It would be impossible to fully repay the woman (or women) who raised you, whether it's your mom, aunt, grandma, big sister or someone else. When you want to spoil that special lady with diamonds, but your bank account is at level cubic zirconia, it's time to get creative.
This year, forgo the macaroni necklaces and coupon books, and instead, cook up an impressive Mother's Day brunch on a budget. We promise she'll never know it wasn't catered, as long as you don't burn the bacon.
A waffle bar will satisfy both sweet and savory cravings. It can get a tad pricey purchasing all the toppings, but you're likely only going to use a little of each. You can use up the rest of your topping haul as meal ingredients for the rest of the week, so bonus, you just got your grocery shopping done, too.
Use this chart as a jumping-off point, but don't be afraid to get creative and add in your own flair. Personally, I like to add some freshly chopped herbs like basil and chives for the savory, and some spices to sprinkle on the sweet like cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
An easy basic waffle recipe can be found here. (You can always fancy it up and do half a batch with chocolate chips or berries baked in the batter.) If you don't own a waffle maker and don't care to purchase one, you could totally substitute pancakes. Or Eggos. We won't judge.
A frittata looks and sounds pricey, but since the bulk of it is egg, it can be made fairly cheap. So even if you have a huge family, going this route won't break the bank.
Serve it up with some lightly dressed greens and simple roasted potatoes, and your mom will think you've secretly been attending culinary school on the side. This chart has some great ideas if you're the type who likes to get creative and let loose in the kitchen. If you're more of a recipe follower, try this roasted red pepper and feta frittata for vegetarians, or a cheesy bacon and potato version for carnivores.
If you want to go a healthier route -- or just aren't confident in your cooking skills -- try setting up a DIY yogurt station. Get yourself a big tub of plain or vanilla yogurt, then surround it with fresh fruits, granola, honey and chocolate chips. Guests can layer their own servings to their liking, and everyone will feel healthy and energized after brunch, rather than sluggish and weighed-down. (Perhaps go for a nice family jog afterwards?)
Another easy and cheap brunch solution is to make a breakfast casserole. Most breakfast casseroles are designed to be assembled the night before, refrigerated, then popped into the oven the next morning. That means on Mother's Day, Mom and the family gets a piping hot meal, and you get less stress. Everyone wins.
For the main event try a savory dish like this take on biscuits and sausage gravy, or spice it up with these breakfast enchiladas. While you're serving up the savory, pop one of these sweet treats in the oven for dessert: Blueberry cheesecake french toast or cinnamon roll casserole anyone?
Don't forget the mimosas
Splurge for a bottle of bubbly (or seltzer water for those who don't drink), and let mom kick back with a cocktail. For a twist on the classic orange juice version, try subbing in pineapple juice, mango nectar, a tropical fruit punch or blueberry juice. Top it off with some fresh fruit and serve it to mom while you do the dishes.