Chocolates, roses and teddy bears are in every store, on every shelf. Why not do something a little more thoughtful? Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, but it doesn’t mean you have to waste your money tchotchke that nobody needs. In America, the holiday has come to be known as the day that you show someone how much you love them–or simply that you care about and appreciate them. I’m not convinced that a box of chocolates says “I love you.” Instead, try these cheap Valentine’s day gift ideas on your loved one, sweetheart or not. We promise that you won’t break the bank, and they’ll appreciate the outside-the box-thinking.
1. Photo Book
Snapfish, Shutterfly, and other similar sites make this so easy. The photo book is super easy once you upload the pictures, and it’s a really nice touch to add personal comments in text boxes. You can add notes, mementos, dates, speech bubbles and other cute stuff.
Get tickets to Something HE OR SHE likes to do. Simply, show that you’re paying attention, and that you care what his or her hobbies are. Try indoor rock climbing, movie passes, tickets to a concert, or something else that you can do together that pays special attention to the interests of your significant others.
3. Dinner or Brunch
Cook, and do it up nice. Use the good china, a fancy tablecloth, candles, and napkin holders. Put water in a pitcher and champagne on the table. Nothing replaces good of fashioned togetherness–and show that you’ve put some time and thought into your gathering. Even if there is no significant other in your life, this is a great idea for friends. And you can write a special note on each place setting to show them you appreciate them.
4. Scavenger hunts
Put cute notes and small gifts about the house or around town, even. Notes should be thoughtful and remind her or him of something you once did or plan to do together.
5. Something he or she actually needs.
I got tired of seeing watches all over my dresser, so I bought my husband a case for his watches and persoanlize it. He appreciated the gesture (for his collection), and I appreciated a place to put his stuff! Check out Uncommon Goods for really cool gifts in every price range.
6. The Love Jar
Buy a mason jar and fill it with little love notes–they should be personal things that you appreciate about your loved one. He or she can open one note per day–spreading the love for months to come. A variation of this is to leave notes around the house, with no real rhyme or reason (unlike a scavenger hunt). Your loved one will find them by surprise when he opens the fridge, his computer, the cabinets, etc.