It’s not always easy to find the “perfect” Valentine’s Day gift year after year, especially when on a tight budget. Solution? Consider adding a personal touch and a little creativity, too. You can share your love without breaking the bank this Valentine’s Day through these affordable gifts, listed by personality type:
Money-conscious and daring outdoor gifts
- Survival Bracelet. These bracelets are fashionable lengths of sturdy nylon cord available in numerous colors and styles. In an emergency, your partner can unravel the rope and solve any number of outdoor dilemmas.
- Make-Your-Own Safety Kit. Show your adventurer partner how much you care by assembling a pack of outdoor essentials. Start with a durable zippered pouch (waterproof, of course) and fill it with a mix of hand-selected items, such as:
– Compact, folding survival blanket
– Waterproof matches
– Mini fishing and sewing kits
– Personal water filter
– Gauze and bandage wrap
- Custom Map. Research a new hiking or adventure location for your partner, perhaps one that he or she has mentioned always wanting to tackle. Buy a map of the area and customize it by outlining a suggested route and adding your names and the date you intend to make the trek. Preserve the map by framing it with a frame purchased from a craft or dollar store. Take pictures during the hike; afterward, choose and print your favorite photo, then affix it to the map.
For the Gym Enthusiast
You take on the gear so your partner can take on the workout
- Performance Socks. Quality workout or running socks can be expensive, especially since they’re just going to be used while sweating. However, just one sweat-resistant shirt or pair of athletic socks can go a long way. Consider buying a shirt made from sweat-wicking material, which is both thoughtful and practical.
- No-slip Earbuds. What’s better than the gift of music? Consider a pair of earbuds with attached ear hangers that wrap around the back of your partner’s ears for maximum stability.
- Even More Music. Make a custom playlist and gift it to your partner, along with an armband for holding a cell phone, for a hands-free music experience.
For the Romantic
Epitomize the saying, “It’s the thought that counts.” Woo yours with:
- Personalized Calendar. Select a wall calendar in a style or theme that your partner will love. Then go through every month, marking important dates and writing a few details about key anniversaries and events, such as when you first met, your first date, your first kiss, when you first said “I love you,” trips or vacations that you took, and anything else that will stir up happy memories.
- Custom Photo Album. Buy a photo album and arrange a collage of special photos and “selfies” of the two of you. Or, check out apps that allow you to select images from your smartphone and print them in an artful book for a moderate cost.
- Love Notes. Fill a jar or vase with 365 love notes written on small scraps of paper that you then fold or crumple up. Have your partner randomly select a note to read each day throughout the year. Include things you love about him or her, or small love quotes or poems, or memories of events you both have enjoyed.
For the Planner
What to get the person who’s always on top of everything? Some ideas:
- Date Book. Find a stylish day-planner at a bookstore or stationery store. Personalize the book with a custom monogram, or by pasting a picture of the two of you on the inside cover.
- Make Your Own “His/Her” Emergency Kit. Buy a cosmetic case or men’s grooming bag and fill it with a custom mix of toiletries and emergency items that your sweetie might need while on-the-go. Examples:
– Dental floss and a travel toothbrush or toothpaste
– Pain reliever
– Mini sewing kit
– Disposable razor blades
– Deodorant or deodorant wipes
– Mini lint roller
- Electronic Organization. Many great apps exist that are designed to help organize your life and planning. Research a list of suggested apps and then purchase an app-store gift card. Type up and print the list and place it in a Valentine’s Day card, along with the app gift card.
For the Foodie
If you’re not careful, foodie culture can break the bank. These affordable ideas, however, could leave you will a full stomach – and wallet:
- Exotic Ingredients. Most foodies love flavorful ingredients. Based on your Valentine’s unique tastes and preferences, research some recipes and visit a specialty store or an online market to find authentically made sauces or spices. Wrap them up in a decorative basket or box so that the two of you can start cooking!
- Culinary Experience Journal. Buy or design a journal that your loved one can use to record culinary experiences, foods, wines, and other similar items. Start the journal by writing a summary of a meal you enjoyed together, or a famous quote about the joy of food.
- Homemade Olive Oil. Olive oil can be infused with just about any herb or spice. Determine which flavor your partner likes most, such as rosemary or dill, and then buy the spice. Package the oil in a nice jar or other food-safe glass vessel. Be conscious of proper handling to avoid dangerous bacteria growth. Be mindful of the infused oil’s short shelf life of a few weeks to a month.
With affordable Valentine’s Day gifts such as the ones above, you’ve got this year’s Valentine’s Day shopping already in the bag (or box).