Ready for Valentine’s Day? If not, we’re here to inspire you with eight inexpensive Valentine's Day gift ideas that will help you stay within your budget and show you care, because no matter how hard you try, you can’t buy love.
1. Cook from the Heart
If you rather not fight the crowds at a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, make a romantic dinner at home instead. You’ll spend a lot less, and can show off those fancy cooking skills while using your good china. Light some candles, play some music, and enjoy!
2. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
You don’t have to spend a lot on Valentine’s Day to show you care. Homemade gifts can be some of the best presents because they come from the heart. Try making a photo album or scrapbook of your adventures over the years. Many photo printing websites offer free printing to new customers. All you have to pay for is shipping in most cases. You’ll preserve your precious memories and will create a keepsake that you can show off to your family and friends for years to come.
3. Plan a Weekend Getaway on a Shoestring Budget
Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday this year, so why not celebrate by booking a romantic weekend getaway. To keep expenses down, try using daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social to find some activities or getaways for half price. I found a helicopter ride in NYC on Groupon and planned my husband’s birthday around that deal, which turned out to be an amazing trip!
4. Mix Up Some Music
Music uplifts the soul. Make a mix CD of all your favorite songs that make you think about your partner, or perhaps the songs from your wedding. You can print a fun cover and label for your CD using your home computer. For a nice surprise, load it in your loved one’s car CD player that day.
5. Write a Poem or Love Note
What better way to express your love than by writing a romantic poem or love note. If you’re not a poet (and you know it) search online for something you could print out or read to your significant other. Or you could leave little love notes around the house and in the car for him or her to find throughout the day. Get creative and speak from the heart!
6. Make a Memory Jar or Box
Find a mason jar or keepsake box and some sheets of good stationery in different colors. On each one, write down a different favorite memory, such as: November 26, 2006: Our first kiss, under the street light on Pleasant Street. Or April 24, 2011, Our first overnight trip together, to Kennebunkport, Maine. Fold them and put them in the jar. Add little trinkets such as the corks you’ve saved from champagne bottles, favors from weddings you have attended together, branded napkins or drink coasters from restaurants, hotel pens, etc. Add some hard candies and tie it with a nice piece of grosgrain ribbon.
7. HDTV: Not Just for Football Anymore
Turn your living room into a classic cinema. Make popcorn the old fashioned way – on the stove, NOT the microwave. Serve it with your favorite soda and oversized candy bars purchased at a novelty shop or warehouse shopping outlet, queue up classic old movies and snuggle up on the sofa.
8. Take Back the “Honey Dew” List
Write our “gift certificates” to your partner, promising to do the chores he or she hates the most. For example: “I will take out the garbage every day for two weeks,” “Good for three sidewalk/driveway snow shovelings,” “I will scrub the toilet once a week for a month,” or “I will vacuum once a week for a month.” These practical gifts may just be the most romantic of all! You don’t have to spend a lot to show you care. What other inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift ideas can you share?