February 11th, 2013
If you haven’t gotten your Valentine’s Day gifts yet, you’re not alone. Nearly half of the people who plan to do something for their loved ones wait until the last minute. But there’s still time to buy or make meaningful and inexpensive Valentine’s Day gifts.
What really counts is the thought, sincerity and emotion you put into a gift. If you’re on a budget, here are some thoughtful gift ideas that cost very little but will be priceless to your loved one.
For the romantic
- Write a love letter that expresses how much they mean to you.
- Make a love coupon book with a promise on each coupon for things like a massage, car wash, or breakfast in bed. There are templates for adults and kids. Get more ideas here.
- Plan an indoor picnic – order takeout, light some candles, throw a blanket in the middle of the room, and turn on the music.
- If you like to bake, make something special like conversation hearts cheesecakes, red velvet cake or brownies.
- Get flowers – if prices are prohibitive for a bouquet, then buy one long-stem rose. Remember the grocery stores and shopping clubs have good prices on cut flowers.
- Scatter rose petals in the shape of a heart.
For the music lover
- Make a CD of music (some downloads are free) and personalize the cover with a favorite photo.
- Buy the musician a pack of pics for guitar or sticks for drum, and personalize them.
For the outdoor person
Shift your celebration to the weekend and give them the gift of a perfect day!
- Plan a walk around a park
- Plan a picnic on a beach
- Go hiking or camping
- Visit a scenic spot for star-gazing
- Ride bicycles somewhere new
- If they enjoy gardening, decorate seed packets with hearts and put them in little pots.
For the sports enthusiast
- Get tickets to their favorite sporting event
- Order a subscription to a sports magazine, either regular or digital
For the book lover or artistic soul
- Get them a book of poetry or a novel written by their favorite author and make a special Valentine heart bookmark or owl bookmark for it.
- Take them to visit a free art exhibit.
- Make a basket of inexpensive scrapbooking or art supplies, shop and save with these coupons.
For the foodie
- Hand-select 12 different brews for the beer lover. Some local groceries and specialty liquor stores let you do that, and I saw a boxed assortment at Sam’s Club.
- Prepare bacon roses or heart-shaped bacon for a family breakfast.
- Make a cook’s basket with kitchen utensils you can find at the grocery store.
Just for fun
- Many of these last minute ideas cost nothing but still show your thoughtfulness.
- Make something different for the kids with these pirate valentines and other free printables.
- Try some of these special Valentine treats or crafts.
- Get two sets of classes to something you’ve both always wanted to learn together. Dancing, wine tasting and yoga are all fun, and this is a gift where the giver will also benefit.
- The Treemail iPhone app is a cute way to carve initials in a virtual tree and tell your sweetie how you really feel without harming a real tree.
- Make fortune “cookies” from colorful wrapping paper and insert sweet personalized Valentine fortunes. Put them with some candy kisses or hearts into a Chinese takeout container, available at craft stores.
If you’re not feeling creative, check out this list of 100 clever Valentine messages paired with treats or inexpensive gift ideas, and Valentine’s Day deals posted on Buxr for some ideas. I think Valentine’s Day is more about recognition than materialistic gifts, so being creative and sincere will likely score you more points than a box of chocolates.
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