Ten for $10: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Lovers with a Big Heart and Small Budget

Being young and in love is a wonderful thing… …Well, it is until February 14 rolls around–the universal day of showering your better half with tokens of affection–and you realize that your wallet is rather light.
However, empty pockets can still fill hearts. For the handy and/or crafty, here are four ideas that can get the creativity rolling, and your significant other’s heart thumping:

Write a love letter

Writing love letters seems to be a lost art in today’s digital age, when email and instant messenger are at the tips of everyone’s fingers. Find some nice stationery, like parchment paper, and put your thoughts into words, perhaps using a felt tip pen–but a 15-cent Bic will work just as well.

Tell your significant other how much you love them; reminisce about a first date or a silly story you shared together. Make your love come alive with words. A letter is personal, from the heart, and something that can be cherished for a long time if stored in a shoebox or scrapbook. For an added touch, seal the envelope with melted wax and carve his or her initial on it.

Create a photo album

Check the “doubles” box when getting those disposable cameras developed. Gather up some extra pictures of you and your sweetie and organize them in a personalized photo album. Include pictures from school, dates, vacations, concerts, holidays, family events and more. For the artistic types who have time to spare, take this idea a step further and go all out with a scrapbook. Include other memoirs, captions, and more.

Make a mixed CD

Many couples have “their song,” or one that reminds them of a first kiss, first concert or a road trip. Back in the 80’s, it was cool to tape songs off the radio onto a cassette. Nowadays, music can be downloaded online or recorded onto a hard drive using a free program called Free CD Rip, and then saved to another CD. Throw together a mix of love songs or songs that remind you of your special someone.

Coupon Book

Get some construction paper, scissors, markers and a stapler and make a booklet full of a dozen or so coupons describing things you promise to do for your girl or guy. Some other ideas: 20-minute massage, dinner for two at a favorite restaurant, breakfast in bed, a day of pampering, and so on. You can even add things like, “I’ll stop playing my video games” or “I’ll get off the computer” — two things which will add more quality time to your relationship. A homemade coupon book is free and can last for months and months, giving your loved one a little pick-me-up over and over again.

Cheap Gift Ideas: Ten for Ten

For the not-so-crafty types, here are 10 gift ideas for $10 or less:

1. Panties or boxers- buy your gal a cute pair of panties or two-even Victoria Secret’s has a bargain bin! Girls- buy your man a pair of silk boxers from a discount store. They are sexy and comfy!

2. $10 gift certificate to Ebay: Let your sweetheart bid on whatever they want. If they are collectors, this online auction extravaganza may help to boost their collection.

3. Book and a bookmark: If you are dating a bookworm, what a better present than a new book–a novel idea. Paperbacks are usually pretty cheap.

4. Massage Gift Certificate- before you think this will break the bank, think again! If you have a local massage therapy school, they most likely offer cheap full-body massages. One school in PA offers them for $10 for a full-body and they have gift certificates available.

5. Cheesy Movie on VHS: They sell these at grocery store checkouts and in the “value” section of most electronic stores. Laugh together as you watch corny flicks.

6. Journal and Pen: These are the days to remember, right? Journaling has always been popular. If you think your honey would like to start this hobby, pick up a journal at any department or stationary store for them.

7. Gift Book: These are available at the checkout of places like Barnes and Noble, Hallmark and other gift stores. They are pocket-sized books of all types of neat ideas for gifts, inspiration, sports and humor. They are handy to keep in a purse or in a desk drawer.

8. Cards and Poker Chips: Texas Hold’em is the latest rage. Start a card night with your sweetheart by getting him or her a cool deck of cards and some starter chips.

9. Gag Gift: If you are, of course, 18-or-over, there are plenty of ideas for under $10 in the aisles of adult book stores. Go wild.

10. Candy: The old standby that never gets old. Local candy shops are sure to have unique confections. The always-traditional Russell Stover’s in a red, heart-shaped box can be found in your local drugstore. Or, buy a glass jar and fill it up with your sweetheart’s favorite sweets at your local bulk candy shop!