But just because it's not one of my favorite holidays, that doesn't mean I don't celebrate it. In fact, I like to celebrate it by spending time, not money. Does it mean you love someone more because you spent more money on them? Of course not.
Here are some great and inexpensive way to show someone you love them:
1) Put it in writing. Write down everything you love and admire about your valentine on little slips of paper. Then, put them in a jar or a canister. It's a very thoughtful and easy gift! Bonus: put the slips of paper in fortune cookies! I was asked to Prom with this technique (totally creative, right?). When I asked how he did it, he said he used a bent paper clip to hook the old fortune and get it out of the cookie, then slid his personalized fortune in! If you have more time, here's a Wiki of How to Make a Fortune Cookie.
2) Speaking of fortune cookies, Valentine's Day shares the same day with Chinese New Year this year! See if your community is hosting a celebration!
3) Grant a wish. This is kind of like a reverse coupon book, but have your sweetie write down things they would like (make dinner, night out on the town, etc). And then grant one wish every week. This works particularly well, because who doesn't like extended presents?
4) Do something your love likes to do but isn't your favorite - foreign films, ice skating, or going to the theater. It'll mean something to them that you made the extra effort to make them happy.
5) Related to #4, do something your sweet HATES to do - organize the garage, clean the bathroom. That might mean more.
6) Bring luxury in - create your own spa! Get some wine and cheese, light some candles, put Enya or Sade on the stereo, and fill up a tub with bubbles and rose petals. Maybe offer a massage, and even make your own massage oil for pretty cheap!
7) Make a Favorite Things box. Put all of your honey's favorite things in a bag or box - for my husband, I'd include Swedish fish, a Ruination IPA from Stone Brewery, a Guns and Roses mix, anything Oregon Duck related, and a promise to make his mom's Chicken Parmesan. This shows the other person you pay attention to what makes them happy! How romantic is that?
8) If you wanted to go the flowers/chocolate route, don't get an overpriced bouquet that will die within days. Get a potted plant that will grow and bloom - like your love. :) And you can make your own chocolate! Go to CreateMyChocolate and choose a chocolate base (dark, milk, white), fruit, spices, nuts, grains and more! Or get a gift certificate for them to make their own.
9) Check out your local paper on free or inexpensive events to do around town.
10) Breakfast in bed. Who doesn't like breakfast in bed? Breakfast foods are usually cheap and easy to make and it's a great way to start your day!
I'd love to hear what you all are doing for Valentine's Day! Anyone incorporating budget-friendly ideas?