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Be My Valentine: Ten Inexpensive Ideas For The Cheapskate Romantic!
Hearts 'n' Flowers!
Cheapo Valentine's Gifts
Are times tough for you financially? Is the piggy bank empty? Are you broke? Are you really, truly, stoney broke? If so, I have some worrying news for you: Valentine’s Day is on its way! Oh no!
If your spouse or partner is like, well, most spouses and partners, then they aren’t going to grant you a free pass on the universal day for lovers, just because all the figures on your bank statement are written in red. Now that doesn’t mean that they’re busily gold-digging away for cash that you just haven’t got. Most times, loved ones just need you to show your love for them in a way that they can understand – even if they know, really, that you’re absolutely nuts about them.
So if times are tight, then that just means getting creative about your valentine’s gift to your loved one. And with that in mind, here are ten cheap Valentine’s ideas for those of us without the Midas touch!
Make Your Own Candy: Sweets for the Sweet
Does your lady love sweets, chocolate, cookies and anything that will give her a sugar rush? Is it a case of ‘sweets for the sweet’ for your man? Luxury candy – and especially anything wrapped up in pink as Valentine’s Day approaches – can cost you an arm and a leg. Get busy in the kitchen – lemon fondant, caramels, fudge with love-heart sweets stuck in… think something up! Then wrap it up beautifully for a Valentine’s gift with some real thought and care.
Home-made Gifts for your Loved One
This is an old traditional one, but if you agree on it together then it can really work out well. What handy skills do you have? If you’re a keen woodworker then maybe you can make her the CD rack she’s been wishing for for ages – and stencil some hearts onto it! If you’re a talented needlewoman – or man – maybe a cross-stitched sampler of your own original love poetry would melt your partner’s heart.
Doing DIY around the Home
Now, bear with me on this one! It may not sound like the most romantic Valentine’s Day gift ever. But think about it: has your partner been sighing and hinting and begging you to finish off the half-done patio you started two years ago? Did that bathroom tiling job seem like a great idea until you got to the tricky corner bit?
If you know what would really melt his or her heart – and it’s not a fluffy teddy with ‘I LOVE WOO’ on its T-shirt – then maybe getting your other half out of the house for a couple of days (send her to stay with her sister, or off to a footie game with the boys) and then hammering away at your half-finished DIY job, is really the route to a happy Valentine’s Day.
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Crafty Valentine’s Gifts For The Love of your Life
Are you a knitter? A jewellery maker? A painter, crocheter, metalworker – any kind of craftsperson with an enthusiasm for making and creating? Then use your ability to show your love this Valentine’s Day! Add a hearts 'n' flowers Valentine's theme to your artwork – it'll go down a storm. You can't put a price on the love and care of a hand-made gift.
Cooking For Her/Cooking For Him
Do you fancy yourself in the kitchen? Do you record MasterChef and practice your Gordon Ramsay-style curse-laden rants as often as your vegetable chopping technique? There's nothing quite like a really beautiful, perfectly presented home-cooked meal – and especially when you haven't had to cook it yourself. Go all out and produce something special for your loved one: maybe a whole new recipe (rehearsed in secret), or a gluten-free cheesecake or vegan lasagne if s/he has special dietary requirements. Forget music: food does pretty well as the food of love. Hint, hint!
Don't Forget The Dayjob
Do you have skills you can bring home from work? Maybe you work as a professional masseur or masseuse? (And if so you probably get press-ganged into freebies for your loved one on a regular basis anyway!) Are you a graphic artist? How about a beautiful piece of digital artwork for the big romantic day?
Buying For Valentine's On The Never-Never
Have you left it too late? Are you throwing your coat on in a panic, planning a mad dash around the shops to feverishly search for a pressie that will prevent your loved one going postal over your unromantic ways? Well just settle down there. Take your coat off and relax. As many people never fail to point out, every year as February rolls around, there are three hundred and sixty five days in a year: romance isn't limited to just one of them, and nor is letting your partner know you love him or her.
So get out some nice writing paper and your best fountain pen, and write your partner an original poem... yes, you can start off with 'Roses are red, violets are blue'... or even a limerick. Then add an I.O.U. On the bottom. For a candlelit dinner, a box of chocs, a trip to New York or a neck massage – whatever will do the trick for you and your ever-lovin'.
It'll get you out of trouble, it'll keep your partner sweet, and you won't break your ankle or bust a gut running round the shops like a crazy person. And you know, every time you say 'I love you, toots,' the charge to your credit card is precisely... zero.
If Music Be The Food Of Love...
Are you a guitar hero? (Or can you pick out 'Smoke On The Water'?) Do you have some handy musical mates with access to sound gear and instruments? If so, then how about getting them together for a few rehearsals, then staging a very special command performance for your loved one in your living room or back garden? (Love songs all the way, of course. Unless her favourite band is Napalm Death.)
Do a Cyrano
Does your loved one have a band he's crazy about and has followed around on tour? Does she have a favourite film star she's just doolally about? Maybe you can get in touch with the relevant band or star, or their agent or manager. If so, see if you can swing a signed photo or letter from the object of your loved one's admiration. Heck, we live in a digital age: maybe you could get their best wishes in her voice-mail inbox, or even ten seconds of waving and 'Happy Valentine's!' on YouTube! (Although probably not if it's Brad Pitt we're talking about...) You could get a lot of vicarious attention from the happy vibes resulting from swinging something like this!
Pull A Few Strings: Heartstrings, Even
Are you truly broke? Is anything that doesn't involve positively negative amounts of dinero absolutely out of the question? Then it's time to start to pull a few strings and explore every option you have. Searching on Freecycle for unwanted items you can salvage, recycle and craftily reinvent as a gift? Dropping heavy hints to mates with a holiday cottage about 'borrowing' it for a weekend? Reminding your bro' how often you've cleaned up the after-effects of his nights out with the lads (and cooked him a 'recovery' breakfast into the bargain), and getting the loan of his car for a romantic day out (complete with full tank of petrol)?
Whatever. Do what you need to do. It's Valentine's Day, and it's important! But whatever you do, don't forget to give the gift of love. It's priceless, and it'll be appreciated more deeply and remembered longer than just about anything else you can do or buy. So give freely of your heart to your loved one, and that's all the year round.