Valentine’s Gifts on a Budget

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! I feel like there is a lot of marketing pressure to extravagantly proclaim your love to your significant other. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break your bank. This article has mostly suggestions for couples, but first a word about Valentine’s cards for school kids.

Did you know you can get Valentine’s cards at the dollar store? This is our first year with a preschooler, so we got a pack of 30 cards (which will last us 2 years) for just $1. They had a great selection and the cards either came with stickers or temporary tattoos. It took my son a while to choose because he loved them all. They also have cute little Valentine’s mailboxes all ready to go at Dollar Tree.

Okay, now back to couples. Since Valentine’s Day is a couples-centered holiday, here are three ways you celebrate without overspending.

Set a Budget

This is kind of a no-brainer, but set a budget for any gifts or treats given on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one year you really can’t afford to spend any money on Valentine’s Day, and your gifts are homemade. Maybe another year the budget is $30. Either way, set a budget and stick to it.

Split the Work

I know a couple that takes turns planning Valentine’s Day and their anniversary every year. This means that one year the husband is in charge of Valentine’s Day, while the wife plans for their anniversary. The next year the wife is in charge of Valentine’s Day, and the husband focuses on their anniversary. This is a great way to cut costs of gifts because only one spouse (instead of two) is giving gifts on those days. My husband and I decided to celebrate “Korean-style” where I give him gifts on Valentine’s Day, and he gives me gifts a month later on White Day. This works out especially well for me because he gives me lots of discounted Valentine’s Day chocolate the next month!

Make an I Owe You (IOU) Book

Get a cheap photo book from the store of your choice, cut up some paper, and get to work. I’ll let you figure out your own “sexy” IOUs, but if you want suggestions for some general IOUs, here are some that work for both genders:

  • Massages (feet, back, neck, hands, etc). I’d recommend adding a time limit.
  • Favorite homemade meal (could apply to breakfast, lunch, or dinner).
  • Sweet treat (homemade or you can do a “craving run” to the store when they would like).
  • Hobby break. Does your spouse love to play sports or do something crafty but never has the time? Make time for them to do one of those things!
  • Venting session. I know that men are less likely than women to vent about things, BUT a fifteen minute venting session about work might be just what he needs.
  • You pick the movie night. My husband and I don’t always share the same movie interests, although we like watching movies together. This way one of the spouses gets to watch their favorite show with their favorite person.
  • Nap time. Let your spouse take an uninterrupted nap!

Looking for more budget Valentine’s gift ideas? Here’s a list of 10 cheap or free gifts from our friends at RedTwoGreen.

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