Whether it’s an anniversary present or a Valentine’s Day gift, the expectations can be high even when your funds are low. Here are some gift which are so cheap even cost nothing but they can also show your love.
If your girlfriend or wife has dreams of being whisked away on a romantic vacation, she’ll probably be disappointed when you present her with yet another bunch of grocery store roses.
Instead, make part of that dream come true by planning a “staycation” in your area. Look up your town or city’s tourism department to come up with activities and hot spots to check out over the course of two days. Book a hotel or bed and breakfast and surprise her with a quick, cheap getaway.
You’ll probably be surprised at what checking out local museums, listening to live music, and a dinner date will do to score you major props for thoughtfulness. Go on an impromptu vacation? Check. If you live in a large city, you can save money by picking up a CityPASS, which includes discounted rates for the most popular attractions.
For those of you who haven’t made the leap to living together yet, it’s likely that your girlfriend still probably stays over at your place from time to time. Instead of requiring her to bring an overnight bag, show her that you’re not a total “commitment-phobe” by putting together an overnight kit to keep in your bathroom.
Fill a basket or a makeup bag with the essentials, like a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, her other favorite toiletries, and perhaps even an apartment key. She’ll love that she has a permanent place in your bathroom cupboard. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the way to a woman’s heart is probably through prime cabinet real estate.
Ace of Hearts
Although your first thought when looking at playing cards might be of poker with the guys, you can turn them into a romantic gift for your girl.
Break out the paper, markers, and glue and pick up a couple of key chain rings from the hardware store. Using an office hole puncher, punch two holes along one edge of each card at the exact same points.
Next, use the backs of the cards to write out things that you love about her. If the decorative design on the back of the cards is too distracting, write them or type the passages on a small piece of paper and glue them to each card. Think of 51 reasons and leave the final card for a sweet message or title. To make it extra special, trim photos to fit onto the faces and backs of the cards where there is space. Alternatively, you can get personalized playing cards with a custom photo printed on each.
Finally, bind the cards together like a spiral-bound book by feeding the cards through the two key chain rings.
The coupon book isn’t exactly earth-shattering when it comes to creating unique gifts for her, but it can be completely romantic if you make the coupons as specific to your relationship as possible. A lame promise to “vacuum the living room” might draw a roll of the eyes, but a coupon for one no-whining trip to see a chick flick means more if your girlfriend or wife knows that you’re a die-hard action fan.
Think of some of the things you know irritate her, like leaving the toothpaste cap off, and offer a coupon for a full week of clean bathroom counters. It’s more heartfelt than the cheesy love coupons that you can buy.
Get your nerd on by giving your girl a sweet, thoughtful, and geeky gift. If you already have a game of Scrabble on hand, raid your own supply of tiles, or ask friends or family to donate a few letter tiles to the cause.
First, pick out the letters that spell out yours and your girlfriend’s names and purchase a cheap frame. Arrange the letters so that your names intersect – if your names don’t share any common letters, use a third word, like “LOVE,” to anchor them together. Next, use a bit of wood glue to affix the letters to the cardboard backing for the frame. Decorate the piece with photos, dried flowers, or other scrapbook-appropriate items. Place the glass on top, and if the fasteners on the back of the frame don’t fit over the letters, use strong tape or glue to hold the backing in place.
Every couple has a history. Unfortunately, a lot of guys don’t completely remember it!
Try digging into your memory bank to come up with four or five locations that are important to you as a couple: where you first met, where you went for your first date, or where you first kissed. It’s the perfect excuse to literally take a walk down memory lane.
Depending on the type of transportation you use, it could be free or very cheap, especially if you use nostalgia to blow off expensive restaurants. Remember that time you went to that amazing burger joint together?