7 Thrifty Valentines Day Gift Ideas

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Valentine’s Day is one of those days that I love, but honestly? I really hate at the same time. I know that I personally feel like I have to buy my Tom a gift and he feels the same. The funny thing is that these days I would be just as happy with a hug and an “I love you….oh and I washed, folded and dried the laundry.” (Oh come on, you know you would too!) So that got me thinking…why should we be spending big bucks, that a lot of us don’t really have to spend, on items to cater to a holiday that really was commercialized only to sell greeting cards?

Think you can't afford Valentine's Day this year? Think again! These 7 Thrifty Valentine's Day Gift Ideas won't break your bank and are sure to show your Sweetheart how much you care!


3 years ago when Tom and I first started dating, I didn’t think that way at all. In fact? I thought the exact opposite. I had been a single Mom for 3 years at that point and our very first Valentine’s Day, I was crushed when he didn’t live up to what I thought he should have done. Don’t ask me why, but I had this huge voice in my head that screamed that he should have done the candy/flowers/romantic dinner thing and let me tell you, he didn’t.  Honestly? I was crushed. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, but more that he simply didn’t see the need to spend tons of money on showing me he loves me when he tries to do that everyday.

7 Thrifty Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

These days? I’m more of a “do we really have to waste the money?” kind of person. I like to pretend it is because I’ve grown up a lot but in reality, it’s because I’ve grown to be really cheap. Instead, we prefer to either make things for each other or to show our gifts in other ways to “celebrate” Valentine’s Day. Most years we don’t buy each other anything, but if we do, we do it on the cheap. We prefer instead to do thrifty Valentine’s Day gifts and to keep our money right where we both want it…in the bank.

Re-purpose holiday clearance – After Christmas sales are a holy event to a lot of deal seekers and there is a very good reason for that. Food and coffee gift sets, solid colored candles and glassware, and various candy items all make awesome gifts not only for Valentine’s Day, but birthdays, good behavior rewards and more. To score big on these kinds of sales, start watching online retailers around midnight the day after any major holiday. The items sell out quickly, but if you’re paying attention, you can score big.

Get crafty –Why spend big bucks on cards and gifts when you can try making your own? DIY Valentine’s Day gifts are so easy to make and usually just require a little paper and glue. Head to your local dollar store and grab some craft supplies and see what you can create. Not only is it frugal, but its a great way to add a personal touch.

Turn the Oven On – Everyone loves a sweet treat and cookies and cakes are usually pretty inexpensive to make. Pull out your mixer and whip your sweetheart up a special treat made right from the heart. Just be sure to be mindful of any special diets they may have.  Gifts like cupcakes, cookies and candies all are all usually very well received. To make it extra special, swing by your local thrift store and pick up a pretty tin. Clean it well and use that to deliver your tasty vittles in. For Tom, I tend to bake my Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies for him. They’re one of his favorites and I don’t bake them often so they are a treat when I do.

Get writing – Another awesome way to tell someone how much you care on a budget is to do simply that. You don’t need to be an awesome poet to do it. They will love getting one from you just because  you tell them how you feel. Don’t do it on the computer though. Pull out the old notebook and pen and write them a letter. Handwritten letters are so much more personal than the computer and will give your gift that special touch that it needs to finish it off.

Sing it out – Another totally free way to give a thrifty “gift,” is to sing! Sing them their favorite song, sing a love song or just make up the words as you go! Either way? They’ll smile at your effort and you’ll have made an awesome memory. Want to make it even cheesier and more romantic? Play an instrument when you sing. Trust me. Melting hearts all around.

 Make a “State” night – Yeah I know. It doesn’t make sense does it? Yup! What is a “State” night? It’s a stay in date night, of course! Gather up a few blankets, spread them out on the floor, pop some popcorn and cuddle in the dark while you watch sappy romance movies together. Your out of pocket cost? Only the popcorn if you have Netflix. My Tom and I actually do this on a regular basis for date night. The only difference? We watch “B” class movies together and make fun of how cheesy they are. It can even be fun to turn the volume down and make up your own script!

Starry Nights – Lastly, a great option for keeping Valentine’s Day in your budget is to just go watch the stars. Of course this only works if the weather cooperates, but if it does, you’re in like Flynn! Grab a warm and comfy blanket, pack some romantic snacks (strawberries, sparkling cider, etc) and head out to your local lake or park. Watch the stars over the lake together while you snuggle together to stay warm, talk and get to know each other again! You could even hold a contest to see how many constellations you can each name!


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Stacy Ott
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Stacy Ott

Stacy Ott is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family.By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Stacy is passionate about homeless advocacy and addiction education.  Her first book, also called Six Dollar Family is available on Amazon.

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