Great ideas for Valentine’s Day. Creative. Thoughtful. AND CHEAP!!

This post was inspired by my blog buddy, Hayden, who just wrote about The Big Day. And it got me thinking. I’ve done lots of sweet things for my husband on Valentine’s Day, I really should share some of them. So whether you lack creativity or money (or both), here are some ideas to make V-day sizzle. JUST REMEMBER: You do not have to spend a lot of money to make someone’s Valentine’s Day the best they’ve ever had. Romance is in the eye of the beholder and thoughtfulness always trumps money when it comes to true love.
Now.. onto the ideas!!

Image courtesy of ValentinesDayIdeas

1) I don’t normally toot company horns, but this one is so great, I am making an exception. My husband and I made books – REAL books – as presents for some of our loved ones this year, and they were fabulous. It was beyond easy to do and truly affordable. Go to BLURB.COM and download their bookmaking software for FREE. Then upload photos of you and your sweetheart, personalize everything, and order. does the rest. Choose from soft and hardback styles. We’ve done both and they are simply AWESOME. Your loved one will be touched beyond belief.

2) Not into that? Then make your own scrapbook. I have made several of these for my husband. One with all of the emails we exchanged in college. Sweet and silly. Another with all of our wedding mementos. Another with poems. You get the picture. All that matters is that it’s from you, filled with loving memories of your time together. They will LOVE IT.

Image courtesy of BlissTree

3) Make a gift basket filled with treats he or she especially loves. This does NOT have to be expensive! One year, I went to the dollar store and bought a brand new woven wicker trash can, a silk red rose garland, and every single Reese’s peanut butter cup variation I could find – 12 packs, singles, white chocolate, candy bar interpretations, etc. I went home and arranged everything artfully in the basket, wound the garland round the top, then delivered it Valentine’s Day to my husband’s office as a surprise. I cannot tell you how many women SQUEALED IN DELIGHT!! when they saw me coming. My husband was floored when he came back to find this sitting on his desk. They charge a fortune for this stuff online. DO IT YOURSELF. Just vary the basket filling according to what your significant other likes. Candy bars, snacks, health food, fruit, specialty foods, beer, wine, arts & crafts supplies, beauty supplies, sporting goods, you name it. IT’S ALL GOOD.

Image courtesy of Cookerie-Girl

4) Decorate your bedroom to set the mood. One year I went to the Dollar Store and bought a bag full of party decorations. Streamers, hanging lanterns, hanging hearts, etc. Then I pulled out some white Christmas lights and I decorated our bedroom, weaving the lights around our bed, hanging the hearts above, etc. My husband was so surprised!! And it was so lovely with the fairy lights and everything, it looked like our own private wonderland. We kept the stuff up for weeks afterward it was so nice.

Image courtesy of DesignFling

5) Instead of taking him/her out to eat, cook dinner yourself – or hire a friend, family member, someone else to. I dated a chef years ago – he made me dinner one night at his apartment and I still remember the meal – figs stuffed with cheese, softshell crabs. Amazing. But you don’t have to be a professional cook to impress. Check my website for recipes! Heck, email me and I will even talk you through it. Just take the time to show your loved one how much you care. Skip the expense of a faceless meal. Make your own. Or pick up take out food and pretend it’s your own. Still impressive! You can confess later, after you’re both full and happy.

Image courtesy of TripAdvisor

6) Couples massage ROCKS. But you don’t have to pay a professional to touch the one you love. DIY, baby! Buy a bottle of scented massage cream or oil, at home place a clean sheet over the bed, dim the lights or better yet, light some candles, and put on some relaxing music. Invite them to their very own “spa”. Crack your knuckles and work it. They will LOVE YOU for it. Trust me.

Image courtesy of SheKnows

7) Make your loved one a card. Hallmark doesn’t know them, BUT YOU DO. What is it about them that you love? Their smell? Their eyes? Their sense of humor? EVERYTHING? WONDERFUL!! If you’re good with words, write your own poem for them. They will never forget this most simple gesture, ever. If you’re not good with poetry, just write out your feelings. That’s all that matters. Even just, Honey, I love you. Always. For a woman this is everything.
I still have the only secret admirer valentine I’ve ever gotten. It was handmade, just a piece of plain white paper with blue pen. 18 years later, I still think it’s one of the sweetest things anyone’s ever given me.

Image courtesy of HomeLifeWeekly

8) Plan a date night out. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE!! Be thoughtful. What does your s/o like? Art – take him/her to a museum. Nature? Go to a local park or arboretum. Sports? Take them to an event. Music? Go see a local live band. And so on. For our first Valentine’s Day together, my husband – then boyfriend- and I were flat-out broke. He took me ice skating along the Delaware River. It was magical and cost almost nothing.

