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25 Affordable Valentine's Day Ideas

Updated on May 25, 2017

St. Valentine

An artist's depiction of St. Valentine.
An artist's depiction of St. Valentine. | Source

History Channel:History of Valentine's Day

The History of Valentine's Day

There are several egends of the Valentine's Day origin. One such origin begins in the third century, under Emperor Claudius II. Upon realizing that single men made for better soldiers, Emperor Claudius decreed that young men could no longer be married. St. Valentine still performed illegal marriages for young men, but when Emperor Claudius found out, he ordered St. Valentine to be killed around A.D. 270.

Some legends suggest that St. Valentine may have been killed for trying to help Christians escape Roman prisons, where they were usually tortured and killed. One legend suggests that while in jail, St. Valentine sent the first Valentine's Day card to a young woman he had fell in love with. It's rumored that the young woman that St. Valentine was smitten with was possibly the jailer's daughter. According to an extended version of this legend, St. Valentine's signed the card "From your Valentine", which is a saying that is still used today.

The real whole story of St. Valentine is still a mystery, but because of his reputation, St. Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in France and England. Some claim that the Christian church possibly decided to make Valentine's Day in the middle of February to commemorate St. Valentine's death that may have happened sometime in February. Others believe that the Christian church made Valentine's day on the fourteenth of February to over shadow the pagan celebration, Lupercalia - which falls on the fifteenth of February.

Lupercalia was a fertility festival devoted to the Roman God of agriculture, Faunus, and the Roman founders, Romulus and Remus. Lupercalia withstood the rise of Christianity, but it was outlawed at the end of the fifth century because it was "un-Christian", and the Pope - Pope Gelasius - deemed that annually, every February 14th is Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day Poll

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What Do I Give for Valentine's Day?

Unless your significant other is a gold-digger, Valentine's day is all about the love and showing that you care for your significant other and important people in your lives. Just remember that it's the thought that count.

These are some gifts you could consider when you either don't have much money to think you could give your Valentine's a great and memorable holiday. The best part is most of these gift ideas are so affordable that you could combine two or more into one night and celebrate it with your lover like you were a millionaire.

I hope this article helps you discover the possibilities and helps some of you realize that it really isn't the money that counts, its the love behind the gifts that your lover will cherish forever.

Parade around in matching personalized t-shirts.
Parade around in matching personalized t-shirts. | Source

#1 Gift Idea - Personalized T-Shirt

The first gift idea is a personalized t-shirt. You can create your t-shirt any way that you want with or without a picture, a symbol, or a cute catchy phrase could warm any lover's heart.

With places online like CafePress, CustomInk, and Zazzle you can create your own personalized t-shirts either pre-made or personalized.

Bottle Ahoy!


#2 Gift Idea - Message in a Bottle

Clean out a glass bottle and write a little note to place inside. Leave the bottled note somewhere for your significant other to find - like in the shower so they'll see it when they go to take a shower.

Indoor Picnic


#3 Gift Idea - Picnic

Imagine a nice candlelit inside picnic with you and your significant other. Create a nice picnic set up in your living room, bedroom on the floor, or in the dining room. Fix a nice lunch or dinner and set it out for your lover to find - or make it a couple affair and fix a nice picnic meal together.

PLUS: If you have a fireplace, think about maybe lighting that bad boy on fire while you and your lover eat your picnic meal. Also, try roasting marshmallows with your lover using the fireplace.

Picture Keepsake


#4 Gift Idea - Relationship Collage

Are you the photographer type? Do you love taking pictures? How about your significant other? If you answered yes to any 2 out of 3 of these questions, consider creating a memorable loving collage of photos for you and your sweetheart.

Get creative and write a little message on it or create a heart, a flower, or some abstract design with the pictures. You can easily create and print out a collage online.

PLUS: Think about actually creating a scrapbook for you and your lover - made from pictures of the two of you over the year(s).

