Mother’s Day Cookout on a Budget

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you’re probably busy trying to come up with some unique ideas to make it a special day for Mom. Fortunately, with some planning and careful attention to detail, you can throw a fun backyard cookout for Mom without spending too much money. If you’re the DIY type and you love to take on a project, check out some of these ideas for a DIY low-cost cookout for Mother’s Day.

Plan a Springtime Menu
One of the great things about cookouts is that your menu can be centered around the grill, making the planning and execution of a great meal fairly simple. There are so many great things you can do with cookout recipes. Stick with the basics for grilling: burgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken or pork, or even fish and shrimp on skewers. You can also grill vegetables like peppers, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, as well as corn on the cob or even Brussel sprouts.


Check online and in seasonal magazines for ideas for some great spring side dishes to serve. For example, check out a recipe for a mango and quinoa salad to serve cold.

Make it a Day About the Moms
If you will be hosting a Mother’s Day party for your neighborhood or a group of friends, don’t forget to make it a day all about the moms. Consider some Mother’s Day gift ideas to find something small, but meaningful, that you could give to each of the moms in attendance. If your own mom, grandma, mother-in-law, etc. will be there, but sure to have something extra special to give her!

If you will be serving a sit-down meal, put a mason jar with a small flower arrangement or a small potted plant at every place setting and ask your guests, especially the moms, to take these as party favors. Another idea would be to buy a large selection of flowers at wholesale. Search around online and ask your local florist for a way to get lots of flowers without spending too much money. Put all of the flowers in piles by type and include a pile of ribbons, bows, and other decorative things you can get out of the scrap bin or from the florist. If your guests have brought their kids to the event, invite them to make bouquets for their moms as gifts.

Because this should be an event all about the moms, make sure that none of the moms get overwhelmed with childcare during the event. Hire a babysitter to attend to and watch the kids and set out a tip jar so that appreciative moms can tip the babysitter!

Decorate Your Space
You don’t need a lot of room or a special venue to host a good cookout. Just use your home and backyard, a public park, your neighborhood pool, etc. Of course, if you hold the party at home, you’ll be able to go a little more over the top with decorations.

Start by picking a color palette. For example, for Mother’s Day, pastel palettes and spring colors tend to be popular, but try to pick just two or three colors to keep your decorations cohesive: pink and purple, or yellow, green, and blue for example.

You can go to any party store or maybe a craft store to pick out lots of things that are seasonally appropriate. You could also get supplies to make your own banners, fake flowers for your centerpieces, etc. Around Mother’s Day, lots of stores will have fun, cute things on display, so just set a budget and pick out a few special things along with your basics like colorful table cloths.

Bring the Party Outside
Encourage your guests to take advantage of the nice weather by bringing the party outside:

Bring tables and chairs outside and spread them around the lawn. This will ensure that your guests have plenty of space to sit and eat, and will also give you that fun, eclectic look. If you don’t want to bring out lots of furniture, use folding tables and chairs, but be sure to put out nice, colorful table cloths.

Use things from around the house as decorations. For example, spread out some blankets to encourage guests to have picnics in the grass. Or instead of disposable table cloths from the party store, use your table cloths or some blankets you don’t mind getting dirty. You could even go to the thrift store to pick some up for a low-cost option.

Set up a sweet tea station. Put out a small table, like a bedside table or a coffee table, in a corner of the yard or near where the food will be, and set up pitchers of sweet tea, punch, water, etc. You could also turn this into a Mother’s Day brunch minibar and include ingredients for mimosas.

Plan the Party that Suits Mom
Before you get too involved in the party planning stages, be sure to check with Mom about what kind of party suits her best: something small for family and close friends, or a bigger party? After all, this is her special day so plan the party she will remember forever!

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