Still Not Sure What To Get For Mother's Day? Consumer Reports Has A Guide For You

Last-minute shoppers wondering what to get for Mother’s Day should check out a collection of useful tips from Consumer Reports. Some of the tips link to older articles, but the advice remain valid:

  • Flowers. Avoid national chains and web sites. Instead, call you local florist.
  • Jewelry. Do your research beforehand. Try to buy from a certified gemologist, and don’t fall for promises of huge discounts.
  • Gift Cards. Avoid them.
    What tips do you have for last minute shoppers? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

    Mother’s Day Guide [Consumer Reports via Get Rich Slowly]
    (Photo: Matt McGee)

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    1. endersshadow says:

      As a guy, I can give one piece of advice that’s inline with this: Get to know one (1) local florist very well. Take them to dinner, ask about their kids, whatever. I’m away at school, but I can still call back and tell my florist, “Hey, gonna need a Mother’s Day thing. Right, tulips…I’ve got $75 this year, so do what you can” and that’s all (she loved them, btw). I can’t tell you how much easier my life is because I know my florist well.

      Oh, and for those with mothers that work, always, ALWAYS send them to her work. Trust me on this one.

    2. mantari says:

      Thanks, Consumerist. But I wish you posted this earlier, for those of us responsible enough NOT to shop at the last minute!

    3. Spider Jerusalem says:

      I wish people would think up something aside from flowers/jewelry. My mom’s allergic to flowers and many types of metal, and I can’t afford the metals she’s not allergic to. I’m planning to cook for my mother, and she’s coming over to see her granddaughter today.

    4. Bloberry says:

      Well, *I* am one Mom who wouldn’t mind a gift card! I’d certainly rather that than to have my kids try to pick out something I don’t want or can’t use.

    5. Chongo says:

      For some reason my mom always wants some kind of new cookware. this time she asked for a regular griddle pan… so of course being the good son, I got one of those double burner long griddle pans with built in cool-touch handles. Target has them on sale today actually.

    6. homerjay says:

      I took my son to the mall earlier this week to get something for mom. I had every intention of getting her an iPod but my 5 year old son wanted to get her a mothers ring. Well, normally I don’t buy jewelery from mall stores so we just happened into one to look knowing full well we wouldn’t be getting one.

      Well, a 3-stone (two of them ‘simulated stones’ and one cheap-ass blue topaz) ring set in yellow gold at- I think it was Belden’s- was $500! Five-freakin’-hundred!

      To that I said “That seems like about $400 too much for three cheap stones and a gold band.”

      Her response? The prices are set by corporate.

      I bought the iPod.

    7. Jeri Dansky says:

      As someone who sees lots of well-intentioned gifts that just become clutter to the receiver, I suggest items from my list of 12 gifts that won’t become clutter.
      http://www.jdorganizer.com/GiftsNotClutter.html

      And be grateful you can celebrate the day with your mother; my mom died a couple days ago.

    8. Plasmafire says:

      My tradition is a large flower basket or two from one of the many local nurseries in my area, my mom just loves them. I hate buying cut flowers, to me they aren’t worth the money. Buying live flowers that last for months but cost the same as cut flowers are the way to go.

    9. flowerofhighrancor says:

      @Jeri: my thoughts are with you.

      @ others:
      kind of a goofy idea, but if your Mom walks her dogs or walks in troublesome areas- Mace spray? I got it for my Mom at the local gun shop. Dad suggested it after a big dog threatened her little dog at a nearby school. Have her read the instructions and remind her that firing into the wind is a BAD idea. Against an attacker: tell her to keep it in her hands and keep it low.

      It’s kind of a goofy idea that could save your Mom’s dog or her life.

    10. etinterrapax says:

      Our mothers both have gardens, so for a couple of years, we brought things for the garden. I don’t like to buy cut flowers either, but that has more to do with my own mother than a financial objection. The flowers/jewelry thing resonates with me because all I ever want from anyone is for them to notice what I like and buy me something that wouldn’t be the same for just anyone, but is chosen especially for me. That’s what I try to do for other people. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just personal in some way.

