We’ve all seen the ads:
“Every kiss begins with Kay”
“When you care enough to send the very best”
“A Diamond is forever”
“Say it with flowers”
In other words…. SPEND MORE MONEY!! Advertisers have worked very hard to get us to believe that our significant other has to spend lots of money on us in order for us to know that we are loved. Don’t believe it! Some of my most treasured gifts from my husband are the ones that didn’t cost any money at all!
Are you looking to spend less this Valentine’s Day? Here are some frugal, yet meaningful Valentine’s Day ideas to hopefully help in breaking away from the advertising push to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!
1) Make a coupon book!
These are one of my favorite things to give AND to get. I made one for my husband several years back by printing different “coupons” out on the printer and tying them together with a ribbon to make a book. You could put in coupons such as, “A weekend afternoon all to yourself,” “A gourmet meal of your choice (made by moi),” “I will watch whatever movie you pick and enjoy (or pretend to enjoy) it,” “A massage.” Be creative! You can also make a coupon book for your kids too with “coupons” like, “Pick any toy from the $1 aisle at Target,” “Ice Cream night at local ice cream shop with mom/dad,” “Pizza night (must have at least one day notice),” “Get to sleep in mom and dad’s room.” The possibilities really are endless.
Check out this great Valentine’s Day Coupon Book by Jessica over at Life As Mom (plus she has a GREAT list with a ton of DIY Valentine’s Day gifts!)
This coupon book by Jen over at Beauty and Bedlam would also be great (even though this one is for Christmas the sheets would work for any holiday).
2) Make a card yourself.
And even print it yourself! We love to print out photo cards on the computer to send to grandparents. You can make a card in Microsoft Publisher or Photoshop to print, OR you can even send a customized card through your iPhone/iPad using an app like Just Wink! Even with printing it, it comes out to MUCH less than you would pay for a typical greeting card… and it’s so much more memorable! (And less likely to be thrown away!)
One of my most prized possessions is a book of poems that Ryan has written to me over the past 14 years (don’t tell him I told you!) He got me a purple (my favorite color) picture album one year and has been putting poems in it ever since. The poems really are the best presents I could get! If you’re not the poetic type (that would be ME!), then write out on nice paper a list of 20 reasons why you love your mate. Or write out 15 ways your spouse makes you feel special. Or write down the best ten memories that you have had together. You could even mount it to a piece of cute scrapbooking paper and frame it if you are feeling especially crafty!
4) Make a personalized CD.
Now with iTunes, you can find your spouse’s (or boyfriend/girlfriend/kid’s) top favorite songs and create a collection for them! You could even record a personal message to play between the songs using a free audio application like Audacity with messages like, “Hey, I love you, I hope you have a great day at work today!” “Remeber when….” “You are the best husband/wife/etc… ever!” (Am I getting too cheesy? Okay, I’ll stop — but I actually think Ryan would enjoy something like that!)
What guy (or gal) wouldn’t love a valentines basket full of homemade goodies? Homemade Tea Cake cookies are a favorite around here at just about any holiday! Homemade Fudge is another favorite! How about homemade scones?! Pinterest is a wonderful place to get inspiration for your baking project!
6) Sew a gift!
I’m thinking Ryan wouldn’t be too interested in anything that I could sew, but both of my daughters would love to have something that I made for them! Again, pinterest is a great source of inspiration for homemade items (like these skirts that Monica at The Homespun Heart made that look easy and that I know my daughters would love!) Check out how she did it with just 1/2 a yard of fabric HERE.
7. Shop online!
If homemade just isn’t your thing, Amazon has a whole page dedicated to Valentine’s Day gifts. You can sort it by price to find something that is within your budget. I typically do a lot of my holiday shopping through Amazon since it’s so convenient and the prices are generally the best!
8. Use a coupon to go out!
While the most frugal idea would likely be to stay home and fix something yourself, it sure it nice to get out every so often! If you can arrange for a babysitter (or swap babysitting with another family) then there are several ways to stay frugal while going out to eat. We have a whole Restaurant Coupons Database where you can see ALL of the current coupons for restaurants across the country, and you can always check out Restaurant.com for any great % off deals for local restaurants.
I’ve also been pretty impressed with the restaurant deals that the daily deal sites like Groupon have available to buy.
9) Save for next year!
No, not just your money. Save up for gift cards using Swagbucks!! Through using Swagbucks as your search engine (just like you would use Google or Yahoo), you can easily earn enough “bucks” to give your valentine a nice Amazon or Starbucks gift card (or use the gift cards to buy a present on Amazon) next year… FOR FREE! Sign up here to start earning Swagbucks!
Do you have any frugal gift ideas to share? I would love to hear them!