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.
If you're on a budget this year, it doesn't mean that you have to an un-romantic Valentine's Day. With a little creativity, your expression of love can be more romantic than any store-bought gift. Here are a number of cheap Valentine's Day ideas that just require a little creativity and a lot of love.
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 you use a favorite food or song, it proves that you cared enough to remember your loved one's interests.
- 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. Pick a romantic song, or even your song, then create a karaoke recording of the song for your partner!
- If you don't have any musical abilities, you can still say it with music. Burn a CD or create a playlist on a music service like Spotify of your partner's favorite songs. This will provide the perfect background music for your romantic dinner together. For her, put together a list of romantic love songs such as 'At Last' by Etta James or 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous Brothers. For him, put together a sexy playlist with songs such as 'Let's Get it On' by Marvin Gaye.
- 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 carryout 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.
- 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.
- 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. Add a bit of cellophane and ribbon and you can create something worthy of the finest luxury bath store.
- 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.
- Give your Valentine a certificate, trophy, or engraved plaque with a special title, such as, "World's Best Lover" or "Most Beautiful Valentine". You can print certificates for free in our romantic printables section.
- Buy a wooden frame from your local craft store and print out a favorite photo of the two of you to put in it. Use paints, beads, ribbons, or anything else that you can find at the craft store to decorate the frame or write a message of love to your sweetie.
- 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 candlelit dinner at their favorite restaurant. Each week or month (depending on how many strips they put in the jar), take one out and make their wish come true!
- Use your webcam, digital camera, or camcorder to create your own love video for your partner. Spend the time telling them how much you love them, what you love about them, and/or sharing your favorite memories of your time together. Plan to watch the video while having a romantic dinner at home together.
- 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.
- Give your sweetie the gift of choice with love coupons. Coupons include a romantic dinner, a massage, and more. Create your own custom love coupon book complete with date night coupons, relaxing massage coupons, intimate & sexy coupons, etc. Check out our romantic printables section to print your own immediately.
- 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.").
- It can be as simple as cutting a large heart out of red construction paper or more elaborate using beads, glitter, and stickers. The most important part of any card that you create though are your own words of love.
- Buy a thick piece of poster board and decorate it with a romantic message, pictures, etc. Cut the board into a puzzle and let your sweetie piece together your love. If you're short on time, check out romantic printables where you can print ready to cut Valentine's Day heart-shaped puzzles.
- Take a different approach to the standard love letter this Valentine's Day. 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. Stumped on what to write? Fill each card with reasons why you love him, romantic love quotes, or love poems.
- Buy a package of children's Valentine's cards and fill each card with loving thoughts from the heart.
- 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 what to write, grab a famous love poem and add it to a romantic Valentine's Day card.
- 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 with your own intimate Valentine's picnic.
- It's sexy, its sweet, and it leads to love. Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac, so splurge on the sweets this Valentine's Day. Skip the cake and instead enjoy dessert on each other. While we love the gourmet chocolate body frostings, they're over our $10 mark. To keep within budget, check out Chocoholics Gourmet Chocolate Body Powder. Think baby powder, only chocolate. It's sensual and sexy and makes for a great Valentine's Day. Plus, the added powder brush doubles as an application tool and a sensual toy.
- Send your partner a real Valentine's card postmarked with love. You need to prepare a week ahead of time for this one by purchasing your card, plus an extra envelope.
- Give her a prescription of love this Valentine's Day. Find an old pill bottle and fill it with heart-shaped candy conversation hearts. Use your printer to create a prescription label to put on the bottle with the instructions: Take 2 a day with a kiss. Refills: Unlimited.
- Rejuvenate your relationship and increase the intimacy with a sexy spa night. Prepare ahead of time with a sweet scented bubble bath and a candle or two. Start the evening giving each other sensual massages and then follow it up with a romantic candlelit bubble bath for two.
- Instead of giving her a dozen roses this year, take the time to pick out a single, perfect long-stemmed red rose. Give her a card with the rose listing all of the reasons that they two of you are perfect together.
- Create a love blog through a service such as blogger.com. Add photos, memories, and thoughts about why you love him/her and hopes and dreams for your future together.