Almost as soon as the winter holidays were over, you probably noticed the Valentine’s Day decorations popping up. This can be another holiday that comes with commercialized pressure, usually in the form of “Show them you care by buying X, Y, and Z!” Those on a budget shouldn’t worry, however, because we have some thoughtful gift ideas to show that love doesn’t have to be measured by a price tag. Some ideas for creating a Valentine’s Day on a budget:
Write a Letter: Preferably by hand, since it adds a bit more of a personal touch to an already heartwarming gesture. Take some time to sit down and write out a letter to your significant other, family member, or friend. If you’re suffering from some writer’s block, think about the things you admire about them, memories you have shared, thoughts about the future, and so on. The inherent thoughtfulness that goes into a handwritten letter is a great way to demonstrate affection without dropping lots of money.
Do Something Nice. Chores may not seem that romantic, but you’d be surprised by how appreciated they are. Do something out of the ordinary like cleaning someone’s car, dropping off/picking up dry-cleaning, offering to babysit, etc. The only thing these tasks cost you is some time, but doing something helpful for someone leaves a longer impression than a box of chocolates.
Make Dinner at Home. While having a nice, romantic meal has it’s benefits, this doesn’t necessarily have to be at an expensive restaurant. You’ll save the stress of making a reservation, which can be difficult (especially if you haven’t been paying attention to the calendar). A dinner at home can be a more relaxed atmosphere, you can eat when YOU’RE hungry, the menu is up to you, and, of course, you save some money. The other great part of dinner at home- there’s no limit to table space (well, depending on the size of your table, that is). You can make dinner at home for several friends, too, or make it a potluck.
Make a Bucket List Together. This may sound morbid, but it can be a fun activity, and you can make it a “Bucket List for 2017.” Grab some wine, snacks, pen and paper, and think about some activities or goals you want to accomplish in the next year. If you’re doing this with a significant other, you could make this a bucket list of things you’d like to accomplish together in the future. This can also be a fun friend activity. Your friends may inspire or challenge you in your list creation, too. No matter how you decide to make the activity happen, the idea is to enjoy one another’s company and have a lot of fun.
Make Something. We’ve already mentioned a few ways to create something on Valentine’s Day, but there are many other ideas out there. If you’re good at knitting or crocheting, you can make something special for someone. Even baking homemade goods and delivering them (especially if you know someone’s favorite treat) is more meaningful than something from a store. If you like to paint, draw, etc, you could make a card or small picture. Perhaps you’re more of a writer, you could create a poem. If you’re a musician, learn to sing or play someone’s favorite song.
Valentine’s Day can be another holiday that is associated with a steep price tag. Keep in mind, thoughtful gestures and gifts don’t have to break the bank and can leave a longer lasting impression.