Valentine’s Day presents that let you say “I love you” without spending anything
We’ve already published a great list of long distance relationship gifts this year, but what if you’re strapped for cash? If you’re saving your pennies for plane tickets and want to find Valentine’s Day presents that won’t break the bank, here are 14 free Valentine’s Day presents (ok, ok, some of these may require postage, but that hardly counts).
1. Make a slideshow starring you
You probably have hundreds, maybe thousands of digital photos of the two of you smiling and smooching and doing fun things. Create a slideshow that tells the story of your relationship and showcases some of your highlights. Set it to music, load it up, and you’ve got something you can both watch again and again.
2. Tell them why you love them
Use the alphabet to name things that you love or admire about your partner. For example, beside “A” you might write: “you Appreciate other people”. Beside B you might write: “you are Brave”. Your partner will love receiving this.
You could also use Post-It notes to do this. Enlist the help of a colleague or roommate. After you’ve filled out a stack of notes, send these Post-It notes to your accomplice and ask him or her to plant them around your love’s office or dorm room for them to find on Valentine’s Day.
3. Make a playlist
Yes, this is the new and improved version of “make them a mixed tape”. Pick music you think your love will enjoy. Organize them into a Spotify playlist (or use another playlist website) so your SO can play during their commute or while they’re making dinner at the end of a long day. This TechApp piece tells you how to make and share music playlists online legally.
4. Send the scent of you
Did you know that your sense of smell can unleash powerful emotions and memories? That’s because the nerves that conduct information about smell link straight into the area of your brain that is involved with creating memories and processing emotion. You can tap into this to your advantage by sending your beloved something that smells like you. Take a shirt that you already own, wear it, spray on some more perfume, aftershave, or deodorant and send it to them.
5. Write open-when letters
This is the gift that keeps giving for weeks. All you really need to create Open When letters is some stationary, some envelopes, and a pen. If you’re stuck for topic ideas this page gives you 30 Open When Letter Ideas, and this one gives you a ready-made printable with 100 love quotes.
6. Make and send cookies
It’s always fun to get sweet treats in the mail from your significant other. It’s even more special if they actually made them. If you’re strapped for cash, roll up your sleeves and grab a rolling pin.
You could always make the traditional crowd favorite, chocolate chip cookies. However, if you’d like to get a little more adventurous (or if your partner lives far away) try this recipe for Anzac Biscuits. They don’t go stale fast, so women in Australia and New Zealand used to bake these and send them to their army partners who were serving overseas during World War I. Hey, if something still tastes decent after being shipped across the ocean on a steamer, that’s a recipe worth trying, right?
7. Give them IOUs
My family moved a lot while we were growing up, and receiving an IOU in place of an actual present became a bit of a family tradition. I can’t say we enjoyed getting IOUs at Christmas, but I now believe that the good old IOU has its place, and that place is planning fun experiences.
Research has shown that money can buy you happiness if you spend it in on moments, not stuff, so get thinking about the sorts of moments that make good presents. What would be something special that you could do together during your next visit? A spa day with couples massages? Dinner out somewhere classy? Musical tickets? A hot air balloon ride?