Image courtesy of LakeGeorge

9) Instead of buying chocolates, make your own. Check my website for a decadent peanut butter truffle recipe. Bake them a heart-shaped cake, or a big tin of cookies. DELICIOUS + MADE IT YOURSELF > CRAP CHOCOLATES IN HEART-SHAPED BOX FROM CVS

10) Print and frame a nice photo of the 2 of you. My husband framed my favorite picture of us and gave it to me as a Christmas present this year. I burst into tears, it was so sweet. I LOVE IT. And he/she will too.

Image courtesy of PersonalizationMall

11) Have a special skill or talent? SHARE IT. Are you good at making things? Then make something for your loved one. Write them a story. Draw them a picture. Build them a birdhouse/ bookshelf/ mailbox. Good at fixing stuff? Fix that broken cabinet that’s been annoying her. Or the car. Or the dishwasher. EVEN If you’re totally talent-less, you can still do something thoughtful. CLEAN THE HOUSE! Or the basement, or the WHATEVER. Do the laundry. The dishes. You get the picture. I know you don’t want to do it, but neither does she, and trust me, she WILL REMEMBER THIS, and in a GOOD WAY.

Image courtesy of Anonymous8

12) This one’s more for the men out there. Buy something to pamper her, especially something that she wouldn’t normally buy herself. A treat. Is she a waitress, a chef, a nurse or doctor? Someone on her feet all day? Buy her a foot bath, foot cream, and give her a foot massage. Is she an overworked mom? Give her a night of relaxation away from the kids. FOR INSTANCE: at Trader Joe’s they sell gorgeous French-milled natural soaps, with scents like lavender and lemon verbena. Since they go for $4-5 bucks EACH, she won’t splurge on herself, but YOU CAN. Buy her four different scents, along with a new thick bath towel, scrub brush, and a scented candle. Throw in a CD of her favorite relaxation music – I recommend Astrud Gilberto. Chill a bottle of wine for her. Fill the tub. Then take the kids to the park.

Image courtesy of SupremeMassage

13) Are you musical? Write her a song and she will be yours forever. Can’t carry a tune? Then make her a mix-tape of songs that remind you of her. Even if you can’t sing, they can. And that will woo her far better than you crooning the hits if you can’t croon, though she’d probably still like it anyway.

Image courtesy of IndiaForums

14) This one may take some doing, so it’s good I’m posting this early. Make her a movie or simple video asking her to marry you, or just proclaiming your love. You can upload it to YouTube, or put it on your own website – or even just email it to her. Or you could invite her over for a special screening. Be creative.

Image Courtesy of GreenvilleDailyPhoto

15) NEW!! JUST ADDED!!!!!!! Order a one-of-a-kind portrait of you & your sweetie!!

***Whatever you do, IT’S the gesture that counts. If it comes from the heart, it’ll be amazing. Just think of the person you love, only of them and what they enjoy. Then imagine how you can make them happy. Can you bring them something? Do something for them? It’s often the simplest things – not the most expensive or elaborate – which mean the most.

28 thoughts on “Great ideas for Valentine’s Day. Creative. Thoughtful. AND CHEAP!!

  1. So many fabulous ideas!
    However, after 20 years of being with my man we both accept that no amount of romance is going to make any difference. So our celebrations are usually low key but importantly remembered. A meal for two somewhere nice on the weekend before or after the day so we don’t have to pay the ridiculous inflated prices that restaurants charge. A kiss and a cuddle are free and priceless anyway!
    Oh I have written him many poems over the years. He seems to like them.

  2. Terrific ideas! Here’s one more…A few years ago, my husband tracked down my favorite (out-of-print) book from my childhood and gave it to me for V-day. It was one of the best gifts ever!

  3. One year I had my niece take some sexy pictures of me. I printed out wallet sizes and 8×10’s. He loved them. I carries them in his wallet to this day…..

  4. Very cute ideas! Here another….Last were for valentines day i went out and bought a TON of balloons in valentines colors. I then wrote little messages on pieces of paper ” I love you”, “your my everything”, “I can’t live without you”, etc. and slipped them into the balloons along with a hershey kiss. I inflated them and while hey was out i slipped over to his house and filled up his room. HE WAS SO SHOCKED! he loved the little messages.

  5. Hey, if you are into contests there is a great contest on YouTube for Valentines Day. The contest is to create a video for the holiday. Actually its two contests, one is to make a video talking about your great love and the second is to actually do an online video proposal called “Will You Marry Me?” Here’s the URL Right now there are very few entries so you might have a good shot at winning.

  6. one year i had my husband go on a scavenger hunt to litte store in our neiborhood had everything paid and left for him to pick up with a note and the next clue it all lead back to our apt. were there was a romantic dinner and candle lit bubble bath waiting hes never forgoten that day

  7. wow! awesome ideas! thank you all! this was such a great help!
    for the last valentine, i arranged a surprise for my husband and he loved it. i booked a small open wooden hut facing a beautiful garden in a restaurant nearby. i decorated it and left a basket full of chocolates and a stuff toy holding a love note there. then i went back and we went out to eat as previously planned. i randomly took him there. he was surprised! there was a cake and candles too! it was amazing! we spent hours talking and eating there!

