Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to break the bank! If you’re looking forward to exchanging gifts without going broke, we’ve got some frugal Valentine’s Day gifts (and a holiday playlist!) for you.
A mix tape . . . He made a mix tape . . . . He was thinking of me which shows he cares! Sometimes when someone has a crush on you, they’ll make you a mix tape to give you a clue . . . .
—Mix Tape, Avenue Q
Whether your relationship is based on music or you regularly hear songs that make you think of that special someone, a mix tape is a great, low-cost gift. Don’t want to be restrained by the length of a cassette or blank CD? Try a playlist on your favourite platform! If you need some inspiration, check out my Spotify playlist here.
Fonder of writing the lyrics for yourself? Write your loved one a letter! From a post-it note to a full-fledged letter from “The Sweetheart City,” Loveland, CO, the options are endless!
For a small cost, you could put together a photo album with your favourite photos with your loved one or that exciting trip the two of you took. Or, for an even more frugal option, DIY a frame to feature your number one snapshot!
Pro tip: keep an eye out for free codes and other great deals from sites like Shutterfly—you could even get a free photo book made up!
Want to share the sentiment of a card without it cluttering your apartment (or having it thrown out!)? Head to the store with the recipient and exchange cards in-store! Simply pick out your favourite card and give it to them then and there. They won’t have the keepsake of your personalised signature or note, but for those who don’t mind, this is a great option.
You don’t need to head to the florist to buy those $40 roses. If you have access to a garden, test out your own flower-arranging skills to make a handmade bouquet (only if you have permission to pick flowers, of course!). No real flowers on hand, or do one of you have an allergy? Time to get crafty. Head to your local dollar store and scope out their artificial flower selection—you can get some lovely blooms that won’t wilt. Or, get even more Pinterest-y and create your own flowers from tissue paper, cardstock, or whatever DIY method you prefer!
One of my favourite gifts, both to give and to receive, is a favourite book. I keep a handful of copies of Breakfast at Tiffany’s on hand just in case. You don’t need to mimic Chandler Bing and find a vintage or autographed copy. Pick up a used copy from a local shop or from ThriftBooks—many bookworms will prefer a copy with a bit of history!
Treat your SO to a day at the spa for a portion of the cost by DIY-ing a little something special! You can make all sorts of good-for-you spa treatments with just items that you probably have in the kitchen or bathroom cabinets already. It’s all just a quick Pinterest search away!
I might be a bit biased when it comes to this one (if you haven’t seen previously, I’m a poet myself—check out Mistakes Were Made!). Get creative with a piece of your own or dedicate a few loving lines from a favourite poet to your Valentine—just be sure to give the poet credit where credit is due!
Who needs a fancy floral arrangement? Get creative and make him/her a hand-chosen gift basket. Check out the dollar store (or Poundland!) for some festive goodies. Have a cinephile on your hands? Find a favourite movie and add it to the basket with some popcorn. Coffee addict? Grab a holiday mug and some coffee!
A deck of cards
No, you don’t need to be gifting this to a poker pro. This DIY gift idea has been floating around Pinterest (are you following us yet?) for ages and it’s almost always a hit. Have you ever wanted to buy him/her a LoveBook but couldn’t fit it in the budget? Put together a “52 Things I Love About You” set for the cost of a deck of cards (the dollar store is your friend!) and some craft supplies. It’s even portable, should they want to carry it with them anywhere!
Not only is simple candy relatively cheap itself (no, you don’t need a $58 heart-shaped box of truffles), but you can even make your own (like our 3-Ingredient Vegan Chocolates!)! Check out our list of vegan Valentine’s Day candy for some store-bought and homemade ideas.
Most importantly, remember that spending money on someone doesn’t prove your love for them.
What frugal Valentine’s Day gifts are you giving this year?