Valentine’s Day Options When You’re Ballin’ On A Budget


Fellas, fellas, fellas. February 14th is right around the corner, and with that comes the intense responsibility of doing something romantic for that special someone. But your tax refund might not come until next month, and your pockets are emptier than the values of a politician. So what do you do? Well, we know that times are rough and tough like leather, so we have some ideas for you and yours (Netflix and Chill is not a viable option). Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the Hallmark Holiday for fools in love, but not in the money.

The Art Of The Mixtape

Okay, so maybe cassettes reside comfortably in the Paleolithic Era (and random shelves at select Urban Outfitters locations), but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a proper mix for your love. Pick some songs that remind you of your relationship (good times only, please), and either burn them to a CD, add them to a USB drive, or buy 10-15 songs on iTunes and send them over email as a gift playlist. Music is the soundtrack to the heart, after all. Cost: $10-$15

The Only Way To Get Framed

Diamonds are forever, but recent history has proven that so is vinyl. Maybe you and your love don’t have turntables (how dare you), but that doesn’t mean you can’t cop a vinyl classic and put it in a cool vinyl frame. Find a classic love song on record, and slide the cover into the frame. Now when your boo looks up at the frame and the song, you’ll come to mind. Brilliance at a low price. Cost: $25

You’re Not Living Until You’re LivingSocial

You’ve probably heard ladies gabbing about LivingSocial and Groupon, finding all sorts of great deals—from last minute trips to cool restaurants. Here’s a Pro Tip: Go on that site and go nuts. Look up everything: day trips, kayaking, candlelit dinners, weekend getaways. These sites are designed to make your life easier. If you find a good deal, grab it. Print the confirmation and slip it into a card. You don’t have to go IMMEDIATELY to the destination, but as long as the goal is in the card, the gift has been received. Cost: Varies

Pinot And Picasso, Baby

All over the country, girls have Ladies Night at a spot where they sip wine and tipsily paint portraits of happy trees and city skylines. How about you make it a date? A site called Wine & Canvas has nationwide calendars and locations of spots to bring that special someone for this somewhat artsy event. Tickets are usually $35 a person (so $70), but you can actually find a great deal on the aforementioned LivingSocial and Groupon sites. Cost: $70 (but can be discounted)

Bring It To Broadway

In the New York City area? Well, there are a number of sites that hip you to Broadway lottery tickets, which can be won for a way cheaper price than standard ticket value. Check out the site BroadwayForBrokePeople for some ideas on deals. Heads up, you may not be able to get the tickets you want, so have a firm Plan B in mind or else you’ll have an instant concept for your own musical “Dumped On Broadway.” Cost: Varies

Digital Face To Face

Digital frames are the easiest (and most affordable) way to put tons of images into one moving picture. Gather every photo you can find from every good memory you and your partner have had. Load it into the frame and hand it over. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Cost: ~$40

Sing Your Love

What’s more romantic than singing a song to the one you love at karaoke? Do you suck at singing? Who cares! Everyone does at karaoke bars. The whole point like in that film My Best Friend’s Wedding is to prove you’re in love enough to belt out a few verses in bae’s honor. Here’s another Pro Tip: Go during Happy Hour (even on Sundays), since some bars have a big discount. Cost: ~$30

The Book Of Us

Ever find it completely unfair that your Instagram photos can’t be held? Well, thanks to a site called Chatbooks now they can. Find your favorite Instagram photos of you and your ride or die, let Chatbooks know, and a book can be printed of your photos. How romantic is that? Cost: Starting at $8

Four-Page Letter

In a digital world, the most romantic way to express your love is to keep it analog. Sit down and write a handwritten letter. Of course looseleaf and a pen won’t do, so there’s a fancier option. Moleskine has mini-versions of their classic notebooks that are only a few pages, and come with an envelope. Write your deepest thoughts down, and watch your mate swoon. Cost: $3.95

A Bouquet Of Words

Are you a crafty guy? Well, instead of the traditional route of flowers (which can sometimes be really expensive and ordinary), how about you make some from book pages? That’s right. For next to nothing, you can print pages of a book (or even a letter you’ve written) and make them into flowers. It’s a little time consuming, but so worth it. Here’s a DIY tutorial. Does your loved one love music? Try it with sheet music instead. Cost: ~$10