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Valentine's Day On a Budget

Updated on January 13, 2008

Valentine's Day can be one of the most expensive holidays. It is the holiday that you are supposed to say "I love you" to your significant other. To many people this means spending big bucks. Because the more you spend the more you love them, right? Wrong! Showing someone you care on Valentine's Day does not have to cost a lot of money.

The first thing to do is to think about what this person really likes. Personally I like chocolate. And flowers. Notice I didn't say fancy, expensive chocolate or red roses. Any kind of dark chocolate (about $2) and a small bunch of flowers from the grocery store ($8) and I will be pretty happy. So basically my husband can make my day for about $10. I bet you can do the same! Here are some ideas.

1. Put together a box of this person's favorite things. For my husband this would be licorice, popcorn, Sam Adams beer and a bicycling magazine. It could be anything. You more than anyone will know their favorite things, so surprise them by getting them all together. The small things, that is. You can't purchase diamonds on a budget. People feel very loved when they know that other people pay attention to the small things about them.

2. Bubble bath and candles make a great gift. This will be relaxing and romantic all at the same time.

3. Take the day off of work to spend with them. This would work especially well if this person doesn't work. If they do, you might need to do some arranging with their employers, which could be hard to do and might not go over very well. But how wonderful for someone to know that you took a day off of work just to spend it with them.

4. Cook them their favorite meal.

5. Leave them love notes - all over. On the bathroom mirror, in their car, in their lunch, on the newspaper, etc. Anywhere they will be leave a little note.

6. Fill their car with balloons.

7. Do something that they want to do. If your wife loves sappy romantic movies, but you hate them and won't go - go anyway, it will make their day.

8. Do something that they don't want to do. Do they despise cleaning bathrooms, grocery shopping, vacuuming out the car, bathing the kids, etc? Do it for them.

9. Make your own card detailing everything you love about this person.

10. Give them a back rub.

11. If you must take them out to eat for Valentine's Day you have a couple of options. You could take them out to lunch, or you could take them out to dinner another night instead. Of course you will still spend Valentine's Day with them doing frugal things right? But you will be saving a good bit of money and hassle by going out to eat a different night.

12. Don't buy roses. There are lots of wonderful flowers out there and just because the marketers try to tell us that everyone needs roses on Valentine's Day does mean that everyone needs roses on Valentine's Day. Pick a different flower or perhaps a potted plant. Potted plants live a lot longer than cut flowers do, so they would be reminded of your love for years to come, not just a week.

13. Here is a cheesy one from my husband - give real kisses instead of Hershey's kisses.

If you really want to take your significant other out to dinner on the most expensive night of the year and buy them a dozen red roses, go for it. But be prepared to spend a lot of cash, at least $100. Pick some or all of these ideas for a much less expensive and memorable way to say "I love you".


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    • drej2522 profile image


      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Awesome ideas. I'm definitely going to use some of these gift ideas for Valentine's Day. One idea that I like in particular is suggestion number 5: leaving notes throughout the house. Doin' it!

    • profile image

      Tayne your Debt 

      7 years ago

      These are some really great ideas! We thought up some ideas for doing Valentine's Day on a budget. What do you think about our ideas, we would love to know your opinions!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Find out more cool tips for Gifts on Valentine day from here

    • Hypersapien profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice hub. I have a hub along these lines, for gifts under $25.

    • PearTreeGreetings profile image


      8 years ago from Rexburg, ID

      Thanks for the Valentine's Day ideas! Valentine's Day cards are necessary to any celebration. You can share special memories with your friends or find a romantic card to give to your loved one. No matter what else you plan be sure not to forget a priceless card.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 

      9 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Great Hub & wonderful tips! Thanks...

    • Successful Living profile image

      Sherry Vacik 

      9 years ago from Prague, Czech Republic

      These are great ideas for ways to celebrate Valentine's Day with your loved ones! And very good ideas for these hard economic times. We don't have to spend so much money in order to show our love! We can do it by spending quality time--and I love the suggestion of giving real kisses rather than the chocolate kind!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Great Hub. Thank you for the tips.

    • Peppermint Thrift profile image

      Peppermint Thrift 

      10 years ago

      Great Hub! I do think, like Christmas, the meaning of Valentine's Day has become quite commercial and hollow. My fiancé and I usually make each other presents for Valentine's Day. I once made him a book using cardboard wrapped in shiny paper for the covers of the book, poked holes in it and used metal rings to hold it all together. I called it his happy time favorite things book and filled it with articles I printed off of his favorite artists, musicians and wrote a poem. He has written me silly love songs and serenaded them to me. It means so much more when it comes from the heart!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      It is interesting Thanks you

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      My guy will defintely be cooking our favorite meal for Valentine's Day - in the gift we bought ourselves for this special day - a Le Creuset enamel over cast iron pot. We know they are uber expensive but America's Test Kitchen rates them as the best out there - and they do last a lifetime. So we took the plung by purchasing seconds at Marshals (also available at TJMaxx) at 44% off their normal retail which is by far the best price we've seen out there. Even the best Macy's can do is 20%. I'm sure dinner will be delish!

    • ChuChu Beanie profile image

      ChuChu Beanie 

      10 years ago from Detroit, Michigan

      I think a lot of us have been feeling the same way about this overwhelming holiday. its great to know I'm not alone, and i will definitely be stealing your advice. Thanks!

    • kimback08 profile image


      10 years ago from Barbourville, KY

      Love the ideas. My husband would enjoy the cycling magazine as well. haha.

    • likethisfree profile image


      11 years ago from India


    • seamus profile image


      11 years ago

      Thanks for writing this. I love the idea of the balloons in the car. Cute!

    • profile image

      Frugal Valentine's Day Ideas 

      11 years ago

      I agree with Evelyn, gift is not about expecting but showering your loved one with love, care and understanding. Small gift ideas can express your affection in big ways. That's the purpose of a gift.

    • Evelyn Lim profile image

      Evelyn Lim 

      11 years ago from Singapore

      This is a great list here for those who are in need of ideas. My husband has not bought me any presents - it is Valentine's Day here. But I'm already happy as it is. My marriage has never been stronger! And a lot of credit should go to my husband.

    • sdorrian profile image


      11 years ago from Chicago

      Great Hub. I hope your husband reads it - and mine!

    • theurbanchef profile image


      11 years ago from California

      Great Hub Jennifer! Valentine's can stress the wallet big time. The important thing for couples to learn is that it's not how much is spent just as long as it comes from the heart. This goes for guys and girls alike.

      I wrote a Hub that is similar, please check it out!

    • profile image

      Lisa J.B. Peterson 

      11 years ago

      These are some great ideas! Valentine's Day can get pretty out of control. Additionally, there are ways to save if you do want to go out inexpensively. I recently wrote about some simple ideas in my blog:

      Thanks for the tips!

      Lisa Peterson

    • profile image

      Mercedes Levy 

      11 years ago

      My birthday is the week before V-day and we always go out for dinner then not on V-day. I have given my husband permission to skip flowers on V-day, they are too expensive them. For me a card or something meaningful is all that matters. For him chocolate and a nice meal does it.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great hub. Lots of good ideas to keep the romance alive that's for sure.


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