Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to celebrate the ones you love. However, the classic expectation of roses, chocolates and fancy dinners can sometimes feel like a blow to your budget coming so close on the heels of major gift giving at Christmas.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can show your love and not spend too much of your hard-earned money. Here are ten frugal Valentine’s Day gifts to express your love without messing with your other financial goals.
1. Scope out Groupon or Living Social deals
You can find a variety of discounts on traditional V-Day activities like spa days, cooking classes and restaurants. Or if you are on the hunt for something a little more out-of-the-box, you may find great deals on an Escape the Room adventure or paintball.
Painting classes with a “bring your own beverage” (BYOB) policy are also a great way to get out of the house and get away from the cliché chocolates, flowers and dinner date route.
2. Check your local neighborhood
You don’t have to live in a major city to gain access to free events.
Libraries, community centers and museums in your local area may host free events, which are even better options if you have children to entertain.
3. Netflix and…open a bottle of wine
Who ever said spending big bucks was the only way to celebrate?
There’s nothing wrong with choosing to have a frugal date with your Valentine. Pop open a bottle of wine (or your preferred craft brew) and indulge in some of the RomComs Netflix has to offer snuggled up on your couch.
4. Origami heart cards
I’m not a big fan of spending $5 on a card when I can make one myself.
One unique idea is to make Origami hearts. They are a creative and easy way to impress the special someone in your life. I even mount the heart on construction paper to give me extra space to write out a love note.
You can also get really fancy and splash some water colors on white construction paper for an abstract, but artistic look.
5. Take something off his or her to-do list
Sure, it’s not super romantic, but nothing makes you fall more in love with your partner quite like taking a task off their never-ending to-do list.
Whether it’s walking the dog, folding that heaping pile of laundry or handling any other daily household chores, every bit of extra help is always appreciated.
6. The classic picture in a nice frame gift
This idea is an oldie, but a goodie.
Go back through your photos and find your favorite (or several favorite) photos of you two as a couple. Place the photo in a frame from stores like Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and Target. Typically you can find nice frames in those stores without a high price point.
This is a great way to reminisce on some of your best memories with the person you love sharing your time with the most.
7. Re-read old love letters together
Valentine’s Day doesn’t only have to be about creating new memories. It’s also a great time to look back on the times the both of you cherish together.
Scrounge up old love letters and put them in a photo album. Then have a fun time going down memory lane with each other.
8. Memories in a bottle
This idea is guaranteed to make your Valentine cry – happy tears, of course!
Take some time to write down favorite memories of your time together on nice paper. Then, fold each memory and put them in a bottle or jar. (Preferably something with a wide top to make it easier to grab, like a mason jar.)
I guarantee your loved one will love reading through the many memories you two share together.
9. Scroll through Etsy for inspiration
Etsy offers everything from jewelry to clothing to gag gifts. And, most of the time, the gifts are hand-made and unique to the buyer.
If you’re feeling completely uninspired, but also willing to spend some money, Etsy is bound to serve up the perfect gift.
10. Wait for Feb. 15!
If you want to go big, but also stay on budget, just wait for Feb. 15!
Valentine’s Day stuffed animals, flowers, chocolates, cards and decorations get deeply discounted. This provides you the perfect opportunity to maximize your budget.
And trust me, a box of chocolates tastes just as good on Feb. 15!