Love is in the air because its almost Valentines Day. For that special someone you want to treat this year, dont wait until the last minute. Just a little bit of planning and creativity can help make this Valentines Day extra memorable without breaking the bank.
Did you know Americans spent close to $20 billion for Valentines Day last year? Thats a lot of flowers and chocolates. Men spent almost twice as much as women, averaging close to $196 on gifts versus a $100 by women. Those between the ages of 25-34 were the most active spenders on Valentines Day, followed by young lovebirds aged 18-24. Flowers were the most popular purchase made by men, while women spent the most money on greeting cards and candy.
To help get your Valentines Day planning off to a great start, here are some sweet and sentimental Valentines gift ideas for couples at prices that will make you feel even more love.
DIY Succulent Planter
Cut roses are a classic Valentines gift, but they usually dont last more than a week. Plus, they can be quite expensive, especially if you purchase a decorative vase and have to pay for guaranteed delivery on Valentines Day. Try opting for a planter filled with beautiful succulents instead.
Succulents are hearty, low-maintenance plants that come in a variety of colors and shapes. You can make your own arrangement in a heart-shaped planter box or purchase a pre-made arrangement from your local garden center or farmers market. Your sweetheart is sure to enjoy watching them grow and bloom for years to come.
Sure you think this is a cheesy gift, but theres just something romantic and fun about eating fondue. Surprise your loved one with a super easy homemade fondue dinner and dessert for a romantic date night in. Fondue pots are easy to buy in stores or online and only cost about $30. They dont take up a lot of space and can be used again for many more festive meals in the future.
Slices of bread, potatoes, mushrooms, and tri-tip are delicious savory choices that pair perfectly with Swiss, Gruyere or Cheddar cheeses. And of course, you cant go wrong with chocolate dipped strawberries, bananas, figs, pound cake or marshmallows. Plus, who says you have to pick just one for this Valentines Day idea? Pair the fondue with your favorite wine, and get ready to raise a toast to your love.
DIY Gift Basket
Make your special someone a custom gift basket filled with things you know they will use and love. Pick a theme such as their favorite cuisine, hobby or sports team and arrange a few separate Valentines Day gift items together with some red tissue paper or ribbon. Gifts that are custom selected by you leave a lasting impression and can be cheaper than buying generic Valentines gift baskets from a retailer. Tuck in some photos from your favorite dates inside the basket, and youre sure to make their heart melt.
Love Notes in a Bottle
While you probably havent exchanged snail mail love letters, chances are youve sent quite a few emails and texts to each other. Dig out some of your favorite conversations, funny moments and silly autocorrect fails. Then, print them out on small pieces of paper and roll them up. Slot them inside a clean wine bottle, cork it closed and decorate it with a red ribbon. This makes for a unique, sentimental keepsake that can also decorate a bookcase, dresser or mantlepiece.
This will melt their hearts. Valentines Day gifts dont have to be wrapped in a bow, they can also be fun activities to do together – like ice skating. Even if you dont live near Rockefeller Center, you can plan a romantic date night on the ice. There are plenty of ice skating rinks all over the country, even on the tropical islands of Hawaii, so chances are youre not too far from one. Share some laughs together while you carefully make your way across the ice and hold hands.
Put in a special request for the DJ to play one of your favorite love songs dedicated to your main squeeze, and enjoy a memorable and romantic slow dance together. One of the best Valentines Day gifts is the gift of a great time and memories. Dont forget to sneak in a break for some hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm up and rest your legs!
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 Soergel, Andrew, Americans To Drop $20 billion for Valentines Day, U.S. News, February 11, 2016.