certificates or gift cards are also likely to be a popular gift this year according to industry research firm IBISWorld, which predicts consumers will spend about $17.1 billion on Mother's Day gifts this year.
Here are tips for making the money you spend on these popular gifts for Mom stretch as far as possible.
If you are able to deliver flowers in person to Mom, consider putting together your own bouquet or centerpiece from flowers you purchase yourself. "The nice thing about DIY arrangements is the love that goes into them," says Louann Shenberger, a former florist who offers step-by-step instructions for flower arrangements on her website, Wedding-Flowers-and-Reception-Ideas.com. "Choose flowers that don't have yellow leaves and don't shed petals if you give them a gentle shake. Rose heads need to be tight and feel firm when you lightly squeeze them. Lilies are best if they are still partly closed. This means they just arrived and are ready to open to their full beauty soon." She also suggests calling your local supermarket or discount store and asking them when their flowers are delivered. Get there when the flowers do to get the best selection.
Don't live close to your mother? If you'll be sending flowers, Shenberger suggests calling a florist near her home directly and ask her to suggest an arrangement within your budget. "Ordering through a wire service costs the shop a fee, plus the arrangements are already planned and the cost is set for across the country," she notes.
You may also want to check out the flower deals your credit card issuer may be promoting. "Most credit card issuers feature online shopping malls that offer bonus points, miles, or cash back for purchases from certain retailers," says credit card expert Jason Steele. "And these bonuses are often the largest for the kind of gifts that are popular for Mother's day. For example, it is not uncommon to see 15x, 20x, or more bonuses for flower purchases."