How to have a sweet time on a small budget.
I'll always remember the February 13th that I sat in the car with the man who was my significant other back in college.
As he got out of the car to spend his last few dollars in a convenience store, I hoped against hope that he would buy me a Valentine's Day card to present to me the following day.
Instead, he came back to the car with merely his usual pack of Newport cigarettes for himself, and let down my hopes. Needless to say, because of selfish gestures like that one and plenty of others, we are no longer a couple.
Valentine's Day means a lot to many women, and if my ex had sacrificed his nicotine habit to give me a heartfelt card, it would've meant so much to me.
As such, in that spirit, here are a few ways to make your Valentine's Day special without busting your budget. Some great Valentine's Day gift ideas are:
1. Surprise her with a special song.
If you're musical in any manner, try your hand at writing a personal song for your love—one replete with honest lyrics that truly express your feelings.
That's a unique present that's free, only costing you your time. If you want to spend a bit of money in order to add a musical accompaniment to your love song, begin taking lessons and perhaps purchase an acoustic guitar for under $500 for a Valentine's Day performance that won't be forgotten.
2. Get a whole bunch of candles from the dollar store.
There's something about lit candles that immediately transforms a space into a romantic location. And there's something about dollar stores that helps make those candles a lot more affordable.
Gathering up 10 or 20 candles for 10 or 20 bucks helps set the backdrop for a beautiful evening, especially when you place them in unexpected locales, like outside in the snow or near a park bench—wherever allowable and safe.
3. Make an impromptu picnic in the living room.
Grab a blanket and pull it into a different room, like the living room, and place it on the floor.
Even if you put a cheap takeout meal atop the cover as opposed to the elaborate seven-course meals you'll sometimes see created for romantic holidays, the notion still proves you've put thought into making an effort to have a heartwarming dinner.
4. Just buy chocolates and flowers.
Not to stereotype all women as chocolate and flower lovers, but if you're stuck on what types of gifts to buy your better half and have no idea where to start, chocolates and flowers are a great beginning, especially because just about every CVS or Walgreens sells them.
5. Draw hubby a bath and make him feel like a king.
Of course, celebrating Valentine's Day isn't only about buying pricey or inexpensive gifts for women.
This wife always remembers the advice her own hubby gave her on how to make a man feel special. "Treat him like a king," was his response.
And running a hot bath, welcoming your husband into his candle-lit sanctuary and broiling a steak in the oven can go a long way to make him feel like royalty.