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Budget Friendly Valentine Gift Ideas

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The following article is by Kristi, our staff writer. She is a great freelance writer, blogger, wife, and stay at home mom of two.

Budget Friendly Valentine Gift IdeasWhat 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

Potted flowers

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.

Home-made gifts

Photo album

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.

Home-made dinner

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.

Personalized gifts

Personalized jewelry

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

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{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jay February 3, 2016, 3:31 am

    I’d like to add one– learning a romantic song and playing/singing it. If you’re musically inclined, this is really fun, and it’s free! My favorites so far have been “Black is the Color (of my True Love’s Hair” and “Lion’s Mane” as songs to play, “All the World is Green” to hear. Best of all, the gift lasts for as long as one remembers the song.

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 8:17 am

      Music is a great gift! If you’re musically inclined, a song written just for your significant other would mean more than any store bought gift.

  • Pennypincher February 3, 2016, 4:22 am

    Giving chocolate should be the sixth love language.

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 8:18 am

      Ha! Yes, I agree! My love languages would be acts of service, quality time, and chocolate.

  • Mike Drak February 3, 2016, 7:29 am

    This might be a little off topic but for a while now I’ve beed tired about how the marketers have tried to guilt us into spending money on these events. On Valentine’s day it’s hard to get into a restaurant, most raise their prices, and the same goes for cards, flowers etc. and I’ve had enough. Don’t get me wrong I love my wife and I’m lucky to have her in my life but I’m tired of being taken advantage of so instead we will celebrate the occasion on Friday of that week and I will be bringing my boys along to join in the party.
    ps She loves the idea!

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 8:19 am

      I don’t blame you. My husband typically works every holiday, so we end up celebrating Valentines Day a day or two late anyway. Don’t feel pressured into marketing tactics. It sounds like you, your wife, and your boys will have a great time together with your alternative Valentine’s Day plans.

  • BeckyBoo February 3, 2016, 10:23 am

    Here’s an awesome gift for less than $20. Write your own poem using candy bars as key words. Buy a poster board 99-1.59 at most stores. Write the poem— and insert candy bars as the poem goes. It will be largest and most creative card they will every receive.
    You make my Starsburst, You are better than $100,000, I hope this card makes you snicker, I love you to Pieces, You are my carmello, my Nerd and Big Hunk. Lets have mounds of almond joy . hugs and kisses. — Google it. Lots of pictures.

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 10:54 am

      I have seen pictures of those before, but I’ve never actually made a candy card. It’s a great idea, though! Thanks for sharing!

  • retirebyforty February 3, 2016, 10:43 am

    I don’t think we’ll do anything this Valentine. Life is just so busy. We’re going to 2 kindergarten open-houses this week. The school boundary is changing and we’re not sure which school Jr. will attend next year. Valentine isn’t a big deal for us anyway. Homemade dinner is probably the way to go for us. We haven’t had a nice steak in a long while.

    • Mayan Queen February 4, 2016, 1:38 am

      Hmmm… Joe, I live in California and as far as I am concerned are multiple ways to send your child to the school of your choice. There are special permits…such as a. sitter that lives in the area and just has to fill out the special forms. Also in many schools they have lotteries/raffles. Relatives that live in the area of the school of your choice. Another are the magnet schools and making sure the “choice” forms are done on time, etc. My children always went to the school I wanted them to attend. It just so happened that they were all out of their area but it was worth it.
      In regards to Valentines, we don’t celebrate it either. We just don’t give each other presents for any occasion. We just feel that our love for each other is enough. There are sometimes we give each other presents but it’s is not a set date. I do remember one day my husband gave me 100 roses! That was unforgettable because we lived in a one bedroom apartment and I practically ran out of containers and space where to place sooooo many roses! So if you going to give your wife some flowers give her 100! She will be off your back for sometime contemplating her flowers!

      • retirebyforty February 5, 2016, 10:16 am

        100 roses! That’s a lot. I suspect the missus will appreciate 100 crisp new dollar bills more. Maybe I can make a bouquet of bucks for her. 🙂

  • Kristi February 3, 2016, 10:59 am

    How frustrating! A change in zoning lines sounds like a big hassle.

    I usually make a bigger deal out of Valentine’s Day for the kids because my daughter loves hearts, flowers, and anything pink. A homemade steak dinner will probably be how we celebrate together after the kids go to bed this year.

  • Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire February 3, 2016, 12:23 pm

    Great ideas- I think I’ll try making dinner this year to save some dough!

    I’d add: use some skill you have to make something memorable. I do woodworking, so I’m going to make a heart box out of an old walnut log!

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 4:44 pm

      A home made heart box sounds like a lovely gift idea!

  • Stockbeard February 3, 2016, 1:12 pm

    Thanks, great ideas and I also love the idea of the Candy card. Will try to be creative this year!

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 4:45 pm

      I have always found the personal and creative gifts to be the most memorable!

  • Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life February 3, 2016, 2:48 pm

    Some great ideas! I think things get way too expensive when you or your special someone has big expectations for the day. We’ve never made it to be a big holiday, so it’s never gotten overly expensive. We usually will go out to eat someplace not too expensive and write each other homemade cards. One year I got potted mini roses which I loved! Simple and thoughtful is usually best.

    • Kristi February 3, 2016, 4:46 pm

      I agree! Simple and thoughtful is the way to go.

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