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20 Easy and Affordable Valentine’s Day Gifts

20 Easy and Affordable Valentine’s Day Gifts

According to statistics, the average amount spent per person on Valentine’s Day is £119. This may be beyond the reach of some consumers, however, who struggle with more stringent financial restrictions and minimal disposable income. This does not mean that you cannot celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, as there are a number of unique, affordable and simplistic gift options through which you can express your feelings. Whether you want to invest in products, share experiences, or create gifts from scratch, you do not need a lot of money to make your loved one feel special. With this in mind, let’s take a look at 20 Valentines’ gift ideas that are ideal for those on a budget.

1. Jammy valentines and shortbread hearts

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    Hearts and flowers remain the classic Valentine’s Day offering, although there are numerous interpretations of these gifts in the contemporary age. Take these heart-shaped, jam-filled biscuits and delicious shortbreads, for example, which express your love in a way that treats your loved ones.

    2. Coconut ice and retro sweets

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      Coconut ice, another delicious treat, merges a unique and delicate taste with the color of love. Along with a host of retro sweets and chocolate bars, these products offer a fun and affordable Valentine’s gift that is ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth and a sense of nostalgia for a bygone age.

      3. A personalized ordinance survey map

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        You and your partner are likely to have a favorite location where you have spent quality time together and either launched or developed your relationship. Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to rekindle these memories, and what better way to do this than with a personalized ordinance survey map that includes the coordinates and snapshots of your chosen location, alongside a message and beautiful cover photo?

        4. A Cocoa Pod

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          British company Chococo is renowned for its affordable and unique confectionery creations, with the iconic Cocoa Pod representing the apex of these efforts. At 19 centimeters in length and filled with fresh cream and a number of delicious individual chocolates, this entire package can be purchased for less than $30 and is sure to delight your loved one this Valentine’s Day.

          5. Well-designed trinket box

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            One of the key trends in modern retail is the development of multi-functional products, which combine stylish design with a clearly defined purpose. These are usually expensive, although there are affordable options such as trinket boxes which feature simple and alluring designs, storage space and are available at less than $40, depending on the size.

            6. Personalized bottle of champagne

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              We all know that good quality champagne costs money, but there are some brands and vintages that are more affordable and even discounted for Valentine’s Day. Companies like Create It Now even offer you the chance to personalize bottles by adding the name of your partner, a song verse or a declaration of your love.

              7. Cheaper and more meaningful flowers than roses

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                Some people carry a sense of cynicism when it comes to Valentine’s Day, primarily because the cost of popular items–such as roses–soars during the build-up. This is particularly true when you buy online, but this does not mean that you cannot invest in beautiful and meaningful flowers without spending a fortune. Orchids are a viable alternative, for example, as they also represent love and strength while they are far longer lasting than roses. They are cheaper too, especially if you buy from a local, independent florist, where even lavish bunches can be purchased for less than $20.

                8. Dance class with your partner

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                  With shows such as “Strictly Come Dancing” dominating television ratings in the UK, dance and its many wonderful formats has become increasingly popular. With this in mind, why not take a one or two hour dance class with your partner this Valentine’s Day, and strive to learn the basic principles of classic and exotic rhythms such as salsa or the tango? Check your local listings for availability and price, although you should not expect to pay more than $8 per class.

                  9. Scavenger hunt

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                    If you want to spend the day with your loved one, but are restricted by a budget, you should consider planning a scavenger hunt. Start by placing romantic clues in envelopes and distributing these along a meaningful route that charts your romantic journey together (alongside some small and cost-effective gifts), you can enjoy an incredible experience that culminates with a picnic or favorite dance.

                    10. A progressive dining experience

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                      Although this is a relatively unfamiliar concept to some, progressive dining is an American concept where successful courses are prepared and consumed at different locations. This can add a sense of adventure to the typical Valentine’s Day dining experience, as you move from one location to another and take in your favorite sites, sounds and culinary influences. To reduce costs, consider including an outdoor course at your local picnic spot and visiting an intimate restaurant only for appetizers or dessert.

                      11. Couples photo shoot

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                        Photographs offer an incredible opportunity for you to create and share memories, so you should consider booking an intimate and romantic couples photo shoot this Valentine’s Day. Available through providers such as Red Letter Days, they can be enjoyed at multiple locations while costing as little as $40. Not only will you get some quality time up close and in each other’s arms, but you will also have some stylish mementos of the day.

