So you’re looking to score that unforgettable Valentine’s Day, but student loans, rent and your habit of buying 2am rounds of tequila has just depleted your bank account total of its sole comma.
Time to start Googling your nearest dollar store, right? Wrong. While there’s timeless truth to the old saying that money can’t buy you love, remember that money can’t show you love either. Think back to the most special that a significant other has ever made you feel, and chances are it was a selfless display of utter thoughtfulness, not a flash of cash.
With this in mind, PicoBong is here to prove to you that just because your bank account is down this Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean you have to be. Don’t believe us? Read our 5 tips for V-Day on a budget and find out how to give your partner everything with next to nothing.
The Write Stuff
While a greeting card is the least of your expenses, it’s also the least thoughtful way to express your feelings—no matter how “romantic” the mass-printed poem on the inside is. Get yourself a paper and pen, throw on some Sigur Rós and bang out a heartfelt, hand-written letter. Take a shot at a poem or some simple artwork for extra brownie points. Paradoxically, the less artistic you are, the more this will be appreciated.
Pull a Switcheroo
It’s not always what you give, but how you give it. It doesn’t get any more cliché than holding flowers behind your back or givin’ the ol’ “close your eyes and hold your hand out.” A recent trend in creative gift-giving is using arts and craft skills to disguise an unexpectedly awesome gift as something cliché. For example, hollow out a box of chocolates and center a jewel-studded vibrator in the middle. Fill the box with notes about ways you’d like to use the vibrator together. The witty switcheroo will boost you from zero to hero in seconds.
On Valentine’s Day, people have a tendency to do things they don’t naturally do—the most forced among them being the visit to the overpriced, overrated restaurant. Save your money and your faux pretentiousness and put together a home-cooked meal that has significance. Get creative—make a meal themed around your first date. If you went to an aquarium and then out to ice cream—fry some fish and serve the ice cream flavor your partner had that day. Make up a cute menu, explaining each dish and sprinkling inside jokes throughout.
Deck the Halls
The décor of a fancy restaurant has nothing on the end result of familiar room made over. Like our dinner tip, we can only hold your hand so far, as you need to adapt specifics to your partner’s interests. Some super-successful arts and craftsy makeovers we heard of? Filling a room with dozens and dozens of balloons—each containing a sweet note, able to be read after being popped and turning a wall into a treasure map linking old ticket stubs and the like to the little things you appreciated about those seemingly-forgotten days.
Make your own YOUpon book
While gift cards are ideal for acquaintances, they’re among the most unacceptable, least thoughtful Valentine’s Day gifts. Instead of going corporately cliché, try making your own coupon book, broken down by category. For example, in the food section include coupons for a homemade breakfast in bed; under housekeeping, a week of dish doing; and under sex, a night of exploring S&M fantasies.
As V-Day approaches, challenge yourself to make this one the most memorable one ever, reminding yourself that the best things in life truly are free. Brainstorm some ideas constantly asking yourself, “has anyone ever done this before?” If the answer is no, you are surely onto something spectacular.