Thursday, 28 January 2010

Valentines Day on the cheap

If you didn't read my January Christmas Club post at the start of the week, you might not of realised that I am preparing for Valentines Day with Top Ender and Baby Boy in the evenings, making decorations and cards and getting ideas together for gifts.

Last year Top Ender and I made Gluten Free Gingerbread biscuits for Daddy (and us!) and Top Ender decorated them using icing pens.




And of course the ever so lovely Daddy left me a trail of heart post it notes to my new-to-me PC in the Kitchen, which is useful for tweeting whilst cooking, looking up recipies and part of my plan to have access to every room in the house via a PC....



Top Ender was a lot easier to please with a packet of Heart Shaped cheese twists that she had spotted in the Supermarket (and Baby Boy got a packet too) along with what ever dinner it was that she fancied that evening.

This year of course we shall make some gluten free Gingerbread to decorate as we did last year, and I am sure that Daddy is planning something for me (You are right? If your not then I have a list of ideas here that you may borrow and if none of those take your fancy then can I please have a hand sorting out my microphone levels?) and as Daddy isn't going to be at work during the day this year we shall plan some during-the-day-child-friendly-activities to do.

But as I mentioned at Christmas and when we were talking about giving to Charity what happens when you have little or no cash to spend?

Well you come here of course and get some ideas!

The following ideas are all things that will have even the most cynical of those amongst us (about Valentines Day and the commercialisation of the day, not just those who are cynical I haven't found a cure for that yet) celebrating or at the very least thinking which one they would like.

1.) Breakfast in Bed.

Its a known fact that any meal that hasn't been cooked by the person eating it tastes better. What is a not so known fact is that any meal eaten in bed also tastes better. Especially if there is a tray, a little flower in a vase and the person has had a lay in.

2.) Breakfast out.

Its not frugal! I hear you cry. Well you aren't going to the right places. Go to Ikea, go to the local Supermarket, go to the local Farmers Market! There is always somewhere that you can go that will do something cheap and yummy! Heck even Macdonalds do bagels and porridge if you don't fancy a "cooked" breakfast!

3.) Brunch.

Is it breakfast or is it lunch? Who knows, but there is something nice about brunch and being lazy eating a selection of whats best from breakfast foods and lunch foods!

4.) Stroll to the pub.

A walk together to the pub, with a chill in the air will get you a bit of exercise to burn off your pint or G&T or what ever your tipple is! Its a casual laid back drink and spending time with each other. Win win!

5.) A walk in the countryside

You know in magazines how you always see a couple holding on to each other with rosy cheeks, woolly jumpers, gloves and scarves (but no coats or unbrellas or small children or dog poo in sight) and think that could be me. Well make it you today.

6.) Window shopping or people watching.

Go to the local shopping centre (or arcade or high street) and walk along looking at what you could buy, or who you would buy the things on display for. Just don't take a debit or credit card. Alternatively sit and watch the people who go by. You could try and play a form of bingo and have to spot a kissing couple, an old couple, a married couple... I'm sure you get the idea!

7.) Bargin hunting in a £1 shop

Set a price limit and then go in the £1 shop and try and buy the best gift for the other, or the most tacky, or the most I-can't-believe-they-sell-this-so-I-brought-it-for-you-to-prove-it gift. The winner can get a bar of chocolate or a kiss...

8.) Picnic lunch

Picnics make any food taste better (its one of those things everyone know like eating in bed and someone else cooking as mentioned in idea number one!) and it doesn't matter where they are, on your bed, on the living room floor, in the car, at a park, in the woods... the ideas are as endless as your imagination!

9.) Make food together

When Daddy and I were first dating we had a meal that we loved to make together. Each of us would chop and mix and prepare side by side and our meal would taste wonderful (because both of us cooked it) or maybe it was just because we were too busy staring into each others eyes we didn't taste the food!

10.) Do a jigsaw together

It doesn't have to be a jigsaw, it could be a wordsearch or a crossword or any project that you like. As long as you do it together and don't start arguing (thats why I haven't suggested a board game!) then it will be something that you enjoy and will remember fondly!

11.) Read to each other.

