How is it already mid-February? If you’re like me, you have barely recovered from the holidays. All the dining out, celebrations, and gift-giving were fun, but now you’re stuck sewing the hole that burned in your pocket. Then, just when you think you’ve finally caught up, sneaky February 14th is upon you vying for your love and credit cards. Yes, Valentine’s Day can very much feel like a commercial holiday and yet, many of us want to celebrate it by showering our loved ones with costly gifts. If you are looking for that kind of gift guide, this isn’t it. As the title suggests, this Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is for those who want to show their Valentine some affection while still being budget-conscious. As a bonus, these gifts take little planning and can come together in less than a day.
Without further ado, here are 6 inexpensive gifts for Valentine’s Day.
- A framed photo of the two of you from a special moment or day
In today’s digital world, framed photos are rare which makes them all the more a precious gift. If you don’t have a printer and photo paper at home, there are many stores that offer in-store digital photo printing and pickup. Plus, while you’re there, you can find a nice frame to go along with the photo. After Valentine’s Day, the framed photo is sure to be shown off on a mantel, nightstand, or desk at the office.
- Breakfast in bed
There’s something so special about being served a meal in bed first thing in the morning. It’s the stuff fairytales are made of – not having to cook, think, parent, or brush your teeth before being served a nourishing meal to start the day off right. You know your Valentine best, so make a breakfast they love. Maybe it’s pancakes with a smile on top that's made of blueberries and bananas or a savory dish of eggs, potatoes, and buttered toast. Whatever the dish, pair it with a sweet note and their favorite a.m. beverage.
- Jar of “sweet nothings”
What does your Valentine do that makes you smile? What happy memories do you two share that come to mind at weird times of the day? What kind words or quotes would lift them up? Take one or two pieces of 8.5 x 11” printer paper (any color) and cut it into even strips with enough room on each strip for a short note. Hand write your sweet nothings, fold the paper, and add it to a jar or other small container. Lastly, decorate the jar with a label and ribbon. Throughout the year, continue to add notes to the jar to keep the affection going.
- Date night at home
Dinner and a movie is a great date night idea that can easily be had in the comfort of your own home. To prep, fluff up the couch pillows, bring out the comfy throws, and turn down the lights. Cook a no-fuss meal that’s easy to eat while watching a movie (or, pop some popcorn). Pizza comes to mind, but nachos, a cheese plate, or other type of finger food would be good. Meanwhile, let your Valentine choose any movie (yes, any) to rent or stream. Don’t forget dessert about halfway through the movie – boxed movie candy, homemade brownies, or ice cream are fantastic choices.
- Clean the house
I realize that a clean house should be an everyday given, but let’s be honest with ourselves – we’re busy and often settle for a quick wipe of the counters and sweep. Take cleaning a step further for your Valentine by identifying what in your home has been neglected for a while and make it sparkle again. Maybe it’s cleaning the shelves in your refrigerator and adding a new box of baking soda to absorb odors, taking a toothbrush to the grout in the tile, deep cleaning the carpet and sofa, or coming up with a solution for the ever-growing junk mail pile. Clean it up, get the home smelling nicely with room diffuser oil or spray, and add some fresh flowers.
- Game night for two
Does your Valentine enjoy games and look to play them at every gathering? Are they more “game on” and you’re more “no game”? I can relate, which is why I know that a game night for two makes for a great gift. Games aren’t just for groups. There are plenty of options out there that are perfect for two people – Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, Connect Four, Jenga, Bananagrams, Checkers, etc. Buy a game that’s new to your home and accompany it with snacks such as pretzels, trail mix, and chips and dip and a bottle of wine or your Valentine’s favorite beverage.
Valentine’s Day can be done right on a budget. There are plenty of inexpensive ways to show your Valentine that they are on your mind and you have nothing but x’s and o’s for them. We’re curious to learn – what are some of your favorite gifts to give while maintaining a budget? Let us know your Smarter Banking gift-giving tips in the comments section below.