Simple Ways to Celebrate Your Valentine on the Cheap

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So, I have a confession to make. Are you ready for this?

I’m just not a big fan of what my husband and I call “Hallmark holidays”. Sure, I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, but making a big to-do for Valentine’s Day just isn’t my thing.

This isn’t because I don’t love to show my husband and family how much they mean to me. Truth be told, it’s the exact opposite: I think it’s silly to only reserve roses and hearts and love notes for one day of the year. Instead, I think we should be celebrating Valentine’s Day every day of the year because every day is a day to show love to the wonderful people in our lives.

With this in mind, instead of sharing fun and cute ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share four frugal but very meaningful ways to celebrate your Valentine — either actually on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year! If you’re not married or in a relationship, you can tweak these ideas to apply to your children, a friend, or another relative.

1. Write a Love Note

When was the last time you wrote a note to your Valentine telling them how much you appreciate, admire, and love them? It might be one of the most simplistic ideas in the book, but writing a love note can also be one of the most long-lasting and appreciated.

The note doesn’t have to be long — and it doesn’t even have to be hand written! You can send a text, type up the note, write an email, or use a dry erase marker to write on your bathroom mirror. Your method of writing it doesn’t matter as much as the fact that it comes from your heart. To make things a little more fun, consider hiding a note somewhere fun or leaving a trail of little love notes around the house.

2. Express Words of Gratitude

We all need to hear how much we are appreciated more often. Can I encourage you to be looking every day for something to thank your Valentine for?

Whether it’s that they ran an errand for you, picked up their socks, helped you with a project, or just have faithfully stood by your side through thick and thin. You never know how much a word of thanks can make someone’s day.

Want to take this a step further? Praise character that you appreciate instead of just saying thank you for actions done. Tell your Valentine how much you admire their patience, their hard work, or their amazing ability.

Don’t flatter and don’t lie, but you can come up with something to praise in just about everyone. Look for it and then let them know. It will likely mean the world to them!

3. Make a Love-Themed Meal

Celebrate your Valentine by coming up with creative Valentine-themed twists on their favorite foods. For instance, cut the strawberries in a fruit salad into hearts, shape the pepperoni on the homemade pizza into hearts (or make heart-shaped pizza), make heart-shaped pancakes or cinnamon rolls, or even Valentine’s-themed bacon.

4. Speak Their Love Language

While I don’t like to box people into specific categories, every person has a unique love language. This is the way that they feel loved most.

If you’re unfamiliar with the five love languages, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. In many cases, you’ll be a mix of a few of these, but you’ll almost always have one that is dominant. If you’re not sure what you love language is, you can take this quiz here (and be sure to have your Valentine take it, too!)

Once you know what someone else’s love language is, it really helps you to be able to demonstrate love to them in a manner that means the most. For instance, my dominant love language is Words of Affirmation. It means the world to me when Jesse tells me how much he appreciates me and how proud he is of me. This speaks love to me much more than buying something for me does.

Jesse’s love language is quality time. It’s very important to him that we spend time together and just be together — without me acting rushed or like I’m busy. As a Type A person who does not have the love language of quality time, it’s been a learning experience for me to figure out that just being with him is extremely meaningful to him.

So if I want to bless Jesse, I express my desire to just spend time with him with no agenda in mind. And then I follow through with it. This means more to him than any gifts or acts of service ever could mean.

What are your favorite ways to celebrate your Valentine on the cheap?

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31 Days of Giving on a Budget: The More We Save, The More We Have to Give

Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.

If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Recently, someone emailed in and asked if I died tomorrow would I regret the frugal choices I’ve made?

It was an excellent question and one that gave my husband and I pause — and produced a great discussion for us as a couple. Both of our answers were a resounding“No. We would absolutely not regret the frugal choices we’ve made.”

While we’ve made plenty of mistakes individually and as a family, we have zero regrets that we’ve chosen to live beneath our means, make sacrifices, delay purchases until we can pay cash for them, and live on a strict written budget.

To some people, not getting what you want right away or doing without might seem like a miserable existence. But truthfully, we’ve found it to be just the opposite: we live very fulfilled lives and we wake up excited about each day.

However, we both believe that the reason we feel fulfilled and passionate about life — even though we’ve made counter-cultural choices that some would balk at — is because frugality is a means to an end for us. If we were just frugal for being frugal’s sake, we’d likely quickly burn out or give up.

It’s not about saving money so we can continuously upgrade our lifestyle and always be buying bigger and better things. We want to live beneath our means so that we are able to give generously to others.

There’s a world of need around us. The more we steward our money well, the more abundance we will have to meet those needs.

The more we save, the more we have to give.

Your efforts and my efforts might seem like a drop in the bucket when compared with all of the need that’s out there. But collectively, we can make a huge impact.

Let’s live simply so that others can simply live. Because truly, there is nothing more fulfilling than living a life with outstretched arms.

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