With Valentine’s Day coming up, you might start to panic about what to get for your special someone. You want to let your significant other know how important they are to you but you also don’t want to hurt your wallet too in the process. You’ve been there, done that with flowers, dinner reservations, chocolates, and teddy bears. Plus with so many special occasions to celebrate, it seems like you’re always spending money on dinners or gifts or both. You shouldn’t have to wait for a specific day of the year to show them how much you love them, but relationships are expensive. This leaves very little wiggle room in your budget to surprise your significant other just because.
Here a few fun ideas to keep the spark alive in your relationship that would leave you burning cash, and without being TOO basic:
1. Write them a love letter
With text messages and constant social media attachment, you probably are able to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend 24/7 if you wanted to. But when was the last time you really poured out all of your feelings for them? Make it a list of ways they make you smile, or tell them about one of the first times you realized you were in love. This will only cost you some spare time and some paper, but it will mean oh so much more.
2. Stock the fridge with their favorite drink
Whether you plan on having an intimate drunken night in, or you’re preparing for a night out with your friends, this is sure to put a smile on your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s face. Grab a case of his favorite beer, or a bottle of her favorite wine, put a bow on it, and hide it in the fridge. This is inexpensive, but so practical and thoughtful.
3. Fill their room with balloons
This is guaranteed to put a smile on your significant other’s face, yet it will hardly cost a thing. All you need is a dollar store pack of balloons in your loved ones favourite color, a big chunk of time with access to their room, and really strong lungs. Simply blow up every single balloon and scatter them across the floor, their bed, the dresser, wherever you can think. It’s like a big happy bouquet that will only cost you a couple bucks.
4. Hide notes in their lunch to surprise them at work/school
Lunch break at work is usually pretty boring, you’re only halfway through your day and you’re dreaming about getting home. But imagine how happy it would make you to open up your boring lunch, only to find a cute note from the person you love that you weren’t expecting. Write something funny to make them laugh at work, or write something a little more risqué that might make them blush while thinking of you.
5. Make them a mixed CD/Playlist
It could be silly or romantic. Pick out a bunch of songs that either describe how you feel about them, or have a special memory attached that the two of you share. You could put the CD in their car the next time they have to go on a long drive, or play it on full blast during the next road trip you take together. The whole drive will be filled with awesome tunes and some reminiscing that you were able to provide for them!
6. Pamper them
If you can’t afford to send your significant other to a spa, make a spa at home. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Light some candles, put on some music, and open a bottle of wine. You can give them a back massage, paint their toenails, rub their feet, anything (boys like being pampered too)! This will be way more intimate than any regular spa and will be way cheaper.
7. Take them on a scavenger hunt
Take your SO on a little trip down memory lane; maybe through your campus, or around your neighborhood. Write down little clues with either inside jokes, or personal memories, leading them to different important or funny locations. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you could have a romantic picnic or maybe snuggle up and stargaze together, the possibilities to make this one personal are endless.
8. Make DIY gifts for each other together
Pick an idea from Pinterest and spend some time together making a DIY gift. You could each make something for the other, or you could make something that you can share. This could be especially meaningful if the two of you live together, creating something to decorate your space that will serve as a constant reminder of the day you made it.
9. Use foods to spell out different things
I once bought 60 chicken nuggets for my boyfriend and laid out “I love u” with them, complete with an exclamation mark in sauces. The whole thing took me maybe 20 minutes and the nuggets cost next to nothing, but my boyfriend’s reaction was priceless. We weren’t able to finish the nuggets but it was definitely worth his excitement.
10. Cook dinner together
My favorite time with my boyfriend is when we’re cooking together. We both love to eat, (seriously, who doesn’t?) and we love to try new things. We have such a great time in the kitchen, looking up new recipes and dividing the cooking duties between us. Make sure that you’re both in the kitchen and you’re doing it together. This way you can save a few bucks on dinner by staying in, you learn to work together, and you can jump right into the food coma cuddling after you eat.
Being in a relationship doesn’t need to be expensive and being cheap doesn’t need to be boring. If you’re unsure of how to creatively show your SO how much you love them, or if you cringe every time you check your banking app, then check out any or all of these tips. There are so many ways to keep your relationship fun and interesting during Valentine’s season without feeling like you need to win the lottery just to keep up.