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10 easy and thoughtful ideas for Valentine’s Day on a budget

10 easy and thoughtful ideas for Valentine’s Day on a budget

Demonstrating your love this Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to break the bank. If you’re on a budget, there are still loads of heartfelt things you can do or create for your partner.

Whether it’s a simple handmade card or an inside joke brought to life, Valentine’s Day gifts come in different shapes and sizes.

Here are 10 easy and thoughtful ideas for gifts and activities to guarantee a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day.

1. Create some unique artwork

If you have access to a printer, one of the easiest gifts you can make is framed artwork.

Whether you’re using a phone, laptop or tablet, there are so many apps available that can help you create something in a flash.

Are there any meaningful quotes, sayings or dates between you and your partner that would go well against an attractive background? If you’re out of ideas, head to Etsy or Pinterest for inspiration.

What if you don’t have a printer? There’s no need to panic! Why not head to your local arts and crafts store to see what sort of things they have on offer?

You can also frame postcards, posters or purchase a card with artwork on the front that you like.

When it comes to frames, charity shops are an excellent place to find gorgeous and possibly antique frames at a fraction of the cost.

2. Make a photo album

These days, we capture special moments on our phones and leave them on our phones or on social media to be forgotten about until they pop up in our memories a year later.

So, why not print out these special moments and put them in a photo album to help those memories last forever?

Ways to print your photos:

  • your home desktop printer
  • an online or local print store
  • a polaroid personal photo printer.

Alternatively, if you’ve got time to plan for Valentine’s Day, you could purchase a cheap disposable film camera to capture a couple of special moments each month and get them developed just before the big day.

You don’t have to go the traditional route of buying a photo album – create a book with craft supplies or peg the photos to a string of fairy lights for interior decor.

3. Customise a deck of cards

It might seem like a strange idea but think about it: there are 52 opportunities to express your love in each deck of playing cards.

Or, if you don’t have enough ideas to fill a full deck, you could use just the hearts suit to make it a little easier.

You can personalise each card using paint, stamps, coloured pens, photos or any other materials. Some ideas include:

  • 52 reasons why I love you
  • Memories and photos
  • Quotes and sayings
  • Names of songs, poems or books.
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4. Make IOUs

If you’ve had a look around the shops and popular Valentine’s Day gifting websites, you’ve probably noticed that lots of them offer ‘IOUs’ in the form of vouchers or notecards in a fancy box.

So, why not cut out the middleman and create them yourself?

Get some paper or colourful cardboard and cut out about 20 slips of paper by dividing each A4 piece into three slips. On each one, write down an IOU for your loved one. Some ideas include:

  • Washing the car
  • A night out
  • Cooking dinner
  • Breakfast in bed
  • You and me time
  • A massage.

5. Write a letter, poem or a song

If you’ve ever received a heartfelt letter, you’ll know just how special they are, and that sentiment cannot be bought.

Penning down your thoughts about your loved one can be priceless, so take some time to consider what it is you want to say.

You could talk about memories, how you feel about them, considerations for the future – just make sure it comes from the heart.

If you’re creative, a poem or song can be just as meaningful and will help to relay the emotion you’d like to get across. There are loads of apps that can help you record music, so it doesn’t take much technical know-how to create a beautiful, heartfelt song.

If you’re writing a poem, draft out a few ideas before you begin. Once you’ve written your final poem on a piece of scrap paper, you can print or write the final poem on some plain paper or card. You could frame this or slip it in with your Valentine’s Day card… let your creativity flow.

6. Make a playlist

Making a playlist for your loved one is an oldie but a goldie.

Thankfully, we are no longer living in times where you have to wait for the right song to come on the radio and record it on to a mixtape!

Instead, head to your favourite music (or video) streaming service and start adding songs that mean something to you and your other half.

If you don’t have any songs that are ‘your’ songs, you can add music you think they would like, songs that convey a message that is meaningful to you, or tracks that take you back to moments in the past.

7. Have a movie marathon

What’s better than a night in on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn and your favourite person?

Prepare your favourite films in advance and create a playlist on your preferred streaming service. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way and pick up discounted DVDs in charity shops or entertainment stores.

Grab plenty of snacks and drinks, and snuggle down under a blanket for the perfect romantic night in.

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8. Propagate plants or cut flowers

This one might take a bit of advanced preparation, but not in all cases.

If you have plants already, dividing them is a safe way to create multiple plants. For example, if you have a spider plant that has lots of baby offshoots, you can carefully remove them with scissors and plant them into separate pots. It’s the same with succulents and their naturally forming pups.

If you don’t have any plants with babies ready to go, you could purchase plants that are easy to propagate ahead of time. Succulents are a great way to do this, as the leaves can be put on top of moist soil for a few months to grow roots for a new plant.

You can also cut flowers from the garden and wrap them up in cellophane or brown paper, tied together with a piece of string or twine for a handmade bouquet.

Pots are reasonably cheap and can be bought in most supermarkets or garden centres – just make sure they have a drainage hole at the bottom, or you may need to get a plastic pot to sit inside it to avoid waterlogging.

If you already have lots of pots and don’t want to purchase more, you can simply repaint one to give it a new lease on life.

9. Cook them their favourite meal

What’s more romantic than coming home from a hard day’s work to discover that your partner has cooked your favourite meal (get recipe ideas here) and set the table ready to go?

You don’t need to spend lots of money on going out to eat, it can be just as romantic knowing your partner has gone to the effort to make something they know you’ll love.

Set the scene with low lighting, candles, napkins, and flowers alongside their favourite drink of choice and some mood music.

10. Go back to where it all began

Unless you met abroad or somewhere else in the country, you likely have a spot nearby that is special to you and your partner.

Whether you had your first date there or a significant moment in your relationship, take a drive or walk back to that special place.

Depending on the weather, you could take along a picnic or a hot flask of tea with a blanket.

Romantic walks can be special and going back to a place of importance can help keep that memory alive for years to come.

With just a little imagination and creativity, you can see how easy it is to create meaningful gifts on a budget that your loved one will treasure forever. Which gift will you try first?