It’s almost Valentine’s Day! That means you’re being inundated with ads from companies that sell diamonds, flowers, chocolates, and more. It also means you’re probably feeling pressured or tempted to buy something for a loved one that you may or may not be able to afford. Plus, as I wrote about at the holidays, maybe you or your loved ones don’t really want to give or receive physical gifts. Well, I have some good news for you: you can celebrate Valentine’s Day (and any other special day) without buying expensive gifts. Here’s how:
Well, I have some good news for you: you can celebrate Valentine’s Day (and any other special day) without buying expensive gifts.
Make a Meal
One of my favorite things to do is have friends over to my house for a meal. It can be dinner or brunch, it doesn’t really matter. The important part is that we’re taking the time to be together. I actually enjoy this more than going to a restaurant for a meal, because we can whatever we want and drink as much as we want, and we don’t have to worry about the bill being too high.
If you want to show your loved ones how much you care about them, but you don’t have the budget for a fancy restaurant, make them a meal! If you want to make it even more special, find out what their favorite dishes are and surprise them with those.
I don’t know about you, but I love getting containers filled with tasty treats around the holidays. Chances are, a lot of your favorite people love it too. Save money and stress by baking cookies or other treats and giving them as gifts. If you want to make it even more special, find out what your friends or family members’ favorite baked goods are (or if they have any dietary restrictions or sensitivities) and be deliberate with what you’re making.
Write a Card
Even more than a thoughtful gift, I love receiving thoughtful, handwritten cards in the mail. I also love sending them. It’s an opportunity to really be honest about how grateful you are to have someone in your life. If you can’t afford a gift for someone this year, pick out a cute card (or make one!) and write about how much you appreciate them. Pop it in the mail and make their day.
Frame a Photo
Spoiler alert, but this is my gift plan for many holidays and special occasions in 2019. Since I got married in November, I have a ton of amazing photos of and with some of my very favorite people. Now that everything is digital, many of us forget to print out and hang photos around the house. I’ve printed out a bunch of my favorite wedding photos and I’ll be framing and sending them to my loved ones throughout the year. It’s an easy, affordable, and thoughtful way to show people that I’m thinking of them.
Do you have favorite photos that you would love to see hanging up in your friends’ homes? It’s so affordable and easy to order prints these days. I use Snapfish, but there’s also Shutterfly and the traditional places like Walgreens and CVS!
Have a Movie Night
One of my dear friends and I keep saying we need to have a Jim Carrey movie night (we both have a childhood love for him and Ace Ventura). We want to make it a whole event, where we eat dinner together, make snacks, and watch or favorite Jim Carrey movies.
Do you love watching movies? Make a date of it! Except, instead of going out for dinner and a movie, have someone over for snacks and movie night. You’ll be able to talk a lot more without bothering anyone, and the popcorn is much more affordable.
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re able to show someone that you love them!
Certified Financial Education Instructor. Feminist and financial coach for women. Founder of Money Circle.