Creative and Inexpensive Valentine's Day Gifts

Do you want to get a Valentine's Day gift for that special someone, but don't have money to burn? Are you tired of those 'conversation hearts' that taste like chalk, or those 'soft-center surprise' chocolates? Do you just want to get the person or people you love something that's different from the norm and that they might get more use out of? I've been there. Money isn't exactly my friend right now, and I have a husband with unusual tastes. Times like this call for a Valentine's Day gift that is still fun, but doesn't cost a lot of money and that isn't 'same-old, same-old'. Here are a few ideas I've picked up over the years.

Love Coupon” book. They sell these in a lot of stores, but you can easily make them with a simple printer. Each 'coupon' could be good for whatever you want- “redeemable for one free back rub”, “You get to pick the restaurant”, “free pass to go out with the guys”, etc. I think my favorite is the “get out of the doghouse free” card! The only limit is your imagination.

'Game Day' gift basket. For the sports fan, you can make a gift basket of his favorite snack foods and drinks in a 'game day' theme. It doesn't have to be very expensive-beer, popcorn, chips and pizza coupons would do. Depending on the sport, you can also probably find chocolates in the shape of the ball used. I haven't seen any chocolate hockey pucks for my hockey-fan husband, so I could make brownies or cookies in the same shape with his favorite team's logo on it. If he's not into sports, you could do the same thing in a 'movie night' or 'TV night' theme. It doesn't really matter what the theme is; he'll appreciate that you went to the trouble to put together a gift basket just for him!

Classic love note. In these days when everything is typed, it's easy to forget how much of a thrill it can be to get a handwritten love note. My parents used to leave little love notes around the house for each other-on the pad by the phone, in my dad's lunch box, a Post-It placed inside of a book, etc. It doesn't have to be drawn-out or anything, just 'I love you' or some other sweet nothing will suffice.

'Mix Tape' 2.0. iTunes and Rhapsody make it pretty easy to create a CD with songs that make you think of him. Being able to buy jewel cases and make your own CD jackets makes it even easier to personalize a CD just for him. If there are songs associated with things in your relationship-the first dance at your wedding, what was playing on the radio when you first kissed, etc-, list them along with a note about the memory. You could also do what my friend did-create different CDs or playlists to reflect different moods. Even if you don't have a 'theme' other than songs you know he likes, he'll appreciate the effort.

As you can see, you don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money to be romantic on Valentine's Day. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that don't cost anything, but you know they come from the heart.

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