Valentine’s Day is always one of my frugal family favorite holidays to celebrate. One, because it is my birthday, and two I get to spend it with all of the people I love. M children and husband are so gracious and sweet on that day. Many year’s I have spent a lot of money on cakes, decorations, thoughtful gifts and cards that ended up as trash. Money that was not used in a useful way. After an epiphany I decided we can still celebrate, have fun and not end up with junk.
In addition to my birthday I reciprocate Valentine’s Day gifts. By this I mean I get them each a bag of treats they eat and will like. Some are tasty, some are healthy and best of all they aren’t trinkets that they will trash. For instance, one year I found a bunch of heart candies with different sayings on them. Well, I chose the top 6 for each person and put them in a bag with a note. My note let them know these candies represented how I felt about them. It was a hit.
Sometimes it really is the little things that count. Here are a few ways our frugal family celebrates Valentine’s Day.
Frugal Family Gift Ideas
There are several affordable gift ideas for family members to give to each other. First, we set a budget. When I am assembling their gift bags my budget per child is $15.00. Using this budget helps me to keep my gifts in a price range. Each child will end up with a gift card they can use for treats somewhere, something chocolate, nothing stuffed (we have so many stuffed animals) a pen, something to drink and sunglasses or something.
Our frugal family gifts to each other vary. Most importantly I try to give things that do not create clutter or end up in the trash. Bubbles are great ideas, card games, gardening seeds for the next season, special hand sanitizers and anything else that is affordable and useful.
Thoughtful and Positive Notes
Another way that we show love to each other on Valentine’s Day to give affirmation notes. First we decorate brown lunch bags. I buy them in a stack at the Dollar Tree. The bags I bought have lasted me two years, and I only spent $1.25. Next they each get a post it note for each person. On the note something they like about the person is written. But, the catch is not to leave your name. Telling each other the things we like about them without recognition takes work. Letting go of our desire to be noticed is part of learning to be humble.
As we sit around and open the post it notes everyone is happy to read the nice phrases. Since I have all boys’ I do have to put in the stipulation that we are not going to be silly or gross. Keep it positive and building up the one’s closes to them.
Construction Paper Hearts
Another fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with paper cut out hearts of pink and red. They are about medium to large sized. I cut out 10 to 2-0 hearts and place them on the table at the beginning of February. Each time a child does something that they should do, or say something kind I place a heart on their bedroom door. One, this makes them feel special, and two it helps to accentuate the positive. Teaching children to focus on the good is important. Learning how to complain is easy, creating a habit of gratefulness is not easy.
I have used the construction paper hearts since my children have been young. They are very easy to create with construction paper in pink, red and white. The most I have spent is my time finding a heart template I like and cutting out the hearts.
Valentine’s Day Activities
For the Valentine’s Day activities a fun dinner out at White Castle is affordable, or creating an Italian dinner at home that you would not usually fix. Another way to celebrate with food is making a heart shaped cake. I use red velvet cake and pink frosting. Heart shaped punch bowls are easy to find. My punch is really easy to make. Half Sprite, Half Hawaiian Punch and vanilla ice cream. Usually at the end of our night it is all gone! I love to make this day fun and special for my family.
For more tips on how to celebrate the holidays on a dime sign up for my newsletter!