Valentine’s Day is a holiday for love, but can often be mistaken as a reason to spend money. In my opinion, love and spending do not go hand-in-hand. What seems to go better are creative and thoughtful gifts from the heart.
Here are a few ideas to show that you love your spouse without breaking the budget:
Romantic Date for Two: If you can’t afford a babysitter, set up a table for two after the kids go to bed. You can still have a romantic meal at home without breaking the budget with a fancy night out. Find all those fancy foods at the supermarket and make a feast that rivals any restaurants by enlisting help from cookbooks and Web sites. I guarantee that your spouse will appreciate all your efforts.
Coupons and Chores: What could say more to someone than you actually doing something for them? Give your spouse the day off and pick up the slack of the chores for them. Take the dog for a walk, take out the trash, wash the car, get the oil changed – do anything that they would do that day so that they can sit and relax. A more creative way of doing the same thing would be to create coupons for your spouse. Include items that you know they would hate doing and write them on construction paper. An envelope of coupons shows how much you appreciate them and as long as they don't use all the coupons at once, it is a gift that you can give throughout the year.
Monthly Clubs: Give your spouse something and then offer them the opportunity to receive it monthly. It can be something inexpensive like a batch of their favorite cookies or a date night to the dollar movie each month – just something that you can afford to do monthly and will show how much you appreciate and love them.
Heartfelt Lunches: Cooking for someone is one of the greatest acts of love. Maybe you don't think of it because you do it all the time, but each dish you make is filled with love and care for someone else. Make your spouse a lunch filled with heart shaped sandwiches or use the the color red throughout all of the dishes. You could also surprise your spouse at work and bring them their lunch filled with heartfelt goodies in person. Sharing food with them in a creative way shows how much you really care.
I Heart You: Show your love by making your spouse a good old-fashioned valentine. Using red construction paper, lace doilies and crayons, cut out paper hearts just like you did when you were little. No one can resist a homemade Valentine, not even when you are an adult! Want to make a more powerful statement? Include a letter about what that person means to you. There is nothing more powerful than the written word!