Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas

As I’m sure you know, thanks to all of the red and pink you’ve seen popping up everywhere, next Thursday is Valentine’s Day!

I thought a round-up post of creative, budget-friendly Valentine’s Day ideas might be a good way to throw some fun, yet inexpensive, ideas out there.

Budget Friendly Valentine's Day Ideas

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you may have seen a couple of these Valentine’s Day ideas before, but I found a bunch of new ideas share with you from other blogs and Pinterest (of course).

Hopefully one of these ideas will help make someone you love feel extra special on February 14!

Budget Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas

52 Reasons Why I Love You Deck of Cards

  • 52 Reasons I Love You Deck of Cards: My sister did this project for her boyfriend last year and he loved it! She wrote a different thing that she loved about him on each card. Some were silly, others were really sweet, and the whole thing was really cute!

Candy Hearts Poster for Valentine's Day

  • Candy Hearts Poster: I made Ryan a poster that revolved around the sayings found on the candy hearts that are always for sale around Valentine’s Day. It took some time to come up with what I wanted the poster to say since the sayings on the candy hearts can be super hokey, but it was such a fun project.

You Float My Boat Basket - Valentine's Day

  • You Float My Boat Basket – This idea immediately appealed to me because Ryan is just a little bit obsessed with root beer floats. It’s simple – you just fill a basket with ice cream, root beer and straws – but still super cute!

Keys of All the Places You've Lives

Now That I've Kissed The Ground You Walk On... Poster   Trail of Hershey's Kisses Valentine's Day Idea

  • Now That I’ve Kissed the Ground You Walked On + Trail of Hershey Kisses: I totally stole this idea from a guy in high school who used it to ask a friend of mine to the prom! I placed a trail of Hershey Kisses from the front door of Ryan’s apartment into his bedroom where I had this sign propped up on his bed, along with more Hershey Kisses, the above poster and homemade cupcakes, asking him to be my valentine.

Dates that Changed Your World Poster

Met Engaged Married Map Project

  • Met, Engaged, Married Embroidered Map: I gave this gift to Ryan for our one-year wedding anniversary. I got the idea from a map project that I saw on Pinterest and changed it slightly to read “Met, Engaged, Married.” (The original read “Met, Married, Live.”) A map of the location of each of these special events in our relationship filled the picture space above the corresponding text.

I Love You Thiiiis Much

  • I Love You This Much Handprint Card: Though I don’t have kids, my heart melted when I saw this card. I just had to share it with you guys just in case there are any parents out there looking for an adorable Valentine’s Day craft project to do with their kids to surprise a loved one.

Alphabet Of Our Love Book for Valentine's Day


  • Scrapbook: For our first Valentine’s Day together, I gave Ryan a homemade scrapbook and filled it with photos, captions and admission tickets that captured the first year of our relationship. Be prepared: This takes hours and hours of work. Phew.

Personalized Mug - Just Need a Sharpie!

  • Personalized Coffee Mug or Tea Cup: Use a Sharpie to design your own mug! Add hearts, a favorite quote, song lyrics and more. Simply buy a mug, write away with the Sharpie and bake the mugs for 30 minutes at 350 degrees to let the design set.

Question of the Morning

  • What is the most memorable thing that you’ve done for someone or that someone has done for you on Valentine’s Day?

I love our annual Valentine’s Day Mission! Ryan and I create a small budget (usually $20) and both leave the house at the same time, setting a time limit during which we both have to get each other a bunch of little Valentine’s Day gifts! We have also gone to the mall together and split up for an hour to each buy each other an outfit to wear on a date that evening. Both ideas are a lot of fun!


  1. Kim says

    This year we’re doing a backyard Valentine’s camping trip, setting up the tent & grilling out with smores, bringing some music back there and watching the stars – since it’s on a Thursday we need to camp close to home, and this is pretty much 100% free :-)


  2. says

    I love the “Float My Boat” idea. So cute! One really memorable Valentine’s Day was during my sophomore year in high school. My HS boyfriend created a scavenger hunt that took me all over school. All my friends followed me around the campus as I found each of the clues, and it ended with a huge present that the high school secretary was keeping in her office. So much fun!


  3. says

    Back in 2008, after my boyfriend and I moved in together, we began looking to adopt a kitten. We hadn’t struck any luck the first few places we looked and had been keeping an eye on craigslist. When Valentine’s Day came, I was sick and left work early to go to the Dr’s. When I got home, I found a 5 week old kitten that my boyfriend adopted and brought home all on his work break!


  4. says

    -What awesome ideas, Julie! My husband and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary http://happyhoyt.blogspot.com/2013/02/twenty-year-anniversary.html and I wish I had seen this before then. Since this we be our 25th Valentine’s Day together, (5 years dating before marriage) we have mellowed out a bit. But this post has renewed my Valentine’s Day spirit. Thanks!
    -Favorite Valentine’s Day for us was a “love scavenger hunt” where we sent each other to all our favorite places in town to spend time together. We took turns and did it together so we could reminisce about each place. It was a lot of fun!
    -I have to say something about Ryan’s hair in that scrapbook picture. He looks so different with long wavy hair…very surfer dude! ;)


  5. says

    Thank you for great ideas, Julie! My man and I just celebrated one year and I bought him a very nice watch so I wanted to keep it budget friendly but still meaningful for Valentines day! I definitely will be doing one of these :)


  6. says

    I love these budget friendly ideas. Boys are the hardest to shop for sometimes so these sentimental gifts are wonderful.

    My most memorable Valentine’s day was when we had a snow day in college and all classes were closed on V-day :) we got to stay in and snuggle in our own little world.