Daddy use to read to me everynight. He has a voice for radio (and commercials on the telly) and it is lovely to be able to listen to your loved one read a book (or poem, or newspaper) so that you can share a few moments together. Plus it always helped me fall asleep.

12.) Write a poem to each other

I am terrible at poetry, my old English teachers will tell you. Give me a piece to critique and I am fine, but ask me to write something and its terrible....BUT writing a poem to your loved one needs to be from the heart and anything written from the heart is beautiful.

13.) Have a meal at home

Instead of going out to a restaurant for a meal, cook one at home. You can plan your favourite meal, you know that it will be cooked wonderfully and if you combine it with number nine it shouldn't take a lot of effot. Of course this also works if you want to order in a Take Away. Just don't expect Chinese, as this Valentines is also Chinese New Year, so most Chinese Take Aways (if not all) will be closed.

14.) Watch a film together

Rent a video or DVD, buy a cheap one from the £1 shop (not *that* kind although they do sell those in our local £1 shop) or from the Supermarket, borrow one from the Library or choose one from your own collection (no not *those* ones!) and sit cuddled on the sofa, or bed, or floor and share a bowl of popcorn or chips and dip.

15.) Spend time together with no distractions

Turn off the TV, your mobile phone, your computer, your pager, your fax machine or anything else that you can and talk to your other half. If you run out of things to talk about then talk about a shared memory or something that you have planned. Oh and don't worry it doesn't have to be all day, it could just be half an hour!

16.) Learn to say I love you in a different language or write them down

I gave a jar of slips of paper to Daddy for Christmas the year before last. On each slip of Paper it said I love you, but written in a different language. Either learn to say it or write them down, it is something that is simple but effective.

17.) Take a photo

There are two ways to do this, you could go out and buy a cheap throw away camera and take silly shots of you both. As it is a disposable you will have to have them developed, but that adds to the excitement and also means you can't delete them as you would on a digital camera. Of course if you trust yourself you can do it on a digital camera. The other thing that you could do is take some more intimate photos. Everyone seems to have the old passport style photos of them and a loved one kissing, you could do the same or get more erm adult...




18.) Make a mix tape

"How original!" I hear you cry, but think about it a CD or tape or Ipod playlist of music that means something to you both is always nice to have and nice to listen to!

19.) Write a love letter

Write down just how much you love them, how you want to share your life with them... the things you would want to hear and the things you know they would like to hear.

20.) Do your partners least favourite chore

I hate doing the ironing and putting away clean clothes, I would know how much Daddy loved me if he did them for me.

21.) Love Cheques

You know how this works right? The I owe you one back rub, foot massage, cuddle, snog....

22.) Go to the bookstore and have a coffee and read books

Its fun to go to bookshops and browse books, especially if you have a bookstore that has a cafe too. Pick a book for each other or have to find a book that is something to do with romance or another theme!

23.) Give them something they need, a note pad a pen, new socks, new undies...

This will allow them to remember you when using something that isn't clutter!

24.) Buy some flower seeds

Cheaper than a bunch of flowers, last longer and is more fun as you get to watch things grow!

25.) Make paper flowers

Again cheaper than a bunch of flowers and they look great... try clicking this link to find ways to make them!

26.) Frame a favourite photograph

Maybe it is a photo from number 17, or maybe it is a photo from your wedding day, or mabe even one that they would of used in the Sticky Fingers Photo Meme... get it framed and it will be a hit!

27.) Make a Scrapbook

This can be done so quickly and easily. If you need ideas follow this link or make one for free using Picnik

28.) Treasure Map

A bit of local knowledge, a tea bag and a lighter and you can make a little map to a treasure... or a place to have your picnic, walk in the park or even to John Lewis to have a cookie!




29.) Memory box

Create a memory box together, place photos, letters, cards, old cinema tickets... you get the idea.

30.) Things I love about you

This was one of my most favourite things that I did with Daddy. We wrote down ten things that we liked about each other and ten things that we liked or that made us happy (like reading a book, having chocolate) and then we put them in a frame and gave them to each other. If we wanted to make ourselves happy we could read a reason why the other person loved us and if we wanted to make them happy we could read a thing to do. We still have them now!

So here my 30 things to do for Valentines day frugally.... just look out for my things to do for Children on Valentines day this weekend!
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