Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for the restaurant business, but with recession worries all around, will you screw over your mom this year?

Let’s hope not, but the idea is crossing a lot of people’s minds. Many news sources are reporting human interest pieces about sad moms having to cook on ‘their holiday’, which is really kind of depressing when you think about it.

According to an article in the Canadian Press:

Americans will spend $3.51 billion on eating out in full-service restaurants, excluding fast-food places, this Sunday.

This figure more than doubles the average $1.5 million Americans spend on an average day eating out at restaurants. Hopefully these estimate will become truth, it would help both the economy and make your mom not hate you so much.

For those looking for budget Mother’s Day gifts, MainStreet offers a few terrible suggestions for the cheapskate inside you:

LESS THAN $30: A Sophisticated-looking Picture Frame
Pair this with a disposable camera—usually going for less than $7. She can take a picture of whoever she likes, which one hopes will be you after giving her this lovely present! (WSF: Maybe instead, your Mom will realize no one uses disposable cameras anymore and will be disgusted to look at your face in real or picture form?)

LESS THAN $20: QT with Oprah
Remind mom you love her once a month just by sending something to her mailbox, such as a subscription to O: The Oprah Magazine for $18. (A once a month reminder that you love your mom? Since when does a big bottle of Midol not do the trick? Plus, I can’t think of a worse magazine than O. That thing doesn’t even make a good wobbly table prop.)

LESS THAN $15: Boost Her Book Smarts
With a subscription to BookSwim, she’ll place books in her queue online and BookSwim will mail her books subject to their availability; she mails them back for free. Is Mom a big reader? Rent her two books at a time for only $14.99 (So, this is like Netflix for books? They send you used books in the mail? How is this any better than getting books at the library for free? Worst Mother’s Day Present ever.)

LESS THAN $10: Every Blockbuster Imaginable
Mom may still not know how to work the TV remote, give her incentive to learn with a subscription to Netflix (NFLX), which will send her DVDs in the mail. She’ll pick what movies go into her queue and Netflix will mail them to her based on availability; she can mail them back in free envelope, postage already paid. You can rent Mom one DVD at a time with a limit of two per month for $4.99 or one DVD at a time with unlimited rentals per month for $8.99. (It’s safe to say that if your Mom has never heard of Netflix by now then she’s probably not going to pick it up very well. And if she doesn’t know how to work the TV remote, she’s probably not a big TV watcher anyway. Hey! and what about all those crappy used books we’re overpaying to send her, shouldn’t she be spending her free time getting our money‘s worth with them and not lounging around with the TV all day? Yeah, that’s what we thought.)

In conclusion the best plan of attack is to just go with the tried and true breakfast in bed, nice card, macaroni necklace, and dinner at the local watering hole. Failing that, how about a nice big hug and some Google stock?

MainStreet: Five Best Budget Mother’s Day Gifts For Those Hit By The Recession, May 9, 2008

Canadian Press: Will love of mom overcome economy worries on Mother’s Day?, May 9, 2008