                        12. Romantic woodland walk

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                          Communication is crucial to any relationship, although maintaining this can be quite challenging over time. Valentine’s Day provides an ideal opportunity for you to rekindle your sense of intimacy, and one of the best and most affordable ways to achieve this is to take a scenic woodland walk in your favorite part of town. As you walk along a picturesque nature trail and take in the fresh air, you can reconnect and communicate openly.

                          13. Shopping for the day at a local flea market

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                            Shopping is a universal past-time enjoyed by both men and women, although the cost can quickly accumulate when you purchase goods in an expensive city center or High Street complex. If you want to treat your other half to a quaint and unusual shopping experience, you should consider spending the day at a local flea market. Where else can you buy unique and vintage items for a pittance, while having enough left over to enjoy a long lunch or early evening supper?

                            14. Create your own spa hamper

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                              While spa hampers and trips to luxurious treatment centers may be desirable Valentine’s Day gifts, they are also expensive. You can reduce costs to less than $50 by replicating the classic spa experience at home for your partner simply by filling a woven picnic basket with inexpensive candles, simple bubble bath and an exfoliating facial mask. Include a washed and heated towel to add a neat finishing touch.

                              15. Make homemade chocolate covered strawberries

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                                If there is a single visual image synonymous with Valentine’s Day, it is a chocolate covered strawberry. You can create these from scratch, without being forced to pay inflated High Street prices. Simply melt a package of chocolate chips at a low heat, then add oil and a small amount of milk to create a smooth texture. Remove from the heat before boiling and pour into individual ramekins. Dipping a strawberry in each before leaving to cool for three hours in the fridge. Serve with cream for a more intense flavor.

                                16. Make your own marzipan sweets

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                                  On a similar note, you can also recreate your partner’s favorite sweets and customize them according to their tastes. You can buy a selection of basic marzipan hearts for a couple of dollars from a local confectionery shop, and spend a little more on individual bags, glitter and sprinkles. Then create unique and colorful packaging that showcases considerable thought and attention to detail.

                                  17. Record a digital message or declaration of your love

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                                    The simplest romantic gestures are often the best, and creating a digital declaration of your love can serve as a breathtakingly easy and affordable Valentine’s Day gift. Whether you record a simple message, a personalized poem, or a small dramatic performance, the key is to focus on your delivery and employ simple video production techniques to create the ideal mood.

                                    18. Craft a jar of cheap dates

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                                      In the absence of expensive and large-scale gestures, it is important that you create romantic and thoughtful gifts that give hours of joy. Instead of investing in a single night out on the town, why not craft a decorative jar that is filled to the brim with small gifts and personalized dates for the future? You can write or print your dates out on card-stock paper, using paper clips to attach them and optimize the space. Then place these in a single jar that has been decorated with glitter and tied with a single ribbon, and present this as your Valentine’s gift. The type of experiences that you include will depend entirely on you, but take care to customize ideas that are tailored for your loved one.

                                      19. Count the ways you love someone

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                                        Cryptic heading aside, this is the type of gift that enables you to express yourself in an incredibly creative fashion. Start by writing out 52 unique things that you love about your partner on note paper or paper cut-outs, before gluing each one of these to a card from a standard deck. You can order these how you like, and then use a hole punch and some decorative ribbon to bind them together. A gift that keeps on giving, this is something that your loved one will cherish forever.

                                        20. Make memory candles

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                                          Love brings a lifetime of memories, and capturing these is integral to a long and happy relationship. Making memory candles enables you to achieve this quickly and easily as you take your favorite photographs and display them around the perimeter of a plain candle holder using see-through contact paper. You can use either colored or black and white photographs depending on the precise look you are trying to achieve, and can make a set for less than $20.

                                          Featured photo credit: Martin A Photography via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on May 17, 2019

                                          This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

                                          This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

                                          The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

                                          But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

                                          If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

                                          What Is the Comfort Zone?

                                          The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

                                          What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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                                          The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

                                          Here’s what I’ve learned.

                                          1. You will be scared

                                          Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

                                          So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

                                          That’s what separates winners from losers.

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                                          2. You will fail

                                          Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

                                          That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

                                          3. You will learn

                                          Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

                                          4. You will see yourself in a different way

                                          Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

                                          Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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                                          5. Your peers will see you in a different way

                                          Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

                                          But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

                                          The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

                                          6. Your comfort zone will expand

                                          The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

                                          This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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                                          7. You will increase your concentration and focus

                                          When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

                                          But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

                                          8. You will develop new skills

                                          Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

                                          Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

                                          9. You will achieve more than before

                                          With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

                                          Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

                                          Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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