Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. The TV commercials may be showing luxury items like diamonds and long stemmed roses but we can still celebrate the day with something simpler and something much more budget-friendly. Check out these 12 Frugal but Sweet Valentine’s Day Ideas:
Leave hidden heart shaped love notes for your loved one – one where they’ll see it upon first awakening, one on the bathroom mirror, one in their lunch bag or briefcase, you might even be able to sneak some into the pockets of the clothes they’re going to wear that day or in their coat. Where else could you put them? Leave them everywhere you can think of!
Or draw hearts and write little messages of love on your mirrors and windows. You can use the old standby of lipstick or pick up some window markers at a craft or office supply store.
Send your loved one on a treasure hunt. My daughter always loved any excuse for a treasure hunt and the hunt in itself was a big part of the gift! What can you put at the end? How about a picnic dinner set up on the living room floor – or the clues could lead to the DVD player for a movie night or a game for board game night. If this is for your significant other, the clues could be a little more on the romantic side – text or email clues leading them back to a romantic picnic for two – or how about an indulgent candlelit bubblebath?
Make your food heart shaped! This is such an easy one but it makes the day so special for kids. We always did heart shaped pink pancakes for breakfast (it’s on a weekend this year but if it’s a school day you can make the pancakes ahead of time and freeze them until time to use them – I found they warmed up quite nicely in a toaster!), heart shaped sandwiches for lunch, and heart shaped pizza for dinner (make it yourself or there are some pizza joints that sell them on Valentine’s Day).
Do things for your loved ones. Instead of buying them gifts, give the gift of your time and service. Take care of some of their chores for them. Or declare a day off chores for everyone!
Instead of making crafts for the kids (or your significant other for that matter), get out the craft supplies and make some with them. It’s fun family time and a gift all in one!
Write your significant other a love letter. Not just little messages, write a full-fledged old-fashioned love letter. They’ll treasure it.
If not a letter, what about a list? When my daughter’s then-boyfriend was turning 21, she gave him a list of 21 things she loved about him the most. You could try to take it right up to 100 if you’re ambitious
Got snow? Create a heart or other Valentine themed shape with your footprints in the snow! Or put food coloring and water into a spray bottle and spray a design on the snow. Put it where your loved one is sure to see it!
Do you watch the Big Bang Theory? At one point in the episode called The Romantic Resonance, Penny is worried because she’s not as romantic as Leonard and has a hard time showing him how much he means to her. In the course of their discussion, she pulls out a box in which she has stored little things that remind her of him – an old inhaler of his that he left behind, the plane ticket he bought her when she was too broke to go home for the holidays, a rose he left on her windshield and so on. Do you have items like this? What about putting them into a box you decorate or framing them or even just getting them out on Valentine’s Day to show your loved one what you’ve saved?
Do you have a favorite movie with a romantic moment in it? You could try recreating that. Something like the guy in Say Anything holding the boombox over his head and playing a song outside the window of the girl he likes would make anyone smile. Or the movie (Juno is it?) where she fills the guy’s mailbox with Orange Tic Tacs because he loves them so much (ok so filling a whole mailbox is expensive but you could take inspiration from the idea, right?). Disney fans? How about a Lady and the Tramp inspired romantic spaghetti dinner?
If you’re inclined this way, compose a song or love poem. My daughter put my favourite song to music one year for Mother’s Day and it’s my favourite gift of all time.
What ideas do you have for a frugal Valentine’s Day?