The following article is by Kristi, our staff writer. She is a great freelance writer, blogger, wife, and stay at home mom of two.
What started as a liturgical celebration of an early Christian saint has become an 18 billion dollar per year business. Valentine’s Day, as it’s now known, has millions of Americans flocking in droves to their nearest department or discount store to pick up something to give to their sweetheart.
Last year, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day doled out $142.31 total on gifts for their significant other, family, friends, co-workers, teachers, and classmates etc.; $96.63 of that total went to their spouse or significant other while the rest of the average Valentine’s Day budget was split amongst their other recipients.
It’s easy to see how Valentine’s Day gift expenses could easily reach or overcome the national average. Dinner alone could cost $96.63 at an upscale restaurant, not to mention the cost of flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or whatever else you decide to spend your money on.
There’s no question that you don’t have to spend nearly that much on Valentine’s Day if you don’t want to. There are some fantastic gift ideas out there for individuals who enjoy participating in the holiday but don’t enjoy spending too much money.
If you enjoy partaking in the holiday but want to fall below the average on spending, check out this list of budget-friendly Valentine gift ideas that your significant other will love.
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Alternatives to the classics
Why spend $50 or more on cut flowers? While they look beautiful for a time, they’ll will and die in a week or two. Don’t let that bouquet of over-priced roses tempt you into going over your budget.
If your significant other loves nature, pick up a pot of planted roses, a beautiful Peace Lily, or even a fern or other gorgeous house plant. Most potted plants won’t run you more than $25 each, meaning, they’re both less expensive, and they’ll last indefinitely.
Bouquet of candy
A box of gourmet chocolates can run upwards of $25 or more. If your significant other has a sweet tooth, make them a bouquet of their favorite candy instead. Simply tape a wooden skewer to the backs of ten or more candy bars, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind Valentine candy gift bouquet.
With the prominence of Facebook, digital pictures, and other social media accounts, a lot of people don’t bother to take the time to print out their favorite pictures. Take the time to hunt down your significant others best photos, both online and in their memory drives, and print them out to put into a photo album. They’ll love how much time and effort you put into giving them a lasting Valentine gift that they’ll love.
Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun on occasion, but unless you go early or to less popular destinations, the wait for food can be horrendous. If you’d like to spend a quiet, one-on-one dinner with your loved one, why not cook a special home-made dinner instead? I’m not talking spaghetti or meatloaf, either. Cook something special that you don’t typically have together. Even if you end up having wine with your favorite steaks, you’ll be spending less money than you would out at a restaurant.
Gifts from the heart
Notebook of emails
Search through your social media and emails and find all of the romantic emails you have ever sent to one another. Print them out and add them to a photo album. Compiling all of you love exchanges into one place is a gift that will be completely unexpected, but a gift that your partner will adore.
Household chores you hate
Acts of service are one of the five love languages. If your significant other feels your love for them through acts of service, complete household chores that you hate to do (or rarely do at all). Has the cluttered attic been bothering your significant other? Go through all of the old stuff, donate what you don’t need, and organize the rest. Time-consuming or difficult tasks like cleaning the garage or detailing the car will mean way more to your loved one than a Hallmark card.
Do you enjoy buying jewelry for your significant other for Valentine’s Day? Try getting them something from a unique jewelry maker instead this year. Etsy is a great website to find one-of-a-kind pieces that that can’t be found on department store shelves. Customizable, personalized jewelry won’t run you more than $20 in some of the fantastic Etsy shops.
An experience they’ll love
There’s no rule that says Valentine’s Day has to be all hearts and flowers, candy and chocolates. If typical Valentine fare isn’t your thing (or your significant other’s), get them a gift that they’ll enjoy on a different day in the year. Whether it’s movie theater tickets, tickets to a local hockey game, or a voucher for a local adventure like kayaking or white-water rafting experience, use Valentine’s Day to get your significant other an experience that they’ll love.
Valentine gifts can be budget-friendly
All of the above gifts are great gift ideas for people who want to fall below the average on amount spend for Valentine’s Day this year. Home-made gifts, gifts from the heart, and personalized gifts usually cost less and mean more than typical gifts of balloons, flowers, teddy bears, and chocolates.
Traditional gifts are great in moderation, but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little bit. If you want to do something a little bit different for your loved ones this year, as well as stay within budget, get creative and think outside the chocolate box for Valentine’s Day.
Do you participate in Valentine gift giving? Do you usually fall below, on, or above the average for Valentine’s Day spending?
Image credit: by johnlemon