How to save: Mother’s Day

Celebrate Moms' Day on a shoestring with these money tips from expert Mercedes Cardona.

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Look for restaurant deals.

Many restaurants are helping you celebrate Mother’s Day with holiday perks: free desserts, twofers, specially priced cocktails, and more. Search online for deals and coupons. For example, in past years, T.G.I. Friday’s restaurants have coddled mom with a free dessert and Uno Chicago Grill featured special menu choices.

Or stay home.

Get together with the grandkids, at your house or theirs, and prepare a meal for their mom, or have the kids suggest her favorite takeout and order in. Either way, the meal will be a treat, and not another clean-up mess for her. And that willl be the best gift of all.

Skip the store.

Help the grandkids make cards and gifts for Mom. She’ll cherish them forever and you’ll have the fun of spending time creating something special with the kids.

Pass it on.

Give a gift of a family heirloom. For a holiday she won’t forget, present your grandkids’ mom with something your mom gave you. It won’t cost a cent, but your daughter or daughter-in-law will truly appreciate the sentiment.

Go easy on flowers.

If you want to give flowers on Mother’s Day, don’t wait until the last minute. Shop around for specials from local florists. Or buy flowers from the supermarket and arrange them in one of your own vases or pitchers (see No. 4 above).

Make a digital photo album.

Get together with the kids and collect family pictures. Add a couple of photos of the grandkids’ artwork to surprise their mom. Use your computer’s or digital camera’s photo-editing program to put together a slide show and burn it onto a disc. You’ll create a wonderful keepsake for the price of a blank CD. She can display the photos on her computer, and even use them as a screen saver. But today, enjoy watching the show with her.