  7. says

    Very cute! I think one of my favorite valentine’s days was in college. I was sad because my boyfriend at the time and I were in a long distance relationship and couldn’t be together. My roommates decorated the apartment, bought a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Johns, and set out adorable placemats with chocolate boxes and handmade valentines. It was really, really sweet!


  8. Stephanie says

    Fun ideas, thanks! My husband and I usually do low key but heartfelt gifts, which are more meaningful in my opinion. This year, though, we may have to postpone our celebrations as we will need to focus on our new little Valentine, who “interrupted” our V-Day when she was born last Feb. 14. ;)


  9. says

    Love all of these ideas!! My husband and I aren’t much of gift-givers – we prefer experiences together such as traveling, going out to eat, visiting an aquarium, etc. But, these ideas are so cute I just might have to get or make my sweetie a little something this year. ;)


  10. Heather says

    Hahaha, gotta love Ryan’s hair! I’m sure he wish he could go back to growing it out, eh?

    Very cute ideas! I love the idea of a smaller budget – takes all the stress out of Valentine’s Day. Although I might hint at that root beef float basket! Ingenious :D


  11. says

    My boyfriend came into my college english class with a huge cardboard heart sign draped over him that said, “Bret, will you be my valentine?”
    In the middle of class!
    It was hilarious, but also the sweetest thing. Really showed me how far he was willing to go to show he loved me haha.


  12. Kate Brown says

    Julie! All of these ideas are wonderful. I will save this post in my web archives forever, because I want to use absolutely every one of these gift ideas….I just need to space them out over a few years. I think I am going to make the 52 Reasons Why I Love You deck of cards this time around, but I will for sure make the Framed Keys, the Embroidered Met, Engaged, Married Poster, and the Personalized Date Calendar.

    Thank you!


  13. says

    I absolutely love all your ideas! I think the poster board is my favorite! I’ve seen it done with candy wrappers on Pinterest but your board is too cute. I will definitely be making note of these for the future!


  14. Lisa says

    We do a 20 minute/$20 max Target dash to get each other a present (or multiple presents). Last year he got me a shower curtain! We also come up with the cheeziest/non-traditionally romantic restaurant we could go to instead of the forced romance at an expensive dimly lit steak place etc. This year we’re heading to the local casino’s all you can eat crab leg buffet! Nothing spells romance more than stinky crab juice running down your fingers!


  15. says

    I love these ideas so cute! We’ll always set a limit and try to do more meaningful rather than expensive gifts, I think it’s always much more fun that way! And we usually make dinner or order dinner in and have a picnic dinner on the living room floor ha So much nicer being alone than beating those restaurant crowds on Valentines! And I love those mission ideas, so fun!


  16. says

    For my highschool boyfriend I went to his house early in the morning before school and mad a giant heart in his driveway with mountain dew cans… and My curent boyfriend I made him a home made heart shaped pizza! super cheese but loved it!


  17. says

    This year my bible study and I doing free baby sitting at our church for parents who want to go out on date without the kids! I’m really excited and hopefully a lot of parents take advantage of it! I think the hubby and I will have to V-day the day after this year. I have made him a candy bar card, kinda like the candy hearts one, and he loved it! It’s been awhile so maybe I’ll do that again!


  18. says

    I love all of these ideas! I have already started on the deck of cards. 12 down, 40 to go. Hopefully he’ll like it :) I made him an advent calendar for Christmas, and he was like a little kid when he got to open one every morning, hehe.


  19. says

    I usually bake lots of sweets which I find is inexpensive and special because its handmade. My favorite to make are my mom’s heart-waffle cookies! A recipe will soon be posted on my blog! I think this year will be my best Valentine’s day yet, I get to spend in with my main squeeze in St. Petersburg…my 18-month-old nephew!


  20. says

    I love your ideas and I love Valentine’s! Love doing sentimental things for all the loves in my life;) My hubby’s favorite meal is pizza so it’s been our tradition to always have a heart shaped one on Valentine’s. The only thing I don’t get excited about is a dozen roses! lol. Too traditional and easy;) Hope everyone’s is filled with lots of xoxo


  21. says

    Every year I have been with my husband I have made him a “boy bag”. I get a boy themed gift bag and fill it with his favorite boy things! boxers, dip (when he dipped –YUCK!), cookies, a fun shirt, boy stuff! I have done that the last 9 years and last year I did not make him one (thought maybe he wasnt as in to it as I was). Well, he came home from work and was upset when I hadnt made him one. Long story short, he had one the next day, but has not let me live it down yet! Wont make that mistake again!!


  22. MJ says

    One year I made my then boyfriend coupons for the following year. Things from 1 free massage upon request, to a home cooked dinner. Can be as fun and playful as you want or as naughty as you want. I printed them off, cut them out and got them laminated so that we could reused them. He loved the coupons. Unfortunately the relationship didn’t work but I still love the idea of the coupons.


  23. says

    I love these ideas, Julie! Ryan’s hair is out of control in that scrapbook! too funny!
    I really like the idea of splitting up at the mall or maybe Target with a set budget and time limit. Maybe I can talk the husband into doing that this weekend. Thanks!


  24. says

    Thanks for all the great ideas!! I think the $20 as fast as you can gift is amazing. I am definitely going to suggest that to my bf this year! Also scrap books while they look like they are easy to do definitely take a ton of time!! I did one for my boyfriend for our 2 year anniversary and it took me forever to pick out pictures, quotes, and everything else. Ryan looks like a lucky guy!


  25. says

    These are all great ideas!!!!!! This year, I’ve already got my scrapbook completed :) It was a year of on-and-off work (when he’s not around!), covering a monthlong vacation from back when. Hope it brings back all those wonderful memories :)



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