Poor and in love? Cheap Valentine’s Day gift ideas for everyone

A young couple in the dorms relax on a couch in March 2019. (John Chapple | Collegian Media Group)

Those who celebrate Valentine’s Day are faced with a looming question: What should I get my significant other? For some couples, they decide they won’t buy gifts. Others decide to do a date or activity together as they celebrate their love. Some decide to continue the tradition of gift giving and set a price point for spending or just go overboard.

For those who are on a budget but still want to give a gift, there is an option for you. Consider homemade gifts that have sentimental meaning and will make your loved one feel appreciated. Homemade gifts are great because they are (literally) what you make them. They can be expensive or cheap — you decide.

Before you decide on what to make, figure out what your partners love language is so you can get the best gift for them. A great thing to do is take the love languages test and then choose a gift based off of those results.

Here are three ideas that are inexpensive but sentimental:

1. Love letters

Valentine’s Day is just one day of the year, so why not express your love through letters that can be read all year? Letter giving is something that is extremely personal and can mean a lot to someone.

Here are some ideas you could write about: qualities that you love about them, letters for when they are sad, happy or going through various emotions or simply just a letter explaining why you love them.

Out of those listed ideas, the best is writing letters about qualities of your significant other that you love. Written letters are highly valued and if your significant other’s love language is words of affirmation, this is the perfect gift to give. These letters can let your person know you love their humor, compassion, sense of adventure or whatever qualities they have.

2. Cook together

Does your significant other enjoy quality time? If so, try cooking a meal together. Pick a meal that your significant other enjoys or one that you both have been wanting to try. Cooking a meal together can be great and allow you two some quality time.

If you want to get crafty, try making a meal and dessert. You can split the tasks or do them together. Cooking together is great because you learn how the other cooks and works in a kitchen. Some people are strict recipe followers, while others have a more “go with the flow” attitude in the kitchen. Cooking together will help you find this out. This is a great time to be goofy and just enjoy being with your significant other.

3. Explore your city

No matter where you live, you can explore your city. Write down a list of places that are memorable to your relationship, places you haven’t been or maybe find an event in the area. Write down a couple of places and make your date into a scavenger hunt. You can make the first card a place where you two met or that holds a significant place in your heart for you two. Next, pick a place and have a meal set up there or an activity to do. You can even see if there is an event in the area that is free or cheap. End your scavenger hunt with a new place or go back home.

Whatever you choose to do, make it fun for you both. This is an opportunity for you both to explore your city, make new memories and grow closer together on this special day.

Remember, Valentine’s Day isn’t all about the gifts. It’s about being with your loved one and showing them that you care for them. Consider one of these three date ideas as a way of saving some money and spending quality time with your loved one.

Monica Diaz is the social media editor for the Collegian and a senior in journalism. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

I'm Monica Diaz and I graduated in May 2020 with a degree in broadcast journalism and Spanish. I severed in several roles while working for the Collegian, but most of my work focused on rebuilding the Collegian digital brand with an increased social media presence. I also worked on KKSU-TV and appeared as an anchor on MHK All Day in my last semester on campus. In my spare time, I enjoy a good cup of coffee and spending time with family. I have a passion for journalism because I believe that everyone deserves to have their voice heard.