Don't Break the bank this Valentine's Day...


 I was watching a local lifestyle show the other day and saw a segment about Valentine's Day gift giving.  The first gift shown was a diamond necklace for $100 - very pretty but a bit pricey for a Valentine's Day gift.  Next up was a Bose iPod docking station for the man in your life for - get this - $299.  (note: my husband thought this sounded like a great gift for him!)  These are both lovely gifts but it got me thinking about Valentine's Day and how it's almost turned into a mini-Christmas.

I've always thought of February 14 as a day to show those we love a little extra affection, not buy them another huge gift.  If you are young without a mortgage and college tuition to pay, it's one thing, but for the rest of us I think it's really easy to go overboard and try to keep up with the masses.

So, what's a girl to do if she doesn't want to spend a king's ransom on the one she loves?

I'm a fan of some good old 'lovin' from the oven'.  Like these heart shaped brownies.  You can make your own brownie mix or use a boxed one - they all taste good.  Bake them like normal, let them cool and cut the heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter (check your local dollar store).  Bonus: you can munch on the scraps that are left after cutting the shapes!  I don't know anyone who doesn't love a little homemade treat.

Most people I know (especially men) love a homecooked meal.  Skip the busy, over-priced restaurants on Thursday and eat in.  It can be as simple as spaghetti and salad or very elaborate.  But you definitely don't need to break the bank.

A fun breakfast is also a hit.  Heart shaped pancakes. Heart shaped biscuits. Strawberries. I pretty much cut everything into a heart shape on the 14th.

I think it's fun to have a little treat waiting at the breakfast table for the kids.  Some fun ideas that won't break the bank:

  • Small toys: yo-yo's, bubbles, Polly Pockets, matchbox cars, crayons, watercolors.
  • Candy: just a bit though as most Valentine's the kids give out these days include a piece of candy (why??) and I don't want to turn this into Halloween.  I usually buy a big bag of the holiday M&M's and put some in a cellophane bag tied with a pretty ribbon.
  • Gift cards: For older kids.  A $5 or $10 card from the local ice cream shop is really fun.  We love itunes around here and I will get the pack of 3 $10 cards and divvy them up between the husband and LM.  (he gets two cards, she gets one).  
  • Coupon books: Make your own with coupons for things like a day at the park, a no chore day, you pick dinner night, pajama day, etc.  You can be really creative and spend no money and the kids (husbands too) will love this!

There are a million ways to show your love and not break the bank.  And your loved ones will be just as happy as if you had spent oodles of money on them.


Anonymous said…
Agreed! Love those straws, too!
I love your heart shaped brownies! I agree with you... I gave my sweeties small boxes of candy and we had spaghetti for dinner!

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