Pulling Heartstrings on a Shoestring

Doing Valentine's Day on the cheap.

Valentine’s Day will soon be here.  Finding the right gift for your sweetie can be stressful at the best of times.  For those living on a tight budget, the stress is amplified.  However, marking Valentine’s Day need not be expensive.  With a little imagination, you can express your love without straining your bank account.

Here are a dozen Valentine’s Day suggestions that range from free to less than $20:

  1. Start the day off right. Sneak out of bed early, fetch take-out coffee and a breakfast bagel, and deliver it just as your partner is waking up.
  2. Buy some plastic heart decorations from the dollar store and hang them from the branches of a tree outside or light fixtures inside.
  3. Terms of endearment. Create a crossword or word-search puzzle using words, such as place names and events, special to the two of you.
  4. Just this once. Do a household chore usually performed by your partner.  Put a red heart in a suitable place to signal that a) you’ve done it, and b) it was just this once.
  5. Sweets for your sweetie. Buy a special coffee mug and fill it with your partner’s favourite candy or chocolate treats.
  6. Token of your affection. Select a digital photo of the two of you, take it to a discount photo processing outlet, and have it printed on a deck of playing cards, key chain, or coffee mug.
  7. Romantic touch. Buy some roses or petals from a discount florist and scatter them inside your partner’s car, on their desk, or around the bedroom.
  8. Put some bounce in the day. Buy a dozen red and white balloons from the dollar store, inflate them, then decorate a room with them.
  9. Let me count the ways. Buy a pad of pink-coloured post-it notes.  Write something you like about your partner on each note.  Stick the notes in places they’ll discover them throughout the day, or between the pages of a book they’re currently reading.
  10. Put a shine on it. Contrive to borrow your partner’s car for an errand, and then take it through a carwash.
  11. Indulge in nostalgia. Buy or borrow a board game that your partner loved as a child, then spend the evening playing it with them.
  12. Who needs moonlight? Take advantage of a moonless sky Valentine’s night and take your sweetie on a romantic stroll to gaze at the stars.

Valentine’s Day can be stressful if you’re strapped for cash.  But, as the song goes, “money can’t buy you love.” With little or no cash and a bit of imagination, you can still pull your sweetie’s heartstrings this Valentine’s Day.