Budget Valentine Gifts for that Man oh Man of Yours!

Alright, I know he leaves the toilet seat up; brushes his hair with the last three fingers on his left hand; wears the ugly Hawaiian shirt he bought on a cruise in 1993 whenever you tell him to “dress up”; and he emits the most noxious odors from various parts of his body at the most inappropriate times.  But you love him, it’s Valentine’s Day, and you want him to know how much every inch of pudge layered over his six pack abs means to you.

But have you seen your budget?  If it costs more than a Happy Meal, chances are, you can’t afford it.  But that’s okay!  I’m here to help you figure out what to do for that wonderful man of yours on Valentine’s Day!

The way to any man’s heart is, well, through his stomach.  Valentine’s Day is no different.  If you want to win your guy over, feed him.

You know that chunk of your grocery budget dedicated to healthy snacks on Sunday while he watches sports?  Use it to buy some sports fan food – nachos, chicken wings, chips and dip.  It’s only once a year, and he will be tickled to see the snack tray that is usually filled with rabbit food and rice cakes is loaded with his football food favorites!

Do you live with a Mr. Fixit?  Check out your local hardware stores for some great free classes that your tinkering honey might enjoy – and they come with the added bonus that you might actually get some of those items off of your honey-do list!  Ask at customer service at your area Home Depot or Lowes to see what upcoming classes they have, and choose one that might be of interest to your handy man.  Make sure when he comes home, armed with his new found knowledge and a brand new area of expertise, you’ve got a cold drink and a hot kiss waiting for him!

Is your guy the stereotypical bookworm?  Chances are in his busy life, he doesn’t get much quiet time to read and enjoy the latest Stephen King novel.  Your local gourmet store probably has sample sizes of some exotic coffee or tea – many samples being only a dollar or two.  Grab his biggest coffee mug, put in the coffee sample, a couple of cookies stolen out of the kids’ cookie jar, maybe a good cigar if he smokes them, and then stop by the library to pick up a book or two he might enjoy reading.  Don’t forget to give him a night off to enjoy the solitude while he sips his coffee and enjoys his book!

How many times have you said to your cuddly computer geek, “If you don’t get off of that computer now, I’m going to cancel your subscription to World of Warcraft; burn your Asheron’s Call t-shirt; toss your Civilization cheat guide in the trash; and tell all of your friends your 9 year old had to show you where to plug in your iPhone charger!”  Oh, is that just me?

Well just in case it isn’t, just like the avid reader, the avid gamer probably gets a lot of flack for taking time for himself on the computer.  This Valentine’s Day, let him have it.  No, don’t punch his lights out – let him have some computer time, uninterrupted, your gift to him for being the sweetheart that he is!  Let him eat dinner at his desk, bring him a couple of Red Bulls so he can stay up all night if he wants, and let him be.  He will really appreciate the night to himself – so much, that it might reflect well when your anniversary rolls around!

You don’t have to think too far outside the box to come up with an inexpensive Valentine gift for your sweetie.  Give him what you can’t really afford to give him on a daily basis – his own space to do his own thing.  He’ll appreciate that much more than another pair of silk boxers with Valentine hearts on them!

Putting a Price Tag on Love – Inexpensive Ideas for your Valentine Kid

As if it’s not enough that we’re just recuperating from the pressures of what to buy whom for Christmas, now Valentine’s Day is staring us in the face!  No one wants to look like a cheap sucker when expressing their love on Valentine’s Day, but in this economy, with your good friends Mr. Mastercard and Miss VISA expecting a little something to reward them for how loyal they were to you during Christmas, what can you afford to do?

Let’s run it down by the list of people who might be expecting gifts and see if we can’t help you show them that you care for them with a champagne heart but a beer pocketbook.

Gifts for the Kids


Drugstores all over America make it easy for you to treat your littles to something sweet for Valentine’s Day, and because kids don’t really get the whole gist of putting a price on love, you can get away really inexpensively here.

1 – Walmart has a Valentine aisle – as does Target, Walgreens, and CVS.  You’ll find $5 plush toys, .99 candy filled hearts, $1 Valentine socks, and other inexpensive goodies.  You can fill a gift bag for your kids for under $10 and have it bursting with Valentine treats.

2 – Valentine clothes – We almost always get Valentine PJs for our girls, mostly because they usually need new PJs, but also because we can find for less than $20 (and sometimes for less than $15) a cute Valentine set of Pajamas and a stuffed animal, so we avoid the candy and sweets route.  You can find Valentine PJs, t-shirts, and socks at stores like Target, Walmart, and Old Navy.  I kinda like this little t-shirt for $5!

At Old Navy – http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=64713&vid=1&pid=818880&scid=818880012

3 – A Coupon Booklet – Treat your child to a Frosty at Wendy’s, a hot apple pie at McDonald’s, a trip to the library for story time, or even a pedicure and manicure, courtesy of Mom.  You can fill a book of coupons with free or almost free things that your kids will love!  Promise a picnic at the park on one coupon.  A popular coupon at our house is the Get Out of One Chore coupon, where your child can redeem the coupon to get out of setting the table or walking the dog, without risking allowance!  You might even offer to play that horrendous board game they got for Christmas – you know, the one that you’d rather skip playing in favor of a root canal?  Just keep reminding yourself that it’s all in the name of love.

4 – Special Valentine’s Day Meal – You probably have red plastic table cloths or red napkins left over from Christmas – or you picked them up for 75% at an after Christmas sale, so go ahead and decorate your table!  Dress it up in reds, pinks, and whites for a festive themed setting your kids will love.  Then when they sit down to a meal, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just Valentiney!  Use cookie cutters to cut heart shaped sandwiches with their favorite filling, or put that art school degree to work and shape a meatloaf or a pizza for your special kids.  Use food coloring to put a Valentine hue into mashed potatoes, biscuits, or muffins; and consider a dessert with strawberries!

The thing kids love most is your time.  If all else fails, read them an extra bedtime story, take time to listen to their playground tales, or volunteer to be the guinea pig as they try their hand at being a beautician.  Kids know that you love them when you make time for them, and your time is the one thing that really doesn’t cost you anything.  It is the best – and the cheapest – gift you can give your kids on Valentine’s Day – and every day.