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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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