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A Mother’s Day Gift Guide for the College Student’s Budget

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.

College isn’t always easy on our wallets. When Frontera costs way more than an equivalency meal and Norbucks somehow steals all our extra cash, it can be hard to find an affordable Mother’s Day gift that reflects how much we truly care. Which is why we created this budget-friendly gift guide, filled with under-$50 ideas from all our favorite stores! But act fast; May 12th will be here before you can say “Old Orchard!”

What says spring better than florals? Breezy floral scarves! Keep your mom on trend (but not overly trendy) this Mother’s Day with a gauzy floral scarf, the perfect way to brighten up a simple outfit. This infinity scarf from Anthropologie fits the bill, and the classic toile print on this square scarf from Urban Outfitters is perfect for a more traditional dresser.

Spring Garden Infinity Scarf

Kimchi Blue Life & Death Square Scarf

For the empty-nester mom, nothing is better than an unprompted phone call from her kids. Why not get her a personalized gift that reminds her that you’re never far from her heart? These necklaces from Etsy can be customized with different letter pendants and birthstones, so make her a family tree that as pretty as it is meaningful. 

Personalized Mother’s Day Initial Necklace

For the epicurian mom, tasty gifts are always a safe option. But rather than go the old-fashioned cheese-of-the-month route, try a brand-new treat praised by the foodies behind Martha Stewart Weddings and even featured on the Kate Spade New York blog. Fatty Sundays & Co. makes delicious chocolate-covered pretzel rods in unique flavor combinations. Their colorful sprinkles (they even do ombre!) and packaging make them an adorable and tasty treat.

White Chocolate Sprinkle Color Block

For the crafty mom, these adorable herb planters from Anthropologie are an stylish addition to any kitchen (not to mention a tasty supplement to homecooked meals). Pair these with packets of seeds for rosemary, mint, and basil, and you’ve given your mom the tools for a managable indoor garden!

Coral-Crackle Herb Pot

This summer, tons of Mom-friendly musicians are going on nation-wide tours, including John Mayer & Phillip Phillips, Jimmy Buffett, and, my mom’s personal favorite, Blake Shelton (popularized by the classic Mom-friendly show, The Voice). Snag tickets before they’re sold out for the two of you to enjoy a concert together. While she may have to wait a few months to reap the benefits of this awesome gift, it will definitely be worth the wait. 

Find tickets here!

Keep your mom in style on rainy spring days with these cute patterned umbrellas from Madewell! They’re small enough to fit in her bag and certainly more fashionable than that old black one she’s been rocking since the 90s. 

Rainy-Day Umbrella

While a homemade card from your college years will never be as cute as the one you made when you were five, it’s still a great, personal touch to top off any of these trendy gifts. She’ll appreciate the thought of a DIY note and the polish of a stylish present, all in one affordable gift!

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Olivia Bahou


Liv is a junior majoring in journalism at Northwestern University who hopes to pursue a career in magazine writing. Her interest include fashion, Pure Barre, Chai tea lattes, professional tennis and anything related to Italy, where she studied abroad. She loves being the CC for Her Campus Northwestern and looks forward to what the future has in store!