For many of us, Valentine's Day may well be one of the most difficult holidays when it comes to inexpensive gift ideas. While flowers and candy may be the traditional gifts, this is the time of year when these items come at premium prices. Likewise, it's worth considering that flowers fade quickly and candy doesn't last. If asked, many people would probably say that they prefer a more enduring memento of their romantic relationship.
Since Valentine's Day comes right after Christmas, budgets and bank accounts are often in a somewhat depleted condition; that's why it's sometimes crucial to try come up with a few cheap Valentine's Day ideas to celebrate the day. If you're stumped for cash and stumped for ideas as well, here are a few cheap Valentine's Day ideas that just require a little creativity and a lot of love:
- Say it with music. If you have a keyboard or guitar and you know how to play, learn your loved one's favorite song. Better yet, compose your own song about your relationship; just think of how Adam Sandler's character wooed his love at the end of "The Wedding Singer" and you'll have the right idea. Serenading your loved one is about the most romantic thing you can do.
- Say it with a CD. If you don't have any musical abilities, you can still say it with music. Burn a CD of your partner's favorite songs. This will provide the perfect background music for your romantic dinner for two.
- Eat in. If you have the time and ability to cook dinner for the two of you, you'll save a considerable amount of money; in addition, your hard work will be greatly appreciated by your dinner partner. Likewise, if it's more convenient, get dinner from a moderately-priced takeaway restaurant and serve it with candles and a flower or two; you'll still save money over dining out. It's well worth remembering that sometimes the best cheap. Valentine's Day ideas involve some sort of special homemade food or dessert.
- Make something. Often, the best cheap Valentine's Day ideas involve making something, whether it's a candle or a stocking cap. If you can knit or crochet, make slippers or a scarf. If you're a woodworker, make a jewelry case. If you're not experienced in crafts, some communities offer inexpensive pottery classes where you can learn to make a nice gift in a single session. If you have a morning or afternoon to invest, you might be able to come home with a lovely handmade vase, which you can adorn with a single, perfect rose.
- Put together a gift basket of favorites. If you know that your loved one favors a certain type of luxury soap or cologne, you can buy a small package of it, add a few inexpensive extras, and put everything together in a do-it-yourself gift basket. Baskets can easily be found in dollar and thrift stores, and with a bit of cellophane and ribbon you can create something worthy of the finest luxury bath store.
- Use your candy making skills. If your partner has a sweet tooth and you're talented at making candy or cookies, save the money and make them yourself. After all, homemade treats really do taste better because they're made with love. If you're not a talented candy maker or baker, you may know someone who is, and you can offer to pay them for making a special Valentine's Day confection. Most likely, you'll still come out cheaper than buying it from a specialty store.
- Award winning love. Give your Valentine a certificate, trophy, or engraved plaque with a special title, such as the 'World's Best Lover' or 'Most Beautiful Valentine'. You can print certificates for free in our romantic printables section.
- Valentine Photos. Buy a wooden frame from your local craft store and print out a favorite photo of the two of you to fill the frame. Use paints, beads, ribbons, or anything else that you can find at the craft store to decorate the frame for your sweetie.
- Valentine wishes. Create a 'Wish' jar full of little strips of paper and give it to your sweetie with instructions to write their wishes of things that they'd like you to do on the strips of paper. These wishes can be as simple as doing the dishes, or as romantic as a candle lit dinner at their favorite restaurant. Each week or month (depending on how many strips you put in the jar), take one out and grant his or her wish!
- Video yourself. Using your webcam, digital camera, or camcorder, create your own love video for your partner. Spend the time telling him or her how much you love them, what you love about them, or sharing your favorite memories of your time together. Plan to watch the video together at home eating you Valentine's take out dinner or dessert.
- Bunch of hearts. Buy a package of red or pink construction paper and cut out a bunch of hearts (31 for a month, 365 for a year, etc). On each heart, write some sort of love message. It can be a romantic love quote, a simple 'I Love You', a wish for your future, a favorite memory, a sexy suggestion for later on, or just a few loving words. Put all of the hearts in a decorated enveloped or jar with instructions to take one out each day until they're all gone.
- Love coupons. Create your own custom love coupon book complete with date night coupons, relaxing massage coupons, intimate & sexy coupons, and more. Check out our romantic printables section to print your own immediately.
- Romance for a dollar. Head to the nearest dollar store and browse the toy section. Look for items that could potentially describe your feelings, such as a compass, which you could include with a note that says "I'd be lost without you." Other toys could include a plastic sword ("You are my knight in shining armor"), a toy clock ("Time stands still when I'm with you"), a plastic frog ("Kiss me. I'm your prince."), or a plastic pill container ("Your my prescription for love.").
- Make your own Valentine's Day card! It can be as simple as cutting a large heart out of red construction paper or as elaborate as a beaded, glittered, stickered, crafted craft. The most important part of any card that you create though are the words.
- Create your own romantic Valentine's Day puzzle. Buy a thick piece of poster board and then decorate it with a romantic message, pictures, etc. Cut the board into a puzzle, then let your sweetie piece together your love. If you're short on time, check out our romantic printables section where you can print out ready to cut Valentine's Day heart-shaped puzzles.
- Lots of Valentines! Buy a box of children's Valentine's Day cards (some even come with candy, so pick your partner's favorite!) and then write a romantic message inside every single Valentine in the box. Give them to your sweetie all at once or throughout the day on Valentine's Day.
- Write you Valentine a love poem. The only cost for this gift is a little bit of your time. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be overly romantic or creative. A love poem can be as simple as coming up with a romantic phrase to describe your partner or your love for each of their initials. If you're still unsure of what to write, grab a famous love poem and add it to a romantic Valentine's Day card.
- Have a Valentine's Day picnic in your own house! Instead of braving the crowds this year, spread out a blanket on your living room floor, light some candles, turn on some music (love songs, of course), then wine and dine together in an intimate Valentine's picnic.
When it comes to cheap Valentine's Day ideas, just remember that the more personalized a gift is, the better. This doesn't mean that it has to be engraved or monogrammed; it simply means that any gift is even more special if it's customized specifically for your romantic partner. Whether it's a favorite food or favorite song, it proves that you cared enough to remember your loved one's tastes.