Remember when Valentine’s Day was all about passing around Hello Kitty or Transformers cards to your classmates?  Those innocent days were a long time ago.  In today’s world, Valentine’s Day has grown into a huge holiday that involves a ton of spending to prove how much you love your significant other.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune to demonstrate your love.  Instead, choose one of these inexpensive Valentine’s Day gifts.  They may seem a little corny, but being in love isn’t supposed to be all about how much you spend. Sometimes it’s the simple expressions of love that show how much you care.
Coupon Books
I remember making one of these for my mom when I was little.  She loved it because she could cash in coupons that would require me to take out the garbage, wash the dishes, or take the dog for a walk.
You can do the same for your spouse requiring you to do chores around the house, or you can make them into “love coupons” good for a hug, kiss, or any other fun act that your imagination can come up with.
Time Alone
This gift is especially valuable to couples with young children.  Between school, work, sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities it can be extremely difficult for parents to find any time for themselves.
Take the kids out by yourself for a few hours and let your spouse get some much-needed time to relax and unwind.  They can use that time to do whatever they enjoy…reading a good book, catching up on their soaps, taking a nap, etc.  Then meet up later for some couples time together.
A Homemade Dinner
This one is great for guys who don’t normally cook.  A homemade meal shows that you’re willing to put in some extra effort to make her feel special.  Just don’t overshoot and bite off more than you can chew.  Find a recipe for a simple meal like grilled pizza or spaghetti and meatballs and don’t forget a bottle of wine.  You’ll spend a lot less than you would at a restaurant and she’ll appreciate it more too.
Love Notes
Remember when you first started dating and you’d leave all sorts of cute notes, drawings, and poems for your significant other to find?  As time went by you stopped doing romantic things like that, so why not restart the habit for Valentine’s Day?
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  Just take some Post It notes and jot down little notes like “I love you” or “Your smile lights up my day” and hide them all over the place so she finds them one at a time throughout the day.  Each time she finds one she’ll think of you.
Flowers (Other Than Roses)
Every Valentine’s Day the price of roses suddenly goes through the roof, so why not avoid the added expense and pick up a small bouquet of some less expensive but still beautiful flowers?  Another tip…if you’re having flowers delivered, send them a few days early.  Florists are so busy on V-day itself that they charge a premium for delivery.  Get them delivered a day or two early and you’ll pay the regular delivery fee.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Are you expecting something special this year?
Mike Collins is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance topics. He’s also a husband and father of three children who keep him very busy.  You can read more about his quest to achieve finance freedom for his family at WealthyTurtle.com