Not to alarm you, but Valentine’s Day is coming up. It always seems to come at the wrong time — when work is busy or you’re in the middle of twelve different projects and you have approximately $6 in your bank account (no shame, girl). Well, don’t stress, okay? First of all, you should know that your bae will love anything you decide to give them. Second of all, you don’t HAVE to get them anything, since you should be celebrating each other every day, not just the 14th of February. But... anyway.
If you and your bae want to exchange gifts or make a day of it, you totally should. But when you’re strapped for cash, it can be rough to give a memorable gift. Don’t stress! We gathered a few ideas that your BF/GF will love that will cost you almost nothing. As always, remember that Valentine’s day is a low-key scam that forces you to spend money on your partner even though you shouldn't have to. So, as long as you guys spend time together and love each other, you’re good!
Impress your partner with their favorite meal (unless it’s something uber complicated like a savory souffle — nobody has time for that, TBH). You can set the table with some candles and flowers for a ~romantic~ vibe and enjoy your dinner with your favorite person. Bonus points if you make a fab Spotify playlist for the occassion with all your guys' favorite songs.
Okay, I won’t tell anyone if you decide to spend a few dollars on takeout. I won’t even tell anyone if you decide to pass it off as your own home-cooked meal. Who knew you were such a skilled chef?! Just be sure to throw out the take-out containers before your bae gets there and use a discount code for first-time orders on Seamless, Grubhub, or Postmates.
Cooking not your thing? No sweat, baking is just as fun and some might even argue that it’s a little tastier (me, I would argue that). Make some delicious cookies or a cake to satisfy your honey's sweet tooth. Or, if you don't have access to an oven — try an edible cookie dough recipe. For an even more romantic time, bake something together! How sweet. Literally.
Have some weirdly specific inside joke that is only funny to you and your boyfriend/girlfriend? We’ve all been around couples who are like that. Most of the time it’s annoying, but on Valentine’s day, it can make a great gift! Turn your favorite joke into a cute card or drawing that your bae will love.
You know that face mask you’ve been meaning to try? Why not pamper your S/O and yourself with it (and an extra!) this Valentine’s day. I’m sure you’ve got a great selection of self-care spa products laying around your apartment, you might as well show your bae just how skilled you are as pampering yourself by pampering them! It’s a cute and easy idea that they will totally appreciate.
Are you ~creative~? Not everyone has those skills, so you better put them to good use. Make a cute poem or song for your bae. It sounds cheesy, and TBH, it is, but it’s the type of cheesy that your partner will probably love. Write about the first time you met or the moment you realized they were oh-so-special. They will totally love it and probably won't make fun of your cliche-ness. Probably.
Have some legit singing skills? Pick the song your bae always sings in the shower (come on, we all do it) and make it into a cute cover. Even if you can’t sing, they will appreciate the gesture, and maybe they’ll be inspired to write their own love song about you. Hey, a girl can dream!
Did you and your bae have a cute first date story? Recreate it this Valentine’s day! Unless it’s expensive. Maybe you guys met up at a park or a bar, you can go back there and recreate those initial ~sparks~ without having to spend tons of money.
In most cities, you can find a cute museum to go to for a small donation (even $1!) or even for free. It’s a unique thing to do that will not only be romantic but help you and your S/O feel ~cultured~. Check out a local art museum or if you’re reallllllly feelin’ wild, go to a unique exhibit, like at the Museum of Sex in NYC. Hey, you do you!
Yes, this is more of a date than a gift, but stay with me here, okay? Every date with you is a gift anyway. A lot of Zoos have deals or free days where you can check out your favorite animals for nothing, or a small donation. Look up your local zoo online and see if there are any deals to get in for free, and you and your S/O can plan a day looking at super cute animals.
The best gift ever is the gift of you and your bae on a couch with nothing but a bunch of your favorite TV episodes waiting to be watched. Your partner will love it if you queue up their favorite movie or episodes for you to watch together. It’s a low-key gift that your bae will definitely appreciate, especially if you promise to sit and watch their favorite episode of whatever their into.
Okay, can we be real for a minute? You know there is one thing that you own that your bae always uses — maybe it’s those fancy headphones you got for Christmas or a cozy hoodie they always “borrow” and never seem to give back until you ask a million times. If you’re really struggling for a gift, giving them something they basically own anyway is not just easy, but it's also a funny inside joke. Wrap it up nicely and you're good to go!
New Line Cinema
Want to get out of the house? Throw together a fun scavenger hunt for you and your bae. You can hide little notes in significant places — like where you met or where you first kissed, and you guys can have a fun trip down memory lane for $0. Bonus points if you end up at the park for a romantic sunset viewing.
You know your BF/GF’s favorite music more than anyone else. You can either make a playlist of their favorite tunes, or give 'em a playlist of music you think they’d like based on their music prefs. If you want to get ultra ~retro~, burn it to a CD and decorate the case with cute stickers to make it look straight out of 2005.
Everyone loves chocolate, and you can probably throw together a box of treats with some stuff you have around your house. Weirdly enough, making delicious chocolates isn’t that hard. If you have cocoa powder, a little bit of coconut oil and some honey, you can make some DIY sweet treats your partner will totally love.
Look, I get it! Money is tight and you’re a busy lady with stuff to do. You do you! Your partner will understand if you need to put a rain check on your Valentine's plans. It is a weekday, after all. Make sure your bae knows you appreciate them and love them, after all, that’s all that matters, right? Wasn’t Valentine’s Day created by greeting card companies anyway?