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How to make your mama Mother’s Day dinner on a budget

Budget friend mother's day menu
Image credit: CarlosDavid.org/Getty Images

Want to treat Mom to an impressive Mother’s Day dinner but stressing over your tight budget and time? Fret not, friend. We’ve got some stress-less tips and tricks for a budget-friendly Mother’s Day dinner that your whole family will enjoy.

Instead of taking Mom to a high-priced restaurant and being distracted over the expensive menu items, you can put our delicious Mother’s Day dinner on the table and give Mom the undivided attention, love and honor she deserves. With the money you’ll save on making a mouthwatering Mother’s Day meal at home, you may even be able to splurge on an extra-special Mother’s Day gift.

Start planning now

You’re reading this blog post, so you’re already on the right track when it comes to planning your Mother’s Day dinner ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to determine and shop for your Mother’s Day menu.

Peruse the grocery store circulars

While you’re planning your budget-friendly Mother’s Day meal, look through the grocery store circulars to find the best buys on seasonal produce, meats and other Mother’s Day dinner foods. Design your Mother’s Day menu around the best buys.

Only buy what you need

You may be tempted to buy a bulk item because it’s a “great deal,” but if your budget is tight right now, it’s wiser to buy only what you need to make your Mother’s Day recipes.

Consider the ingredients you already have on hand. Do an inventory of dry goods, produce, meats and other food items in your kitchen. Incorporating them into your Mother’s Day dinner is a great way to save money.

MORE: How to make vegan deviled “eggs”

Start with a fancy — budget-friendly — Mother’s Day appetizer

Since you’re serving just one appetizer, make it a memorable munch. Instead of a store-bought dip and a bag of chips, serve this easy pineapple salsa from Budget Bytes. Buy a small fresh pineapple if it’s on sale or opt for a can of pineapple chunks. This pretty salsa with some colorful tortilla chips is a festive way to start your Mother’s Day meal.

Expect to pay about $2 for the salsa and $3 for a bag of tri-colored tortilla chips.

A mouthwatering Mother’s Day entrée that Mom will love

It’s spring and lighter main course meals are a relief after the glut of heavy winter foods. Chicken is not only a lighter choice, but it is also inexpensive, especially if you can grab it on sale. This grilled Dijon basil chicken from Good Cheap Eats is a must-make for Mother’s Day. You make it by marinating chicken tenders in a Dijon mustard sauce and then grilling them until they are juicy and ready to pop into your mouth.

You’ll need about 6 ounces of chicken tenderloins per person. Expect to pay $5 to $10 for your poultry. A plastic pack of fresh basil leaves will cost around $2.

Another special chicken dish is this chicken piccata from Budget Bytes. Mom will be thrilled to dig into a fancy restaurant-caliber meal at home. Pound chicken breasts thin, then pan sauté them and coat them with a tasty lemon butter sauce. Yum! Adding a modest helping of buttered pasta to the plate is sure to put a smile on Mom’s face.

You’ll need 4 to 6 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breast per person. Expect to pay about $5 for your poultry. The entire recipe costs around $8. Serve it with pasta for an added $2.

Serve seasonal Mother’s Day side dishes

The cheapest fruits and vegetables are typically the ones that are in season. One of our favorite spring veggies is asparagus. We recommend preparing it on the grill. Simply toss asparagus stalks in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fire up your grill and cook the asparagus, turning often, until it is lightly charred and just tender. The smoky flavor will have Mom eating the grilled asparagus stalks like French fries.

You’ll need one pound of asparagus to feed four people. Expect to pay about $3.

If fresh is best for Mom, serve our fresh bruschetta salad, featuring everything you love about bruschetta but in salad form. Akin to panzanella, this Mother’s Day salad boasts juicy tomatoes, toasted garlic sourdough and fresh basil.

Tomatoes will cost around $0.25 each; the fresh basil will cost around $2; the remaining ingredients will cost around $3. Expect to pay around $7 to make this salad.

Another delectable Mother’s Day side dish is our rainbow roasted vegetables. This eye-catching medley of veggies includes colorful bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, red onions and zucchini tossed with balsamic vinegar and herbs, and then roasted to tender perfection in the oven.

This recipe serves four and will cost around $6.

If Mom loves pasta and salad, serve it as a Mother’s Day side. This pepperoni pasta salad from Budget Bytes will satisfy her carb cravings and her desire to eat a salad with every meal.

At around $1.25 per serving, expect to pay about $5 for all of the ingredients.

Let’s make a special Mother’s Day dessert

We recommend surprising Mom with an unexpected gourmet Mother’s Day dessert that she would only order if she was at a restaurant. Instead of the tried-and-true basic recipes, give Mom a dessert that she’ll forever remember. Consider this Sriracha peach crisp from Budget Bytes. A sassy riff on the classic peach dessert, this one sings with a spicy heat that goes impeccably with the sweet juicy peaches and sweet crisp topping. Grab fresh peaches if they are on special or swap in canned, drained peaches. Expect to pay around $6 for the entire dessert, from which there should be a few servings left over for breakfast.

MORE: This CBD-infused Bellini recipe is the Mother’s Day cocktail of our dreams

If chocolate is the way to Mom’s heart, make these chocolate lava cakes from Budget Bytes. They are decadently rich and will only set you back about $1 per individual-sized cake.

Here’s how the whole meal will break down

Approximate cost for an inexpensive Mother’s Day dinner menu for 4 (before tax) = $29.

Mother’s Day appetizer: $5 for pineapple salsa and chips
Mother’s Day entrée: $10 for chicken piccata plus buttered pasta
Mother’s Day side dishes: $3 for grilled asparagus, $7 for fresh bruschetta salad
Mother’s Day dessert: $4 for 4 chocolate lava cakes

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