Valentine’s Day is almost here, and you may be scrambling to figure out what to get that special someone on a college student’s small budget. According to the experts, retail sales for Valentines Day in 2006 reached almost $14 billion. The average consumer spends about $100 on valentines gifts. As struggling college students, many of us cannot afford to spend that much money. Is it possible to show someone how much you care about them without going into debt?
The secret is to get creative.
“It doesn’t matter how much a guy spends on me. All it takes is a little thoughtfulness,” said third-year business management major, Samantha Shepherd. There are many romantic gift ideas for guys or girls, a new interest or a long relationship, without spending too much money.
First, get a little personal. Use pictures. They add a special touch and make things unique. One idea is to pick out two or three pictures and get them printed in black and white, each copy should only be about 10 cents. Then, purchase a black frame. You can find one at Wal-Mart or K-Mart for under $10. The black frame with black and white pictures is simple, yet classically romantic.
If the gift is for a guy, you can stop there. It will be sentimental without being over the top. If it is for a girl, add one more finishing touch. Use a silver sharpie and write a quote or lyrics from a favorite song around the frame. It will add just the right amount of emotion.
You can also use pictures to make a collage or a scrapbook. Finally, instead of buying a card, make your own valentine. Regress back to the days of arts and crafts and use your imagination. Add a picture or two to personalize it.
If you are in need of a gift for a special someone who is new in your life and you don’t have any pictures, you can get creative in other ways. For example, take the traditional dinner and a movie date, but put a new spin on it. Instead of spending a lot of money on a limited menu in a crowded restaurant, make dinner. Do a little investigating and surprise your valentine with his or her favorite meal.
“One year, I put rose petals on a girl’s car. I also left clues that led her back to my house. I made dinner for us and had it waiting for her when she got there,” said third-year Health and Phys Ed. major, Tom Boyd.
After dinner, instead of going to the movies and spending $9 on each movie ticket, buy a DVD as a gift. You can watch it together at home. Movies U Buy on Rt. 30 in Frazier sells a wide selection of previously viewed DVDs for $6.99. This way, you can buy a movie for less than the price of one ticket to the theater.
Flowers are another traditional gift idea for girls. A bouquet of a dozen red roses is beautiful, but also very expensive. Sometimes just a single red rose is enough; you do not have to go overboard.
Since most guys do not appreciate flowers like girls, an easy solution for guys is homemade baked goods. After all, they do say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Bake heart shaped cookies or cupcakes. Another fun idea is to make your own homemade chocolate covered strawberries. You can buy a heart shaped plastic container to store them in at any grocery or drug store for under $5.
All of these ideas lead to one conclusion. There is no need to spend a large amount of money on Valentine’s Day. On a small budget, all it takes is a little thought and creativity to make your valentine feel special.