• Gladys Olivia Murray

Lovin' On a Budget: Valentine's Day Gifts for Him and Her

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day with your man, family, or friends--no one wants to go broke to prove that their love is legit! With less than two months since Christmas, many of us are still recovering from the lengths we went to to put that priceless smile on our loved one's face. Now that the next major gift-exchange is two days away, you may be feeling a little anxiety. But don't stress--you don't have to break bank to create meaningful, memorable, experiences for your loved ones this year. Check out my top 14 Budget-friendly Valentine's Day experiences and gifts!


#1 Cook

You really can't go wrong with this, unless you just can't cook! lol If that's the case, order in and add your own personal touch in the presentation. But if you know how to get around the kitchen, prepare a scrumptious meal featuring your Valentine's favorite food! Add a bottle of wine or your own signature "mocktail", and don't forget to have a dessert to satisfy that Valentine's Day sweet tooth!

You can also cook Valentine's Day breakfast if you want to kick off the day with a gesture of your love. Last year, I decorated the dining table with Valentine's Day themed decor, printed photos of my fiance and I, and attached them to red balloons that surrounded the table. His favorite breakfast foods are grits and eggs, so I made grits, eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes for the two of us.

#2 Mani & Pedi

Is a full body massage out of the budget? No need to worry! There are other ways to pamper your loved one and bring rejuvenation and relaxation to their day. Purchase a gift certificate to a local nail spa and treat him OR her to a pedicure and manicure.

#3 Picnic in the Park

Now, depending on what region of the U.S. you're in, this may or may not be feasible; but if you're in Florida like me, have at it! Get some fresh air this Valentine's Day and visit a local park, decorate a picnic table, and share a meal of your choice.

#4 Indoor Movie Date

That's right--buy the popcorn, candy, and soda yourself, and watch a Redbox movie in the comfort of your own home! This was actually one of our after-dinner Valentine's Day activities from last year. To bring it to life, I bought a large plastic popcorn bucket from the Dollar Tree, two crazy straws shaped into a heart, two tall cups with hearts on them, and a plastic red platter to display the candy. We got comfortable, had all the snacks we needed, and enjoyed a movie together to conclude our Valentine's Day.

#5 Scrapbook

If you're a crafty guy or gal, create a scrapbook for or with your significant other! Catalog things you've done, places you've been, as well as things you want to do, and places you want to go. You don't have to do it all in one night, or buy all of the stickers and paper up front, but getting started can be loads of fun.

#6 Live Music

Look up events that are happening in your city. If there's any kind of live music vibe, whether at a restaurant or club, look into the ticket prices because there may be some affordable yet quality options out there.

#7 Bowling | Skating | Top Golf

This is a great "galentines" activity or group unisex V-Day outing. Bring the whole gang and share some laughs while you have some fun.


#8 Pajamas

Because, simply put, who doesn't love pajamas? Okay, so most of us don't ACTUALLY sleep in pajamas, but that's because we don't buy them for ourselves, not because we don't like them.

Visit Walmart, Target, or Ross and gift your Valentine with some comfy, cute sleepwear, including robes, slippers, underwear, etc.

#9 Perfume/Cologne

This doesn't have to be Dolce and Gabbana, Visit a local fragrance store and smell a few testers of scents that are in your budget.

Instead of actual cologne or perfume, you could even gift your Valentine with a scented body wash and lotion set. Bath and Body works is always an affordable move for the ladies!

#10 Candles

You can never have too many awesome smelling candles. They are the fragrance of a woman's daily life! Visit White Barn, Marshall's, Target, or Bath and Body Works and pick a candle scent that's just right for your friend or your girl!

#11 Lipstick/Lipgloss

This is a simple, yet significant stand-alone gift for a friend. You can add a card and candy in the Valentine's Day spirit, but this is enough to put a smile on a girly girl's face! If you want to add a little something extra, get a pair of 3D strip lashes from Ulta ($8 or less). For the lipstick, visit Ulta, Sephora, MAC, or even the cosmetics section at Walmart or Target. Milani, Loreal, and Revlon are good brands.

#12 A Book

I love to read, and any time I'm ever gifted a Barnes and Noble Gift Card or a book in my area of interests, I'm ecstatic. If you have a book lover in your life, get them a gift card to a bookstore, Amazon.com, or buy a book you think they would enjoy reading!

#13 Jewelry

It doesn't have to be 24K gold. If she doesn't have any allergies, hit up that 2 for $10 at Charlotte Russe! Pair a necklace and earrings with a thoughtful card, and you will put a smile on your galentine's face. (SN: Don't sleep on that Walmart jewelry either! They have cute chokers and costume jewelry necklaces).

For a man, check out some affordable, but trendy/good-looking watches.

#14 The Valentine's Day Value Pack: Candy | Card | Flowers | Balloons | Stuffed Animal

Now if this is your girlfriend/fiance/wife, get a little more creative! lol But if this is for your friend, homegirl, sister, or mom--this is a solid gift to let them know that they're loved and thought of.

#15 Care Package

For a man, you can include: Boxers/briefs, undershirts, socks, deodorant, body wash, lotion, Chapstick, beard oil, facial cleanser/moisturizer, hair brush, tic-tacs, gum, etc.

For a woman, you can include: panties, fuzzy socks, deodorant, body wash, lotion, razors/shaving cream, lip gloss, a scented candle, facial mask, tic-tacs, gum, etc.

I hope you've found this list to be helpful in guiding your gift-buying decision! My last recommendation is that you add a card and something sweet to whatever item(s) you decide to buy. Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

- Gladys Olivia

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