Valentine’s Day gift guide by budget

strawberry soda and doughnut

Do you and your partner like giving and receiving Valentine’s Day gifts? Has that changed for you over the years?

Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for Paul and me, but we usually have a nice dinner whether at home or out, and exchange small gifts.

One year, I came by train from Covina to Union Station in Los Angeles where he picked me up. This was his first year living in Santa Monica, before I moved in with him. I brought him a strawberry soda and two donuts from The Donut Man in Glendora for us to share.

There was another year when he and my brother-in-law had to work on Valentine’s Day, so my mom, sister Katie, and I all had dinner together at California Pizza Kitchen. Although unromantic, it was a very lovely and memorable Valentine’s Day. I think I gave my mom a gift and probably Paul one later, but I can’t remember now what.

I can not remember what we did last year. Maggie was two months old and we were struggling to figure out her eating and sleeping habits. She was our Valentine. We were all each other’s Valentines.

If you’re having trouble thinking of what gift you can give your sweetheart, or your mom, or your friend, I have a few suggestions in order of price.

Under $15
Of course, chocolate is usually a good choice. If your loved one has a favorite that’s a safe bet. I find Ritter Sport to be a nice crowd pleasing favorite. My favorite flavors are the milk chocolate with butter biscuit and the milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts.

If you want to give a homemade chocolate treat, I have a recipe for you! Try my homemade chocolate peanut butter hearts.

If you care to buy a gift that is a little sexy, might I suggest a nice pair of underwear? Underwear for the men: Pair of Thieves. For the women: Aerie.

Or gift a nice pair of socks, or three. There’s this inside joke in my husband’s family. One of the kids got a pair of socks in his Christmas stocking and said, “Socks, really.” But, I think socks are great and lots of grown ups appreciate cozy socks. Socks for the men: Pair of Thieves or Uniqlo. For the women: Madewell or Uniqlo.

Under $30

I like the idea of giving gifts related to experiences or hobbies and thinking of ways you’re creating memories together. These scratch off maps are perfect if you like that too. I’m considering getting the “100 things” scratch off poster, but just not sure where to put it in our home.

A map that you can scratch off

100 things to do scratch off poster

Under $50
It’s the perfect time of year for a nice warm fuzzy robe. For the men: Lands End robe. For the women: Aerie robe.

Over $50
An experience: movie theater gift certificate, concert tickets, tickets for a play, amusement park, or a cooking class.

Personally, I don’t believe in spending more than about $30 on Valentine’s Day and it’s not in my budget. I would rather spend more on an anniversary or birthday, save for a trip, or save for something needed. But if it were in my budget right now, I think my husband would be thrilled at surprise concert tickets and I would be very happy to have a surprise cooking class. Or, maybe sometime we will plan something together, not as a surprise, like a trip to Universal Studios.

No matter your budget, think about what your partner may want or need. If you’re not getting far with that, think about what their favorite activities or hobbies are and what the two of you might like to do together to make the gift personal.

I would love to hear what you have to say. Leave me a comment and I'll try to write back soon.

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