This post was originally from last year, but hey – recycling is the “in” thing right now. Besides, they all still work!
Although I am far from being the most romantic guy out there, I do try my best to make my Valentine swoon. However, this does not include buying a box of chocolate at the gas station, a balloon at 7-11, or a cheap stuffed bear at the grocery store. Nor does it include sexy lingerie from Frederick’s of Hollywood (we all know who that lingerie is for, guys, and it’s not for the ladies), a gift card for a nice dinner, or the renting of the latest shoot-em-up guy flick. Instead I try my best to be somewhat creative in trying to come up with something to give my wife. I won’t share what I am doing this year (in case she reads this post) but I will share some of the things I have done in the past that your significant other will find way more romantic than some M&M’s and a stuffed bear from China.
1. A mix tape. OK, they are not called mixed tapes anymore, but you know what I mean. Two years ago I gathered up every song I could find that had the words “You’re My Best Friend” in them and assembled them on a CD. I created a nice CD cover to go in the plastic case, and wrapped the whole thing in red paper. It was all I gave her that year…and she still has the CD in her car.
2. A photo book. A few years ago I took a bunch of photos from our various trips in the previous years and assembled them online into a nice little book, which I then had printed and delivered to our house. This one would work even better if you made one of your kids to give to her.
3. Make a book of coupons. No, I am not talking about the coupons you pick up that are generic and half of them don’t even pertain to your life, but rather homemade ones that actually can be used. Make a nice book from some construction paper, cut out some pictures of what the coupons are for, and present it in a nice box.
4. Cook dinner or desert from scratch at home. You don’t need to go out to impress your Valentine – imagine donning that apron and cooking up a storm for a change! I wrote before about what happened when I made chocolate chip cookies from scratch, so I know it works! This costs almost nothing and can make a lasting impression.
5. Get a babysitter. Frugal or not, you should do this every once in a while, not just for Valentine’s Day. Just because you have kids does not mean that your relationship has to be put on hold year round. Go out to dinner, just the two of you. Give the kids to your parents so you can go away for the weekend. Or even just stay home alone without them, which is incredibly frugal! Take some time off together, take a hike, throw a ball, sit in the park and people watch. Remember why you got married in the first place. Nothing could be more frugal than that.
The key to remember is that for Valentine’s Day, you do not need to spend a fortune to make your Valentine feel special. Roses cost upwards of $75…and while they are pretty, they only last 5-7 days. And trust me, your Valentine does not want a box of chocolate you picked up last minute at the store – they can see right through that stuff. If you take the time to really think of a personal way to make this day special, and you can have a very frugal day that also means a lot at the same time.