If you’re worried that your funds can’t stretch far enough to give your beloved a Valentine’s Day to remember, don’t worry! Diamonds and a five star meal are not a necessity for a meaningful Valentine’s Day. Besides, your loved one might not even like those types of gifts or activities! It’s all about finding activities you can enjoy together. You can show that you care by planning memorable experiences and putting together small, affordable gifts.
EditShowing That You Appreciate Them
- Forgo technology for the day. Put your phone down, and turn off the TV while you’re having your celebration. Devote all of your attention to your significant other by not letting social media, news notifications, or cat pictures get in the way of your romantic day.
- Have a meaningful conversation. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to reconnect on things you haven’t gotten to talk about in a while. Talk about your dreams for the future, remember great memories from early in your relationship, and ask them how they’re feeling about their life. Listen well, since they might be telling you something important about themselves.
- Keep your conversations positive. Don’t bring up past mistakes or talk about the problems you’re having with your relationship, as it could cause a fight, which is the opposite of what you want!
- If he or she says something big, like “I’m not happy with where we live”, reassure them that you hear them and that their happiness is important. Say that you can hash out the details of a big change later.
- Surprise your sweetheart by doing a chore for them. If they normally do the laundry, wash the dishes, or clean the gutters, do that for them in exactly the same way that they would do it before they get home. It will show you were thinking about them and wanted to save them the trouble of doing it themselves.
- Give them vouchers for nice deeds from you. This can include foot massages, one week of cooking or dishwashing with no questions asked, or a promise for that special thing they’ve always wanted in the bedroom.
- Design the vouchers on your computer yourself. You can use a business card template, or just cut out the vouchers into heart shapes once they’re printed. Write “redeemable at any time, no expiration date” on them for a cute touch.
- Say “I love you”. It doesn’t cost anything but it means a great deal. Don’t be shy; say it a lot during the day. They will appreciate your honesty and it will mean more than any gift ever could.
- Write a heartfelt love letter. Don’t be afraid to gush a little, especially if you’re normally pretty un-romantic. Everyone likes reading about how much they’re loved in words written by the person who loves them.You can also make it into a card by folding it and adding some personalized doodles.
- Put together a mix tape. Well, nowadays it’ll be more of a playlist, but the idea is the same: organize a list of songs that reminds you of them, takes them back to a special memory like a vacation, or is just plain romantic. You can put it on a CD for them to play in their car, or share the playlist on their Spotify account to listen to at any time.
- Make a photo frame with pictures that they can swap out. Head to the thrift shop or dollar store for a cheap photo frame. Print out several pictures of you as a couple that your partner can change out anytime they want! You can also make a scrapbook using old notebooks and duct tape instead of buying a frame.
EditGiving Affordable Gifts
- Give them just one rose instead of a whole bouquet. One rose means “you’re the one”, so don’t be embarrassed about not giving your special one an entire garden. Hang the rose upside down on the wall when it starts to wilt because it will dry up and you can keep it for years to come.
- Because a single rose could still be a little pricy on Valentine’s Day, ask your mom or grandmother if you can pick a rose from her rose bush. It will be that much more special since it was grown by someone you love.
- Hit the dollar store for inexpensive gifts. They will have all the stuff that’s normally expensive at party stores and flower shops, like balloons, candy, and stuffed animals. Snag a few different items since, hey, they’re only a buck!
- Trade cards in the store. Pick out Valentine’s Day cards in the store at the same time. Give them to each other on the spot and decide together if you want to buy the cards, or if you just want to take a picture to remember the moment.
- Gift them a small potted plant. You don’t need to spend over $15 for a small potted plant, plus it will last longer than cut flowers. They can keep it on their desk at work as a reminder of how much you love them. Provide instructions on how to properly take care of the plant to help it live a long life and bloom often.
- Succulents, like cacti and aloe vera, are great options since they are low-maintenance and live for a long time. Plus, cacti can grow flowers if they have proper lighting, soil, and watering!
EditPlanning Affordable Activities
- Take a one-time partner dance class. Look for a beginner class in a style of dance that your boyfriend or girlfriend would love. Salsa, swing, and waltz are fun even if you have no experience! Drop-in classes at dance studios or recreation centers tend to be $5-15 per person.
- Call to let the studio know that you are planning to come for a drop-in class, so that they can make sure they have enough room in the class.
- Have a picnic. Prepare a special meal of crackers, cheeses, fruits, meats, and dessert by shopping in the sale section at the grocery store. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Bring instant hot chocolate or that bottle of wine you’ve had sitting in your kitchen for a while. Use an old blanket or towel to sit on, and carry your food around in a container you already have, like a backpack or suitcase. You can have a picnic in your backyard if you don’t feel like traveling anywhere far.
- Rent a movie from RedBox or the library. Skip the expensive theater tickets and get a movie from a RedBox for $1.50 instead. Sometimes the library will have classic romance titles that RedBox doesn’t, like “Singin’ in the Rain” or “Casablanca”. The library is even better because it’s totally free!
- Stargaze. Put on warm clothes and step out to check out the night sky. If you want to travel somewhere by car, bring blankets, a thermos of hot chocolate, and enough gas to get you there and back. Find somewhere on the city outskirts where the sky is clear. Take along a star chart and look for stars that you know. Choose a star just for the two of you and make a promise to look for it every Valentine’s Day.
- Devise a romantic scavenger hunt. Leave a series of short love poems that also act as a hint for where to find the next clue. Take your loved one to places that were important in your relationship, like the coffee shop where you met or the stairs of the building where you had your first kiss. Meet them at every step with a small gift, like a hand-picked flower or piece of their favorite candy.
- Paint portraits of each other in watercolor. Children’s watercolor paint kits are cheap and come with a brush or two. You can find these in the kids’ craft sections at any general store like Wal-Mart or Target. You also don’t need any special paper to make them work; printer paper works just fine! Let them dry and hang them up to look at every day.
- Don’t worry about being a good artist. Watercolor is naturally messy and hard to control, so in the end, your painting might not look much like your partner! That’s okay; it’s the thought that counts.
- Whatever you do, commit to it. A half-finished idea for an activity is worse than no activity at all.
- Ask someone who knows both of you to help you make your idea better.
- If you’re not sure it’s going to be a hit, scrap the idea and think of a new one. You don’t want to put a bunch of effort into an idea only to have it flop!
- Write a Love Letter
- Make Cards for Valentine’s Day
- Make Valentine’s Day More Meaningful
- Celebrate Valentine’s Day