/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » things i love thursday – budget-friendly valentine ideas

Okay, so I recognize that this category is supposed to promote one *thing* I can’t do without.  Yeah, but Valentine’s Day is Saturday – and with the current economic situation and family budgets, who can’t use some ideas for inexpensive gifts that are thoughtful and express our love & passion?

So here are some of my favourite ideas – and despite the fact that I’m a florist by trade, none of them involve flowers.  Let’s let the creativity reign here, eh? 

♥ Music – I’m a very musically-wired individual and Mark is, too.  So going through our iTunes library and finding romantic songs that are meaningful to the two of us (for example, some songs from our wedding, some songs of old-fashioned romance, some current songs that we like from the radio) is pretty easy.  Once you burn them on a disk, spend a little to get some labels and find a beautiful picture to print on it.  Put it in a case and voilá! You have a fantastic gift that will remind your sweetie how much you care for him (or her, if you’re doing this for your wife or girlfriend).

♥ Meal – this takes a bit more planning, but how about creating a special meal for you & your Valentine?  You don’t have to be a gourmet cook – heck, cooking hot dogs in the fireplace, combined with a romantic “picnic getaway”-theme and a nice glass of wine totally counts!  But if you do have more extensive cooking skills, plan something that’s special for the two of you.  Hire a sitter, enlist a grandparent or friend, whatever – but make this time for both of you.

♥ If you are a wine-drinker and need some suggestions for light, tasty wines, there are a few that we enjoy:  Beringer’s White Zinfandel goes well with poultry and fish; Beringer’s White Merlot is a great compromise if one of you likes red & the other prefers white (it’s not too sweet and goes well with just about everything); and Barefoot makes a great Chardonnay that isn’t terribly dry and goes really well with chicken.  Barefoot Cellars has a great sweeter white wine made from Moscato grapes, if you’re looking for a dessert wine (goes really well with fruit or cheese), and their Pinot Grigio is fantastic with fish, poultry, and ham, especially if you like a drier white wine.  If you’re a fan of red wine, Barefoot’s Zinfandel is excellent and not overly sharp from excess tannins.  Our very favourite red wine is, without question, Malbec.  Various vintners bottle it, but I always find it in the Imported Wine section of the store, as it comes from Argentina.  It’s a smooth red wine, low on sulfites (for those whom sulfites give awful headaches), and goes well with red meat as well as cheeses & fruits.  It truly is spectacular.  :)  All of these wines are $12 a bottle or less – and sipping wine while listening to music and sitting by a fireplace is one of the least expensive, romantic things I can think of. 

♥ If you’re in a part of the country where the weather is nice and not wintry (we’re not!), what about a picnic meal & walk in a park?  You’d be out the cost of a meal (even if you pick up something at a restaurant and take it to a park), and have the chance to walk & talk quietly, enjoying each others’ company.

♥ A beautiful card can also accompany a “coupon booklet” that you put together with a mind towards your spouse’s favourite things.  If your love enjoys massages or foot rubs or something like that, include it.  Include a few “naughty” coupons (or more, if you want!), a few for doing his/her least favourite chores, and a few for a “date night.”  You’ll spend more time and thought than money with this gift, but the impression will be lasting.

Hopefully, this will give you some ideas that will make your Valentine’s Day more memorable.  Don’t let budgetary pressures steal the joy of this little holiday – make it your own and look forward to it each year as an opportunity to make it memorable and special for you & your special love. 

If you’d like to link to this post with one of your own “Things I Like Thursday” posts, feel free to use Mr. Linky below and go from there.  :)


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  • http://inthemomentblog.blogspot.com Kaycee

    Thanks for the wine suggestions. I love wine, but I’m still looking for one that my husband will drink with me.

  • http://www.smartstrongsexy.blogspot.com Brooke

    we’re busy on Saturday, but I’m going to ask him to take me to the national park on Monday! :)

  • http://www.thediaperdiaries.net The Diaper Diaries

    We are going out to a nice romantic dinner, but we are using a coupon from Restaurant.com. It lets us eat out at nice restaurants at a major discount.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    ooooh – that’s a good one! i completely forgot about restaurant.com. :)

    have fun, everyone! <3

  • http://grammyjanetsplace.blogspot.com/2009/02/things-i-love-thursday_12.html Janet F

    I always need help when I choose wine, thank you for sharing the great tips!