I want to make Valentine's Day special, but don't have much money to spend. Any ideas on what I can do that would be a little...frugal? Don't want her to think I'm cheap, but my wallet is pretty empty!
For Valentine's Day one year when we were hopelessly poor I took plain white paper and cut out 50 hearts approximately 2" x 2". By doubling the paper and cutting through several layers I was able to cut all 50 in a short period of time. Then I took a red pen and on each one wrote a short "why I love you" statement. Examples might be, "Because you're easy to look at." or "Because you wash dishes." or "Because you work hard." Then, the fun part. I took an afternoon when he wasn't home and hid all 50 in various parts of the house; in a pair of his socks, a favorite book, his jewelry box, etc. I'm telling you, he had more fun and more surprises! Even better, there were so many (and I hid them so well) that years later we still find an occasional one!
Micki in West Palm Beach, Florida
For Valentine's Day one year my husband gave me a wonderful gift. It was a sing-a-gram. But not your typical one, much nicer and much less expensive. He is a teacher and the junior class always does sing-a-grams at Valentine's to raise money for the Prom. They charge $5.00. There was about five 11th graders singing to me while my co-workers watched. It was great! Plus, it was wonderful knowing that we contributed to a good cause. Maybe local schools in the areas of your readers do this, too.
On our first anniversary instead of taking a weekend trip we had an at-home vacation. We took some time off of work and went to a lot of places in town that we had said, "hey, someday we should go there/do that..." but never did. On our weekend in we went to a civil war reenactment, saw a romantic movie, spent a day going through the funky shops in our art district and went to our open air food market.
On the day of our anniversary we bought the ingredients from a few of the more expensive stalls at the open air food market we have always wanted to try (but thought were quite expensive) and made a dinner of emu steaks with salad and dessert. We like to try different foods and this was the least expensive way we could have tried such exotic meat (which was very good by the way.) We counldn't have afforded the dinner if we went to a restaurant and we had fun making it ourselves.
My husband is such a romantic that he is always surprising me. Our anniversary was last week and he filled the tub with some of my oils, lit candles, and waited until I started missing him and went looking for him. Imagine my surprise when I walked into the bathroom and found him laid back with a glass of wine, anticipating my arrival. This is only one of the many things he does, and after ten years together, it is simply wonderful.
Carol from Texas
One of my best ideas was to 'kidnap' my husband. I arranged for the children to stay with family, then I invited my husband to lunch. I told him we were going out for Mexican food. I hid our packed bag in the trunk and I told him I would drive, since I asked him to lunch. We live on a small island off the coast-I drove him to San Antonio(about 125 miles) for authentic Mexican food on the River Walk. I had made hotel reservations but the rest of the weekend was a spontaneous, relaxing getaway!
Lois in Port Aransas, Texas
After Christmas, Crate & Barrel had picnic hampers on sale for 1/2 price. So I bought one. I'm planning on getting a nice bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers and having a picnic in the quiet of the living room some evening after our 4 children have gone to bed. I will light the candles and throw the picnic table cloth on the floor. Then we will just see what happens. It's far too cold in northern IL for an outdoor picnic this time of year, but I think a picnic is romantic no matter where you have it.
Nora in IL
The most romantic gift you can give a woman is one that you've made yourself, just for her. What it is could depend on your particular skill set. If you're a musician, write her a love song. If you're an artist, draw her portrait. If you're a woodworker, build her something either useful or decorative. Build anything from a jewelry box to a TV stand, depending on her tastes. If you're a cook, cook her a gourmet meal, or even if you're not, cook for her anyway, and she'll still be impressed that you made the effort. The important thing is that you're doing something specially for her, with her particular tastes and personality in mind, and that you've put your time and thought into it. This is much more romantic than just throwing dollars around. After all, a millionaire could buy diamond tennis bracelets for half a dozen girls and none of them would be the wiser, but something you've put yourself into shows a definite commitment to one.
My husband made "Conversation Hearts" using colored paper and a marker. He wrote the same sorts of silly words/saying that are found on the candies and then placed them all over the house. I found one in my sock drawer, next to the toothpaste, in a shoe, etc. What a fabulous, loving, silly gift. I kept them as a reminder of what a sweet man I married.
The most beautiful Valentine gift I ever received cost my then-fiance very little. He made a gorgeous scrapbook full of beautiful pictures, cut from magazines, interspersed with poetry. He wrote some of it, but if that is not your bent, just use the tried and true.
You could also use photos, mementos of times spent together, or whatever speaks to the two of you. It is a one-of-a-kind gift from the heart.
Barbara in CT
Have a picnic on the living room floor. Get an old red/white check tablecloth, fried chicken, cola in cold bottles, etc. Maybe have some apple pie for dessert. Play some summer tunes for music. It's the middle of winter. Who doesn't want some summer warmth? You can tell her she's your "Ray of Sunshine" in the middle of winter.
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