4 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts That Won’t Break Your Budget

by Ashley Eneriz · 4 comments

valentine's day
For those who aren’t aware, Valentine’s Day is less than a week away. Begin panic mode if your significant other has high expectations. Thankfully, Valentine’s Day puts more emphasis on the romantic gestures over the dollar amount spent on a gift. Still, you need to put in the effort. Here’s how to woo your significant other on a budget – at the last minute.

Forget Going Out to Eat

Eating out on Valentine’s Day is like toy shopping the day before Christmas. Everything is premium-priced and the place is crowded. Plus, most of the meals are pre-made so the food doesn’t taste as good as it should. Instead, bring the meal home and set up a romantic dinner. Candles and rose petals are inexpensive, but they can go a long way in making a swoon-worthy tablescape. Not an expert in the kitchen? Try hiring someone who is. Find local culinary students or friends that are self-proclaimed Gordon Ramseys. It might cost a lot less than you think, and bonus points if they clean up afterwards.

Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Make the night fun by coming up with a few clues for your date. You can retrace your steps of how you first met, where you first kissed, and where you proposed. The end result of the scavenger hunt can be something simple, like a warm bath with rose petals or a thoughtful love letter or poem. Fair warning though – your loved one could be expecting a diamond ring and proposal at the end of the scavenger hunt if you are currently a guy reading this and in a dating relationship. Best avoid this gift if you aren’t ready to pop the question.

The Gift of the Night Off

Going out for a Valentine’s Day dinner is more work than reward when you have kids. You will both have to get dressed up, get the kids ready, prep the babysitter, and then spend most of your free evening out waiting to eat. And if your babysitter didn’t follow the instructions, you’ll get to come home to a messy house and kids bouncing off the wall.

Instead, if you can enlist the help of grandparents or other family members, arrange for a sleepover with them and the kids. What you do after that is up to you. Once you have kids, sometimes the most romantic nights are the ones spent vegging out at home without worrying about what your little ones are doing.

Easy DIYs

Valentine’s Day DIYs and crafts can be pretty cheesy, but many times it is the thought that counts. One good idea is to make a Sharpie Mug. You just take a plain white mug and write on it with a Sharpie or other specialized marker and bake it to set. You can personalize it however you like. One idea is to write a list of the things you love about them on it.

Even if you forgot Valentine’s Day until the last minute, that doesn’t mean you are out of luck. Don’t settle for the generic stuffed animal and box of chocolate that you bought minutes before heading home. Instead, use a little bit of creativity and romance – and yes, cheesiness – to make your Valentine’s Day stand out this year.

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