Alcohol on Me


#5 Gift Idea - Create a Drink

If you and your lover are alcohol lovers, why don't you think about creating your own signature drinks? Gather your favorite alcohol, fruit, blender, etc. to create your own personal signature drink. Perhaps after your picnic you two could go into the kitchen and create a nice alcoholic drink together.



#6 Gift Idea - Mix CD

Remember back in the day when a lovesick teenager would create a mixtape for their loved one? Sitting by the radio waiting for a particular song to come on and push record while your selected song played. You'd fill the whole 60-minute tape with songs you were sitting by the radio waiting to hear. Why not gift wrap a mix-CD?

Create a playlist and burn it onto a CD of songs that remind you of your lover or songs that means something to the both of you. Your first slow dance, your wedding dance song, or a song that you both sang at karaoke that one night you two were tipsy. With modern technology you can really get creative and can now burn a picture of the two of you into the CD. Create a cover album for you mix-CD.


#7 Gift Idea - Love Letter

Forget the emails and text messages, go old school and write an old fashioned love letter. Express your love by writing down exactly how your significant other makes you feel. Aren't sure on how to start a love letter? Start by looking at some love letter samples online.

Sample #1

Sample #2

Sample #3

Love Letters


#8 Gift Idea - Potted Plant

Does your sweetie have a green thumb? How about a potted plant or a flower for their garden? You could even help them plant it in their garden. A lovely potted plant with a written love letter could be just the ticket to warm your lover's heart.


#9 Gift Idea - Movie Night

While you're eating your picnic meal you could create it into a movie night. Get some of your favorite movies to watch with your Valentine's. You could pop some popcorn and munch on it while you watch your selections of movies.

How to Have a Movie Night


#10 Gift Idea - Day Spa

If your guy is high maintenance or your gal loves being pampered, think about creating a day spa at home. With just a few groceries, you could create a nice little spa day - or night - with your love bug. Give each other massages, give her a manicure, try giving him a pedicure. Show the love that he/she deserves and pamper them.

Create a Spa Day at Home

Titillating Photos


#11 Gift Idea - Erotic Pictures

Some of us may feel too modest to even remotely think about posing erotically, especially for pictures, but consider this: if you have already been intimate, your sweetheart has already seen you naked... and if he/she liked what they saw in you, you were lucky enough to be graced with another intimate round.

Why not give them a memorable keepsake to remember your tantalizing body with? Get all dolled up (or spruced up) and take some very private pictures.

Sing Along


#12 Gift Idea - Karaoke Date

If your lover is a performer, try a nice local Karaoke Bar. Get into the swing of things and take your SugarBear to sing as a couple. The goal is to get you both out of your respective comfort zones and give you a nudge towards the plunging cliff. The best part is that even if you sing horribly, hopefully no one there will know you, so you can stalk out of the bar without an ounce of dignity gone - because they don't know you.

The Way to the Heart...


#13 Gift Idea - Cooking Class

Find a local cooking class in your area and spice things up a bit in your relationship. What they say is true, "the way to a man''s heart is through his stomach". Create a tasty dish that you can recreate on a special holiday that would be just for you and your mate to make every anniversary, Valentine's Day, or whenever you're in the mood.



#14 Gift Idea - Local Tour

Did you know that most of the population of New York has never been to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty? Find out local landmarks and plan an outing with your Valentine. How about finding a local tour guide and go on a tour of the city? Maybe even have a scavenger hunt at your local landmarks?

If your Valentine is new to the city or if they love history, this could be the best route. Perhaps there's a local park where you can go sightseeing or a historical landmark to explore. Plan out your day with this in mind.

Fun Fun Fun


Teaching my Wife to Play Planetside 2

#15 Gift Idea - Game Night

If your love muffin is a video game lover, why not try to get them to play a round with you?

It's all bout the trying and effort. How about a round of basketball, or after your romantic indoor picnic, spice things up a little with a round of Battlefield Bad Company or tell them to teach you how to play a game and make it into a learning experience.

Better yet, why not pull out the board games and play Chutes and Ladders or Monopoly? Even an erotic game like strip poker could spice up any romantic evening. You're spending time together, and that's really all that counts.

