Don’t Disappoint Mom: How to Ensure a Better-Than-Average Mother’s Day Gift

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Finding the perfect Mother’s Day gift can be a difficult, if not impossible, task. At least it’s fairly simple to figure out how treat your mother better than the average son or daughter this Sunday.

Do you have an above-average mom? Then she deserves an above-average Mother’s Day.

There is no shortage of consumer survey data out there concerning projected Mother’s Day spending this year. After an examination the numbers, we present five strategies to employ so that you can at least make the case you’ve gone over and above the average, mathematically speaking, to honor your mother.

Spend More Than $168.94
According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $168.94 on moms this Mother’s Day, an all-time high, up 11% from last year’s average of $152.52. These figures don’t necessarily represent spending on a single gift; instead, the average is the total amount the individual consumer spends on Mother’s Day—including restaurant meals, and gifts for one’s mother, as well as wives, mother-in-laws, and such. Among the hottest gifts this year is a category not usually associated with Mother’s Day: electronics. The NRF anticipates American consumers will drop a record-high $2.3 billion on electronics, up from $1.6 billion in 2012.

Spend More Than $40
If the NRF’s figure seems a bit too steep, consider the survey data from In its poll, 52% of respondents said that they would be spending $40 or under on a Mother’s Day gift. Go over that mark and you’re good.

(MORE: The Passive-Aggressive, Total Cheap-o Gift Guide for Mother’s Day)

Buy Something That’s (Yikes) Not on Sale
In a PriceGrabber poll, 55% of online shoppers said that free shipping would help entice them to buy a produce for service for Mother’s day, while 44% indicated a price cut would do the trick. Just 23% of shoppers said that retailer tactics would not influence their Mother’s Day buying decisions in any way—presumably because they’ve already made up their minds about the perfect gift for mom, and a 10% off promotional code won’t make a difference.

Go Out to More than One Restaurant Meal
Tons of sons and daughters take their mothers out to a restaurant on Mother’s Day. According to the National Restaurant Association, more than one-quarter of Americans plan on dining out on Mother’s Day, and another 10% will get restaurant takeout or delivery. Among those who plan on dining out, there’s an elite group that’s sure to be in mom’s good graces—the 23% who will be eating at restaurants for more than one meal on Sunday. Hopefully, it’s not Mom who is picking up any of the bills, and hopefully, sons, daughters, and dads aren’t counting IKEA as one of those restaurant meals; the furniture giant is offering free breakfast and coffee (normal price: $1.98 total) on Mother’s Day. And unless you absolutely know your mom would just love this deal, it’s probably unwise to take advantage of the “moms eat free” offer at Hooters on Mother’s Day.

Just Spend a Little More Than Last Year
In sharp contrast to NRF’s data indicating that Mother’s Day expenditures will rise over 10% this year, the research firm IBISWorld estimates that gift spending for the holiday will inch up by a mere 0.2% compared to last year. Spending on flowers and gift cards is expected to be up a bit (3.9% and 2.2%, respectively), at the same time that money allocated to Mother’s Day greeting cards and, interestingly, electronics is supposed to be down by 5.3%.

(MORE: JC Penney Brings Back Fake Prices — and Lots of Coupons Too, of Course)

So overall, if your mom was happy on Mother’s Day last year, you’re probably safe if you basically do a repeat performance. You know mothers, though. It couldn’t hurt to spend just a little more, or do something extra to make Mother’s Day this year a wee bit more special.