What is not to love about Valentine's Day? It is a time to show the people in our
lives how much we love them by throwing expensive gifts at them and demonstrating
this by the amount of money we spend. Or is it? The card companies would like us
to believe that this is what makes the holiday special. This holiday can be a tightwad's
worst nightmare, but it doesn't have to be. For those of us who are tight on money,
it is a great way to show how creative we can be when giving gifts and it is a wonderful
time to display all of our talents. Here are a few creative and budget-friendly
ideas for making this holiday special for that certain someone in your life.
Table for Two
The Valentine's Day that I loved the most was the year that we couldn't get a babysitter
for our son. We were broke and could not afford a dinner out, let alone the price
of getting someone to babysit. That year, I was able to really let my creativity
shine through. I got a folding table and chairs out and covered the table with a
long tablecloth (you could also use a sheet). I put a candle in the center and made
us a steak dinner and bought a bottle of inexpensive wine. When my husband got home,
I suprised him at the door and told him that I was able to get reservations at our
favorite place and showed him our table. After our son went to bed, we had the best
dinner and enjoyed some wonderful conversation together. The food was superb and
the price tag was just right!
The Written Word
There is nothing more powerful than the written word. I have saved many notes that
my husband has written me over the years. When we were younger we would write top
ten lists of why that person was special to us. Writing a list of reasons why you
love someone makes them feel much more special than an expensive gift could. Take
lipstick and write a special note to your spouse on the mirror. You could also tuck
a note in their briefcase or in their lunch to suprise them and tell them how much
they mean to you. One year, my husband saved all of the red Hershey Kisses from
a bag of Christmas candies that we had and made a trail of them up to our room.
He made a giant heart out of them and in the center was a note about how much I
meant to him and to our family. That gift stands out to me more than a bouquet of
roses could because it was a powerful statement of how much he appreciated me. Those
are the kinds of gifts that create lasting memories.
Coupons & Chores
What could say more to someone than you actually doing something for them? Give
your spouse the day off and pick up the slack of the chores for them. Take the dog
for a walk, take out the trash, wash the car, get their oil changed- do anything
that they would do that day so that they can sit and relax. A more creative way
of doing the same thing would be to create coupons for your spouse. Include items
on it that you know they would hate doing and write them up on construction paper.
An envelope of coupons shows how much you appreciate them and, as long as they don't
use the coupons up all once, it is a gift that you can give throughout the year.
Give your spouse something and then offer them the opportunity to receive it monthly.
It can be something inexpensive like a batch of their favorite cookies or a date
night to the dollar movie each month- just something that you can afford to do monthly
and that will show how much you appreciate and love them.
Cooking for someone is one of the greatest acts of love. Maybe you don't think of
it because you do it all of the time, but each dish you make is filled with love
and care for someone else. Make your spouse a lunch filled with heart shaped sandwiches
or use the theme of the color red throughout all of the dishes. You could also surprise
your spouse at work and bring them their lunch filled with heartfelt goodies in
person. Sharing food with them in a creative way shows how much you really care
I Heart You
Show your love by making them a good old-fashioned Valentine. Use red construction
paper, lace doilies, and crayons and cut out paper hearts just like you did when
you were little. No one can resist a homemade Valentine, not even when you are an