Valentine’s Day: Frugal Gifts For Your Sweetie

Valentine’s Day is on the way. Do you celebrate with your significant other–or your kids? I love it when parents include the kids. Although we generally see Valentine’s Day as a romantic holiday, I prefer to see it as a holiday that promotes love in general.

Let’s get the basics out of the way first.

Flowers: I love flowers. I really do! But flowers are such ethereal gifts. Although there are ways to extend the life of flowers, it hardly seems worth the money.

If your honey loves flowers, why not a plant s/he can have for years to come? Rosemary and lavender are fragrant and perennial. For the serious plant lover, how about a bonsai? Or maybe a potted miniature rose.

Chocolate: A traditional standby. If chocolate is on your list, buy the best you can. I strongly urge you to find a local chocolatier, but if that’s not available, you can settle for Godiva or Ghirardelli in a pinch. Good chocolate is not cheap, but you don’t have to buy a giant box to say I love you. A little box is fine if it’s the best.

Jewelry: I’m not a jewelry lover. Greg has given me some beautiful things over the years, but he knows now I don’t go gaga for the shiny stuff. If your honey loves jewelry, stick to simple unless you have a fat wallet. I hate to see people blow all their money on baubles.

If you’re going to spend that kind of money, take him/her on a trip. Experiences are going to be much more memorable than a trinket.

Other novel gift ideas

• Rent a romantic movie (or one your significant other really loves), and splurge on the good popcorn.

• Learn to make the perfect cocktail. Surprise your sweetie with a cocktail, or wine and chocolates.

• If you’re not the usual cook at your house, cook a meal.

• Do chores. Nothing is sweeter to me than when Greg says, ‘stay inside, I’ll feed the animals’.

• Go out for lunch instead of dinner.

• Have appetizers and drinks instead of a full dinner.

• Instead of chocolates, how about gourmet jelly beans? My favorites are the citrus flavored.

• Some people don’t like chocolate or can’t eat it. Weird, but true! Consider alternatives like nuts or fruit baskets.

• Do a photo on a mug. Tiny Prints has a whole range of items to personalize.

• Leave secret messages. I used to do this long ago. Leave little love notes for your honey in his lunch, on his bathroom mirror, or in his wallet.

For kids:

• Make Valentine themed cupcakes.

• Drop those little Sweetheart candies (the ones with the messages stamped on them) in your kid’s lunch bag or in a pocket.

• Share a movie with the kids. I recommend the oldies like I Remember Mama, Life With Father, or Little Women.


When all is said and done, the best part of Valentine’s Day is to be together. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What do you like to do?


This post may contain affiliate links. Clicking on these links cost you nothing, but they do help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting MariaZanniniHome. I appreciate you!

All original content copyrighted by Maria Zannini 2016 - 2018.


  1. I don’t think we’ve done anything special for Valentine’s Day in years. In the morning, when either of us notices it’s Valentine’s Day, we wish each other a happy one, kiss & hug, sometimes reflect on how happy we are – then it’s back to business as usual. Of course, we don’t do anything for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc. either. We bought each other the ability to drop out and move here through our hard work and that’s enough gift to last the rest of our lives.

    • Madeline: I don’t think I’ve ever seen the ones in the long boxes. Greg prefers dark chocolate too, especially the ones with sea salt.

      My eyes might want the big box but my waistline knows I’m better off with the little one. 🙂

  2. My husband always buys me flowers though I don’t really care for them. He enjoys giving them. We’ll usually do dinner out, maybe. We have a family member having some serious surgery the day before, so we might be eating hospital cafeteria food.

    • Susan: I’m sorry to hear you have someone expecting surgery. Cafeteria food is just as good as long as everyone gets well.

      re: flowers
      I had to ask Greg to stop giving me flowers. I love the sentiment (and the flowers) but I just can justify the cost.

  3. I can’t have chocolate, and I’ve asked everyone to stop giving me flowers, so VDay is generally just cards. I do bake a nice batch of cookies or cupcakes for the family, and my daughter often makes dinner for us as her gift. We’ll probably take our son out for dinner this year when his schedule permits. Since the kids are grown now it’s more about spending time together than exchanging gifts.

  4. I wonder if an online chocolatier might be a good option for a V-Day gift for my husband? I don’t know if we have one nearby–it’ll be quite a drive to get to one in Nashville. I’m more of an online shopper. Have you heard of the place in NYC that sells cookie dough like it’s candy or ice cream? You can order that and have it shipped, as well, but that’s more of a woman gift!

    • Stephanie: Offhand I don’t know of any online chocolatier but I’m sure they exist. When I lived in a Dallas suburb there was a local chocolatier that was to die for. Heaven!

      I like Godiva chocolate but this place was head and shoulders better.

  5. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day like we did when we were younger. Maybe a dinner out on another night other than it so we can enjoy the time without the rush of the crowd. When the kids were younger, they always got some candy and a new stuffed animal. Our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple (might have told you this story already) hubby came home with an ironing board for me. Talk about romantic, LOL, but it really was sweet because we didn’t have one and I would iron my work clothes draping a big towel on the floor and ironing my clothes over it. Of course I was thinking more romantic, but in a way the ironing board was romantic because he did put some thought into what was something I really needed and could use 🙂


    • Betty: I remember that story! And I think you’re right. It means that he actually gave it some thought.

      Greg once bought me a crock pot. I’m pretty sure I gave him a ‘what the hell’ look. 😀 But in hindsight, I used that crock pot for decades before it died.

      Sometimes what we think is unromantic is given with more love than we understand.

Say a few words for our audience.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.