    11. Me. says:

      My mother is (luckily) able to buy herself anything she wants, so I’ve been forced to become the master of the psuedo-homemade personalized present:
      I’ve stuffed fake fortune cookies (felt ones found at a kids store, silver ones found at a place like pottery barn) restuffed with ‘fortunes’ stating why I love her and why she is a good mom. I’ve made a mobile using cutout silhouettes of my sister and me with extra swirls for balance. I’ve also transferred some old 8 mm family videos to VHS (this was a while ago).

      Good luck! (and blech! Stay away from housewares and cheap jewelry. She is not a house and she wont be impressed by whatever trite meaning the jeweler has attached to the object)

    12. TedSez says:

      Costco sells two dozen roses for $14.99, and the quality is usually pretty good. (Same with Sam’s Club.) I’m sure they sell out quickly around Mother’s Day, but they supposedly get a new supply in every morning.

      They probably have some good deals on chocolates, too — or you could just get her a 12-pack of canned peaches.

    13. spryte says:

      Well, my mother doesn’t wear jewelry and is diabetic, so that knocks out two usual options. Flowers are nice, but I wouldn’t consider them a gift on their own, if they’re cut ones that will only last a week or so. I consider them to be like the card–a complement to the actual gift.

      I know my mother always appreciated it when my brothers and I would do things for her, as opposed to buy things. Cook a meal, clean the house…one year I organized her photo drawer into albums, and that was no small task. Mother’s Day is meant to recognize everything your mom does for you, so I think letting her take some time off and doing some of those things for her is a great way to say “thanks” and “I love you”.

      I do love buying gifts though, and this year I got her a Zen garden :) It’s a wooden tray, about the dimensions of a piece of binder paper, comes with white sand, some nice polished stones, a little rake. Some people might find it silly but I think it’s nice, and it’s pretty enough to be a nice decorative touch to the house.

    14. letoofdune says:

      I don’t know about comment 1 re: web sites. I’ve shopped flowers at bbrooks several times, and they’ve always sent amazing, unique flowers to my girlfriend who’s 2000 miles away in a city that I don’t know any florists in. Sometimes, you have no options but having a web site or national chain do the work for you, espcially if you can’t be there yourself.

      Note: I am not a shill for bbrooks. I am simply a boyfriend who is tragically uncouth, and therefore needs the occasional flower bouquet to remedy a severe case of foot-in-mouth syndrome.

    15. kostia says:

      My mom is a full-time RVer so it’s practically impossible to mail her presents. Earlier this year I found her first-ever Mother’s Day card, from 1974 when I was very small indeed. I scanned it in, put it on Flickr, and wrote her a nice letter with it. She looked today (cheater) and was tickled pink.

    16. kostia says:

      @: @:

    17. kostia says:

      @Jeri Dansky: I’m so sorry for your loss. I know how lucky I am and hope others do too.

    18. ElizabethD says:

      I am a mother who tells anyone who will listen: Don’t buy me any more STUFF. Please buy me flowers; I love them. And please make me a card or write me a note that says something special and unique; to me, such words are worth a thousand pairs of earrings or boxes of truffles.

      (The flowers arrived today.) :-)

    19. ElizabethD says:

      @Jeri Dansky:

      I am so sorry about the death of your mom. Mine died in 1998, of cancer. It is still difficult for me around Mother’s Day, her birthday, her death anniversary…

      Cherish good memories of your mother.

    20. alani says:

      I looked up some recipes for homemade beauty treatments and made bath salts and body scrubs. I packaged them in big glass shakers and jars bought at the dollar store. Topped them off with cotton hankies from a different dollar store. Added framed photos and put it all in a pretty bag. For $30 and my time, I made up three sets of groovy gifts. One for my mom, one for my sister, and one for me too!
      I’m making lunch for Mom, as well. And I might give her a pedicure if she wants it. I want her to feel pampered, and loved.

    21. Lacclolith says:

      Not all gift cards should be avoided. If your mother is like mine, and works hard pretty much every day of the year, a gift certificate to a massage parlor is a great gift. I buy mom a 100$ credit to a local parlor this time every year and she absolutely adores it.

    22. iron_chef says:

      CD rom or CF card with all the family photos. I know this sounds kinda trivial, but my siblings and I gathered every digital file among us and complied a life story photo album and put it together into a single LCD digital photo frame so my parents can see instantly their lives on screen. They haven’t stopped thanking us for the gift.