Valentine Sales


#16 Gift Idea - Online Deals

If your Valentine insists on getting a material gift, try searching online for coupons or deals that could help you give your lover the best. Send him/her a bouquet of flowers at work to start off the day. 1800Flowers really has some very beautiful flower arrangements and finding a good promo code online could help out drastically.

Love and Balloons


#17 Gift Idea - Balloon Bouquet

Why not surprise your significant other with a flower bouquet or two? You could even create your own using at least 2 balloons and a stuffed toy (large or small), and/or a box of candy.

How to Make Balloon Flowers

Free-standing Flower Centerpieces

A Family Affair


#18 Gift Idea - All in the Family

Valentine's day isn't just about your sweetheart or husband/wife, it's about all the love and admiration you have for all your loved ones - this includes your children. So many women are hung up on what their boyfriends and husbands did or didn't do - mothers, what have you done for Valentine's for your kids?

Have a nice little dinner set up. Maybe you and your boyfriend/husband could sit at the kid's table and let the kids sit at the "big people" table. Serve food with a side of sparkling cider, your children will love feeling like they're adult enough to drink special champagne.

Rub Me Down


#19 Gift Idea - Massage

Scented body oils and your lover rubbing your body from head to toe sounds really relaxing. Search online for some special massage moves you can try on your lover. Perhaps start by taking a shower together and pampering your sweetie before giving him/her a very sensual massage.

Save Your Love


#20 Gift Idea - Love Coupons

Drawing a blank on what to get your Valentine's this year? Try giving him/her a Love Coupon book. There are many places where you could print out love coupons online, and here are some Free Printable Love Coupons for you to consider.

You could even create your own, homemade gifts are more cherished than store brought gifts because you actually put time and effort into the present. One website to think about when choosing this gift idea, try Datevitation.

I Do... Love You


#21 Gift Idea - Wedding Vows

Why not challenge each other to write your marriage vows over or, for the engaged couple, mock vows. If you just have a boyfriend/girlfriend, maybe a promise letter would better suit your lover.

Writing your sincere feelings towards your honey might actually help you get your feelings out in the open. FYI guys, gals love hearing your feelings and it's a near guarantee to get a little loving.

I Love You Everyday


#22 Gift Idea - Calender Love

The Sport's Illustrated Calendar has nothing on you! Why not take a few poses of yourself and gather them together to make a customized calendar. Your local drug store's photo section should have this special gift packet, but if not, you could always make your own.

Shutterfly and Create Custom Photo Calendars are a great place to look, but also consider that if you have Microsoft Office or are a gifted desktop publisher, you could create your own right on your home computer!

Pillow Talk


#23 Gift Idea - Sleepless Love

Your lover has his/her side of the bed, but who really wants to sleep on their lover's slob? Try a personalized pillow or pillowcase. At Custom Pillows and Zazzle you can create your own pillow or pillowcase.

Get creative. Make a drawing and create a whole story if you want to. The limit is only as far as your imagination can go.



#24 Gift Idea - Scavenger Hunt

What a fun idea! Take your lover on a scavenger hunt with a surprise being one of these wonderful gift ideas listed on this page. You could lead them to the starting point of your landmark tour or to the fireplace where your picnic meal is waiting for them. You could even lead them to your bedroom for a nice massage setting.

No ideas for the scavenger hunt? Try checking out these pages:

Unique Gifts


#25 Gift Idea - Personalized Gifts

With Zazzle, CafePress, VistaPrint, or your local drug store you can create a personalized gift(s). How wonderful would it to be to give the gift of your likeness on something your lover uses everyday? They'll think of you every time they drink from the personalized mug you gave them. At the Walmart website you can find Personalized Gifts for Less Than $20.



I hope you take these gifts into consideration, even the richest person can benefit from the gifts listed above. Remember, it's not the cost of the gift, its the love and the thought that went into your gift. I hope you have a lovely evening planned for your loved ones. Happy Valentine's Day.


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