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Don’t buy a thing this Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your loved one by doing just that: loving them. You can make any day special without spending money.  By using materials you already have, here are some gift and activity ideas that won’t cost anything except some time and love!

If you both agree not to spend money this Valentine’s Day, and agree to make/create instead, it can be even more fun and the expectations of “stuff” will not take the place of love.

Gift Ideas:

  1. Make a homemade valentine! Sometimes it feels cheesy for adults to exchange homemade valentines, but it can be fun to make. Include the kids, pets, etc.(if you have them) in making the card! You can find free printable valentines online, so use your resources if you aren’t so crafty.
  2. Give homemade bath salts from everyday ingredients. Recipe for Bath Salts: 2 cups epsom salts, 2 Tablespoons dried peppermint leaves(or 2 teaspoons peppermint extract), and 2 Tablespoons dried lavender or rose petals (or 1 teaspoon lavender or rose perfume). Mix together and place in a clean used glass jar. Wrap with a bow or ribbon!
  3. What says “I love you” more than baked goods? Bake up some heart-shaped waffles or pancakes, delicious muffins, or cookies for that special-someone’s lunch!
  4. Create love coupons. Make sure the coupons are for useful things, like “a night off of cooking” (because you’ll take care of it, not because you won’t eat that night), or “a night of child care”. Get creative! Sometimes I just wish the dishes would do themselves…hint…hint.
  5. Make some origami! You can find a pattern for anything if you just search online and look through the images. You could make little hearts, animals, etc. and place them around the house or in a lunchbox with a note attached.

Activity Ideas (For almost any age):

  1. Do some mad-libs together! These can be quite fun and entertaining. Have your loved one fill out a list of words and then read the “story” together. You can make your own mad libs based on your relationship, or find free printables online.
  2. Send your loved one on a scavenger hunt for their gifts! Place love notes with hints to the next clue around the house, yard, or car.  You can even include mini-gifts along the way.
  3. Go through photo albums together. It’s always fun to “remember when” if you and your loved one have been together awhile.
  4. Play a game. Even if one doesn’t like board games Pictionary is always fun. You can also put a puzzle together and just enjoy the time with each other instead of waiting at an overstuffed restaurant for overpriced, overly-caloric food.
  5. Cook dinner together or enjoy a candlelight dinner. I know that there are women out there who don’t like the romance, but the majority of women(and some men) do and would love a little music with dim lights and flickering candles. Cook a simple dinner that can’t go too wrong if you mess it up(this goes for everyone-you want a low-stress evening).
  6. Exchange love poems! You can each write a short poem with a specific theme, topic, or alliteration, and exchange them. Make them silly! Make them fun! Most of all enjoy your loved one! (okay, okay…)

Other Fun Valentine Ideas

  • Put love notes on the toilet paper
  • Use red/pink around the house for linens, etc.
  • Make some heart garland using red newspaper ads or just newspaper (or construction paper if you have it) and string it up. Hide it in lunchboxes, clothing, shoes, etc.
  • Cut sandwiches into heart shapes
  • Decorate with hearts!
  • Paint hand-heart artwork
NOT SO FUN Valentine Ideas
    • Dying the toilet paper red
    • Dying the toilet water red
    • Painting red paint on Mom’s nice towels
    • Sticking red hearts on Dad’s dress pants (red heart inside shoes are okay)
    • Putting red kool-aid inside the shower head