Although you likely associate Valentine’s Day with mushy gushy romance, you don’t necessarily have to have a romantic partner to show your love. Next to the Christmas holiday season, Valentine’s Day is one of the hottest shopping occasions of the year. In 2013, the average person planned on spending about $130 for Valentine’s Day, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF). If you’re still getting your budget back on track from your holiday spending spree, don’t fret. You still have plenty of affordable options to celebrate your love for your significant other, your best buds and of course, your pets.
Something Practical, But Fun
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or flowers. If your guy prefers libations to sweets, give him a home beer brewing kit so that he can brew up a batch of his favorite ale. A kit from Mr. Beer contains all of the equipment and ingredients he needs to make two gallons of beer, for less than $60. He can reuse the equipment over and over again, making it a gift that reminds him of you with each new batch.
A Basket Full of Love
Nothings says “I love you” like tradition. You can go the more traditional, but still budget-friendly route and surprise your partner or best friends with a Valentine’s Day gift basket. Give the chocolate-lovers on your list a tin full of Ghiradhelli chocolates or your candy bar fanatic friends a “bouquet” of candy flowers.
Just as some people prefer to celebrate Christmas and the winter holidays by giving gifts that help others, some prefer to honor Valentine’s Day by helping charities. If you want to inspire your partner, spouse or friends this holiday without spending a lot of money, think about giving a gift to charity in their names.
Something for Your Pet
Don’t forget your furry friend this Valentine’s Day. Fido might not understand the purpose of the holiday, but that’s no reason not to shower him with a little extra love. And don’t feel like an oddball for getting your pet a Valentine’s gift. In 2013, about 20 percent of people in the U.S. celebrated the holiday with a special gift for their pets, according to the NRF.
Chocolate can be deadly for pets so consider a pet-safe sweet treat. The APSCA offers doggie donuts, made of tasty ingredients such as peanut butter, honey and yogurt. A six-pack of colorful catnip toys is just $2.99. The best part is that a percentage of sales goes to support the ASPCA so you’re doing double duty to support a worthy cause.