Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $30

V-Day season is upon us again, and even though I’m in a relationship this year, I still feel like I want to punch people whenever I see little red hearts dotting store windows. I’m not a big proponent of the “show your love for someone by throwing money at him” school of thought. I am, however, all for gifts that are thoughtful, useful, and CHEAP.

Hearing me out? Read on.

– If you want to go traditional, mix up the monotony. Candy and flowers are nice and don’t break the bank, but apparently they are not great for the planet, so why not choose something a bit different this year? A box of fair-trade, organic chocolates won’t run you more than 20 bucks, and they’re made with more care and better-quality ingredients than that Russell Stover collection.

– Does your boo like to spin the tunes? Make him a mix CD. I know, I know—that’s so sixth grade—but really, it’s a very thoughtful gift that can’t come from anyone except you. Go through your playlist and mountains of CDs to pick out songs that remind you of that special someone, burn ’em off, and make a pretty liner and cover for the CD. Done!

– Are you the anti-Martha Stewart? That’s all the more reason for you to get down in the kitchen and cook up a meal and dessert that will have your lover falling at your feet (out of devotion rather than food poisoning, we hope). Dust off that cookbook, because you know he’ll appreciate your effort of putting together something special just for him (and staying home is way more romantic than attempting to snuggle in an overcrowded restaurant). Buy top-quality ingredients, and leave yourself plenty of time to prepare. And hey, if all goes south, take-out Chinese is way under $30.

– You crafters out there might enjoy making a scrapbook for the one you love. There are a few costs up front—the actual book and the craft materials—but the rewards are great if you happen to be dating someone who is a hopeless romantic at heart and will flip through the book over and over again. Toss in pictures, movie-ticket stubs, e-mails the two of you have sent each other… Whatever reminds you of your relationship in a happy way is a go.

– Finally, try giving the gift of yourself, since there’s clearly nothing hotter (or cheaper…not in that way!) out there. Grab a sexy lingerie set (there are tons of hot, cheap options out there), scatter some rose petals from your sweetie’s door all the way to his bed, light a few candles for ambiance, then give him something he’ll never forget. Could there be a better gift? We think not.

Wherefore Art Thou Chivalry?
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