Just like love, the best things in life are free. If you are tired of wracking your brain for ideas or your budget is nonexistent, show your love by giving free gifts this Valentine’s Day. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Take in a concert or play
Your local parenting magazine (mine is Atlanta Parent) has listings that include no or low cost events and activities throughout the metro area. What’s best about the list is it includes family friendly events.
Explore your community
As you are walking out of the supermarket grab a community magazine and/or paper. They’ll include free events in your neighborhood and surrounding cities (smaller events than what is in your parenting magazine) and there will be a wider range of choices for the adult-only crowd. Try a museum or take a tour like tourists, enjoy free music at a local bistro or bar, and take in a poetry reading at your favorite coffee shop or café. Keep in mind you may have to purchase a drink, but spending $5 or less is well worth it.
Learn something new
If your area is like mine you receive a monthly paper or magazine in your mailbox with local deals. Some of my favorite deals are listed as “try a class for free.” Check out an art studio or cooking class. It just may lead to a monthly, unique date night.
Enjoy a tasty treat
My absolute favorites are “bring this coupon in for a free…” donut, yogurt, cupcake, coffee, sandwich – You get the point, right? Lovebirds can simply order the free item and snuggle up really close to enjoy it together.
The ideas above put me in mind of a lovely date night, but you can use the same ideas – with little modifications – for your children, friends or relatives. The following are also age-friendly.
Handmade gifts to delight
- For at least 30 days before the big love day save the jars and containers you would normally discard along with any pretty papers and boxes then make personalized gifts for family and friends. Wrap an instant rice cup with colored or glittery tissue paper and secure with glue. Add their favorite treat (hard candies, milk or dark chocolate, licorice bites) and hide a note or another trinket among the goodies.
- Use cardboard, cardstock or scrapbooking paper (whichever is on hand) to design greeting cards. Print out digital pictures; use stickers, ribbons and embellishments then write a heartfelt message. Be sure to customize the card to the person. Keep their hobbies, desires, likes and interests in mind.
- Raid your kitchen for baking goods and whip up your famous cookies or muffins, wrap them individually in colorful cellophane paper tied with a ribbon and place them in a basket or decorated box.
For more handmade and free gift ideas do a quick search on Pinterest or similar social media sites. Just browsing others’ ideas will fuel your own.
One last tip
The key to giving these types of gifts is knowing the interests and likes of the recipient. Keep a “gifts notebook” and record information about friends and family along with pictures and lists of ideas so you’ll have it handy when the time comes.
Are there any free or low-cost gift ideas that are your favorite? Share them with me in the comments section; maybe I can get some more ideas for the gifts I’m making.
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