With Valentine's Day just around the corner, couples everywhere have officially started stressing about making plans and figuring out WTF to get their baes. If you are on a budget and are looking for some heartfelt, free Valentine's Day gifts, then you are in luck, because they definitely do exist. Despite what consumerism and Hallmark holidays might lead us to believe, there is pretty much no connection between love and spending hundreds of dollars on expensive jewelry and a lavish meal. And while I'm pretty sure 0 percent of people would object to being treated like royalty, there's absolutely no shame in being thrifty. And if this is the case, then creativity is key.
It's worth noting that expectations when it comes to Valentine's Day plans and gifts vary from person to person, so it's important to communicate with your partner and get a solid feel for how they feel about the holiday. However, a good gift certainly doesn't have to be expensive. But it definitely needs to be thoughtful. If you're truly feeling stumped on what your partner might appreciate, then spend some time thinking about their lifestyle and what could make their life a little better or easier. Here are some free(ish) gift ideas to get you started.
1. A Coupon Book
This go-to couples' gift has earned its title for a reason: It's hard to go wrong with a homemade coupon book promising anything you know your partner loves — from their favorite meal to sexual favors to foot massages. And while it might not be the most original idea, it's still a sweet way to show them you care.
2. A Fancy, Home-Cooked Meal
If your bae is a foodie and you've got some skillz in the kitchen, why not enjoy a romantic, candlelit dinner at your place? While this isn't completely free (you know, because ingredients), this idea will still save you a ton of money compared to going out to a bougie restaurant. If you want extra brownie points, take a risk and plan a unique 3-course menu for them, complete with some of their favorite ingredients.
3. A Mixtape
And by "mixtape," I totally mean a Spotify playlist — unless your bae is into kicking it old school, of course. If having something tangible to give them is important to you, then this gift can be dressed up by loading the playlist(s) onto a cute USB drive.
4. A Love Letter
Sadly, handwritten letters professing your undying love are turning into a bit of a lost art form. This is totally sad, as few things are as romantic as reading your bae's innermost feelings whenever you need a sentimental pick-me-up. If you really want to impress them, go for some snazzy stationary that will hold up to a bit of wear and tear.
5. A Photo Album Chronicling Your Relationship
This has got to be one of the most heartfelt, meaningful gifts I have ever received. Depending on if you're OK with spending some money, then you may want to purchase a cute photo album. But if you want to stay in completely free territory, a digital album is perfectly acceptable.
6. Plan A Staycation For The Two Of You
Sometimes, the best gift of all is just being able to enjoy a relaxing weekend without interruptions. Planning a weekend getaway can definitely get pricey, so a cost-efficient alternative is to organize a staycation. Are they a fan of the outdoors? Cool! Pitch a tent in the backyard. You can also string up some romantic lights around the living room and finally have that movie marathon of classics you can't believe they still haven't seen.