You know it’s February when you walk into any store and see giant stuffed animals near the checkout, right beside heart-shaped, red mylar balloons and boxes of candy. Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and we’re here to help with some budget-friendly gift ideas. So if you’re looking for a new way to say “I love you” to your spouse or partner—but you don’t want to break the bank—we’ve got you covered.
A recent study found that Americans spend an average of $142 on Valentine’s Day gifts and dinners. But if this is a bit much for your wallet, don’t panic. You don’t have to go all out on a fancy and expensive dinner or buy sparkling diamonds to profess your love. In fact, we think a personal touch is the best way to say “You’re the one for me!”
Make dinner for two
Only amateurs eat out on Valentine’s Day—unless you love battling a crowd and being served by harried waiters who push you to finish quickly so they can seat as many couples as possible. If you both enjoy cooking, decide on a menu together and make your evening a fun one of working side by side in the kitchen. You can catch up on each other’s day and enjoy a glass of wine while you chop. Or if meal prep is not your partner’s idea of a good time, do it yourself. They’ll appreciate the effort even if you’re not the world’s best chef. Of course, if you don’t really have kitchen skills, order in! Most grocery stores have wonderful meals to go. Spend less time cooking and more time connecting with your partner while enjoying food prepared by a delicious local restaurant or from the take out area of your local supermarket. Be sure to light some candles to bump up the romance-factor.
Clean your castle
Who doesn’t want to come home after a long day to a beautifully clean house or apartment? No toys to trip over, no dishes left in the sink, no clothes strewn on the floor from the morning’s rush out the door—just the fresh smell of a clean home! Surprise your spouse by coming home early and tidying up before they arrive. Quickly remove clutter by carrying an empty laundry basket around the house and picking up items that are on the floor or other surfaces. Do a quick dusting and vacuuming to make the house look neat and clean. Light a fresh smelling candle. And now you can plan something fun for the weekend when because you’ve already taken care of the cleaning!
If you’re not a fan of cleaning—even for your special Valentine—consider hiring professional maid service to clean for you. A service like Buckets & Bows Maid Service will take care of all the nitty gritty cleaning and allow you to walk into a sparkling clean home that you didn’t have to work hard to clean. A professional cleaning by an awesome maid service makes a unique and memorable Valentine’s Day gift, and it’s usually cheaper than you think. But be sure to book early. Valentine’s Day is one of our busiest days of the year! No time to get the cleaning done before V-Day? We sell gift cards that can be used for a cleaning when it works best for you!
Get crafty with a homemade card
While it’s easy to pluck a store-bought card from the shelf, there is something special about a homemade card that allows you to say exactly how you feel about someone. If you’re into crafts, you probably have a supply of material that can be used to make a unique card. Or perhaps you’re a whiz who can design something personal on the computer to print out. Either way, your personal message will go further in saying “I Love You” than a pre-printed message.
Give the gift of nature
Houseplants cost less than fresh cut flowers and they last for much longer if you keep watering and caring for them. Some blooming houseplant varieties cost as little as $5—much better than the marked up price you’ll spend on long-stemmed roses. Succulents, potted herbs, or other types of indoors plants are a great option instead of cut flowers that will only last a week or so. And house plants help keep the air in your home healthier!
Thank them for the memories
Print out pictures of the two of you and add to an inexpensive frame or collect into a photo book. Having a physical copy of the photos is so much more memorable than having the pictures locked away on your phone where you never see them. While you’re at it, search through your digital life and find all the romantic emails and texts that you’ve sent to each other. Print these out and add them to the photo album.
Keep them cozy.
Brr— it’s usually cold outside on Valentine’s Day. Everyone appreciates a cozy gift in the middle of winter. Some cozy comfort gift ideas include warm socks, delicious hot chocolate, a soft and warm blanket, and scented candles.
Make a playlist
Create a whole playlist of songs you think your sweetheart will enjoy. You can put a romantic twist on the gift by including songs that are special to you or that the two of you have memories of. Do you remember the song that was playing when you first met? Or the first song you danced to? Add songs that are the soundtrack to the important moments in your relationship.
Your Valentine’s Day celebration can be budget-friendly
All of these gifts are great ideas for people who want to spend less but make a big impact for Valentine’s Day this year. Personalized, homemade gifts usually cost less and mean more than the typical gifts people buy at the last minute as they’re rushing home to celebrate the day. No matter what your budget, give it that personal touch.