If you’re anything like me, in the lead up to Valentine’s Day you’ll tell anyone who listens that it’s a meaningless, consumer-driven event that doesn’t deserve recognition. Then on the day itself you pore over the love messages published in the newspapers and are secretly upset when no flowers arrive on your desk. So this year I’ve been pro-active and come up with some cheap Valentine's Day gift ideas with which to share the love.
Bargain gifts for girls
Most girls don’t need to be wined, dined or swept off their feet on Valentine’s Day – they just want the date acknowledged!
• Love letters: What could be more romantic than a personalised poem, love letter or song for your lady? Serious or funny, with references to her special qualities and quirks, this gift from the heart is sure to make her swoon.
• Homemade pamper pack: Hit the local market or beauty outlet stores for a bar of homemade soap, a cheap shower puff or set of exfoliating gloves, shower gel and moisturiser and a single-treatment face mask sachet from the supermarket or pharmacy. Run a bath for her when she gets home and have a glass of wine ready!
• Romantic night in: Hire a DVD from your local rental or buy a cheap film for next to nothing at the likes of JB Hi Fi or Big W. Stock up on popcorn, soft drink and a selection of small pick-and-mix chocolates for some tasty show time treats then sit back and enjoy.
• Small and lacy: Spoil the girl in your life with a cute lingerie or PJ set. This doesn’t have to cost the earth; visit outlet stores at DFO such as Peter Alexander for some fantastic bargains on past season goods.
• Roses are red: Traditional doesn’t mean boring! A bunch of flowers, a single rose or even a posy picked from the garden will melt her heart and score you brownie points for the rest of the year.
Bargain gifts for boys
When it comes to romantic gifts, guys can be a little bit trickier to buy for. Forget about the schmaltz factor and just do something for him that you know he’ll love!
• Sweet treats: It’s said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Give this tactic a go and bake him some cookies, a cake or maybe his favourite dessert. Presentation counts so don’t forget to have some cellophane and ribbon on hand to wrap the completed goodies.
• Dinner for two: Forget an expensive restaurant; cook your man’s favourite meal! Light some candles; hit ‘play’ on some mood music and pop the cork on a nice bottle of wine.
• Cheese please: In keeping with the food theme, prepare a hamper for him with a selection of deli cheeses and seasonal fruits, all of which can be bought at the local markets. Complement this with a bottle of red wine and some crackers and you’ve got yourself a cheesy picnic.
• Gift vouchers: But not for his local book store... Customise a book of coupons with services you can provide. A free massage, cuddles on demand – this is a winner for both of you!
• Practical gifts: Consider your man’s hobbies: the football player might enjoy a new ball that you can kick around in the park together; the amateur chef might like a new utensil for the kitchen. While this isn’t necessarily the most romantic gift, he’ll appreciate the thought and love it all the same.
What are you planning to do for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Comment on this post or email email@example.com