Presents on a budget

Photo credit: Gerard Stolk via Flickr

by Sarah Harris

Valentines Day seems great when you have a partner and are in a happy relationship but the impending issue of what to get your partner is always a pain. I love Valentines Day but the first two months of the year always leave my bank account dry with it being my mothers birthday, my parents and also mine and my boyfriends anniversary’s and to follow, my boyfriends AND housemates birthday. Having maxed out my price limits earlier this month, I asked my boyfriend if we could just stick to sentimental or cheap presents this year. I am the worst person to shop for and never give any hints so he was pretty happy about not having to spend hours trying to conjure up ideas for a present. Over the last week I’ve been scouring the Internet for presents on a budget and found a few decent ideas –

1. If you’re totally broke give your partner a coupon book. Yeah, it sounds pretty cheesy but ‘1 coupon for me to clean your dishes’ or ‘1 coupon for me to tidy your room’ can be pretty romantic when you’re a student and drowning in coursework.

2. Groupon actually has some pretty sweet deals. Browse the Cardiff deals and you can get discounts on flowers or chocolates. I found a great deal to name a star after your partner so if you want to be totally corny on the big day, you can point up at a totally random star in the sky and drop a smooth line like ‘your star shines almost as bright as you.’ (I apologize to anyone who does have to hear this specific line)

3. I asked a friend what she wanted for her birthday a couple of months ago. She asked for something sentimental and after weeks of thinking, I stumbled across a cute box in TK-Maxx for only $3 and decided to give her a box full of letters. This is probably the second cheapest thing you’ll be able to do bar the coupon book but I know my friend sure loved it and if your partner wants something sentimental then this will be perfect for them too.

4. Pretty much everyone I know loves food and if a guy turned up at my house with a box full of doughnuts instead of a bouquet of flowers on Valentines Day, I would be over the moon. Again TX-Maxx has a great selection of cheap boxes of chocolate or if you want to be a little fancy for the day, get your partner a box of macaroons or hey, you can even make your own box of truffles or chocolate coated strawberries at home – tastemade has some great recipes on their website!

5. Last but not least, if you have a little more money to spare or have been saving up so your loved one – book a little getaway for the both of you. There’s a whole bunch of websites other than the typical Groupon that have great deals for holidays in the UK or in Europe. Canopy & Stars is a personal favorite of mine.

Valentines Day isn’t all about the presents but it can be nice to be spoiled a little on the day but if you’re seriously completely out of ideas and very broke, just wrap yourself in a ribbon and turn up at your partners door – I’m sure they’ll appreciate just being with you.

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