10 Thoughtful Valentine’s Day Gifts That Are Practically Free

Want to celebrate your valentine without breaking the bank? Here are some cheap Valentine's Day ideas for gifts and dates on a budget.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
3-minute read

Love Notes

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. Sometimes, showing your sweetheart you love them is as easy as telling them so. Write a quick love message on a post-it note and leave it where your husband or wife will see it first thing in the morning, like on the bathroom mirror. Better yet, write lots of post-its and leave all over the house, even in unexpected places.

Mix Tape Love

Even if you haven’t made someone a mix tape since high school, handpicked tunes are a great, free Valentine’s treat. Make a custom, romantic playlist to show your boyfriend or girlfriend you care! If music isn’t your thing, photocopy some of your favorite short stories or poems to present to your loved one as a “literary playlist.”

Make Breakfast in Bed

It’s a classic for a reason: Instead of worrying all day about how to make the perfect romantic dinner for your valentine, try breakfast in bed and get a whole day’s worth of credit for it. A flower, a chocolate, and a heart shaped placemat are all you need to make eggs, toast, and a fruit bowl look especially festive.

Lunch Is for Lovers, Too!

This is the most expensive item on this list, but it still doesn’t have to cost a lot. If your boyfriend or girlfriend really wants to eat out on Valentine’s Day, consider meeting during work for a romantic lunch. It will be a treat to see each other during the day, and lunch menus are less expensive than dinner ones. 

Make a Balloon Canopy Bed

Celebrate your relationship by making a balloon display above your bed. Get one balloon for each year or month you’ve been together, and attach a note (or photo!) to each one containing a memory you’ve shared or a place you’ve visited as a couple. The colors of the balloons floating above you will create a unique, romantic ambience.

Candy Dots Valentine

Making a homemade card is always a simple and appreciated Valentine’s gift. Add something a little fun by buying a sheet of candy dots beforehand. Then, you can cut them up just like construction paper and paste them on to your now-edible valentine.

Steal a Love Poem

If you don’t really have a way with words, let the pros help you out! At Poets.org, you’ll find tons of classic and contemporary love poems that you can copy into a card, read aloud, or print out and leave around the house. Keep it to just one or two poems, though—your valentine won’t mind they’re by someone else as long as you show you put some thought into your selection, so don’t overdo it by picking every love poem on the site!

A Literal Journey Through Your Relationship

Have you been with your valentine for forever? (Or what seems like forever?) Make this Valentine’s Day special by taking a tour through the places that were special to your relationship. This is especially fun if you’ve moved towns—visit where you met, where you used to go on dates, and other important places. Make the tour extra special by visiting a new place at the end and telling your loved one where you hope your relationship goes in the future.

Replace Valentines Bouquets with Paper Flowers

Each year, florists raise prices before Valentine’s Day—because they know you’re going to take the easy way out and just buy some flowers! Don’t pay the high prices or take the easy way out by making tissue paper flowers. They’re easy, inexpensive, and show a lot more thought than buying some at the florist (or the gas station).

Go All-Out with a Massage

We promise you this: Your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse will never turn down a Valentine’s Day massage! Make it special by lighting a candle, turning on some music, or otherwise setting the mood. It might be the best Valentine’s present ever, and you can still pull it off last-minute.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.