  8. Big thanks to everyone for stopping by – and especially for adding your own ideas. I can tell the world is gearing up once again for the BIG V DAY!! Hope whatever you do this year, it’s SPECIAL!

  9. My wife wants to celebrate VDay this year for the first time in 7 years and she wants me to do something creative and inexpensive. I am a spender and I offered her a tiffany necklace, or a coach purse and it was a no for both. She wants me to do something creative. I am not creative. I have done most of the ideas above including Scrap book, I do all the cooking in the house, I do most of the cleaning, I fix everything around the house, I buy her flowers once a month, I do chocolates every once and a while, I give her a massage atleast 2 times a month, we have several big photos of us, she pretty much has every piece of clothing ever made, I watch the kids when ever she wants to go out, we have a date night every sunday night, I do romantic baths and wine dates with love musice all the time. I feel like i have valentines day every week at my house. I need something completely out there that would be crazy. I already ordered a Singing Telegram but I need more. Any ideas would be great

    1. Something I always thought was romantic would be proposing again. Just reminding her of how much u love her and how happy u r.

    2. wow! She is blessed… Here is a suggestion… If at all possible… “Take her back to the place you both FIRST met! Renew your vows, write her a poem, and remind her of why you fell in love with her” She would love this!!!

    3. My husband makes me a mix tapr every year – of course now it’s a playlist he uploads into my iphone when my back is turned. It’s my favorite thing I get each year – I mean Christmas, anniversary, birthday, mother’s day – hands down my favorite gift each year. Every song is a message to just me. Some years I even get a double album! One has fun stuff on it & one is all mushy stuff to relax to – but all about us.

  10. well…..hi, i’m sara. i’m 23 having my first boyfriend ever and so happens we grew up together as neighbors. he was a hoodlum i had a scary dad so i wasn’t aloud to talk to him and he didn’t was to mess with dad. both moved away from our small town and now 18 yrs later we met then realized who we were. anyway i’m asking for adive from you cuz this is our first valentine together. i don’t want to go too far…..and we’re actually in a different yet still small resources are still limited. and he’s handeling dinner. but you seem to get off the wall ideas. i don’t want to go too mushy but meaningful oh and he’s been married and i…..well still haven’t “done the deed”. as for your advice….i would suggest going opposite. if she’s used to romance maybe have a complete lax lounge day. were she doesn’t have to get all done up. just basic dinner and a low key movie. and make it so she doesn’t get all ready. sounds like she has enough get done up stuff. maybe just a pajama day is in order

  11. Writing a song or making a mix really is a special gift! I wrote my husband a song when we were engaged and to this day he says it is the most special gift he has ever received.

  12. Thank you for the awesome ideas. I love the one where you decorate your bed room in xmas lights and goodies from the dollar store. I’ll be using that one this year. Last year she gave me a flavored body cream called Yume Blush that was made of FOOD!!! OMG, it tasted so good. Most of the edible stuff we tried before was so nasty and sticky. That night I was in seventh heaven 🙂 because she gave me a massage and then kissed me all over… Wow!! It was such a treat for both of us.

  13. One year I made my husband a booklet of coupons that he can cash in at anytime with me (if you know what I mean) lol with no expiration day ;)…. He had a few left over a yr later and with his wonderful smile said “hone I’m cash in one in tonight” 😉 he loved it though. If he was here today, id still give him some of those booklets, he loved it that much.. Gotta be creative though 🙂 you can go on google and do printable coupons and print them out…as for the guys, your wife or girlfriend would love them also something so simple as ..ones that say “I’ll do dishes tonight” or “ill do wash for the week” ,” I’ll vacuum” ….something soooo sexy that you men probably don’t even know is “A man helping around the house” definitely get u laid more 😉

  14. 2 ideas – in most cities you can pay to have a small ad in the paper on valentines day. for example in my small town it’s $6 for a 1 x 1 ad and $10 for a 2 x 1 ad. My brother used to do this for his wife every year and write something like “roses are red, violets are blue but nothing is as beautiful as you” 🙂 Also, take conversation hearts and use them to write a love letter to your valentine. Can be funny or sweet, just sit down w/glue, a pen and conversation hearts and start writing, gluing in the hearts where they fit into what you want to say!

  15. Nothing better than making something yourself for the one you love. I’m really into photography myself. Putting my photo program to use, I took a picture of mine and my boyfriends hands holding, added a text overlay (the text was a letter I had written to my boyfriend), then had the photo with the words blown up and printed and I framed it as a gift.
    Thanks for sharing some of your ideas! Think I may have to put #4 to use. Sounds like such a cute idea!

  16. I am making my husband his own spank bank lol a few things he really loves on printed photo paper and then in the back a few dirty ones of me.I’m going to visit fam for a bit in another state and I want him to have the second best thing to me.

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