Monday, 16 December 2013

13 Frugal, Romantic Gifts that Mean a Lot

Since it is the season of giving, and I am all about being cheap frugal, I thought I would share a little list I have compiled for gifts for your significant other.  Each Gift should cost you anywhere from free (using your own grunt work and things around the house) to less than $50, and that would be being extravagant.

You may want to send the link to this to your spouse, that way there are no excuses, he has seen the list, and all he has to do is pick one and personalise it to you.

I am basically giving him Awesome Husband Bonus Points!  ( And none of these involve flowers! unless you want them too)

Frugal not Cheap, Romantic Gifts that Mean a Lot

1. Create a book out of all of your communications while dating. 

When Hubby and I started dating, and even before that,  we had to send a lot of emails back and forth to each other.  He went away on a missions trip after we had only been dating for a few months and once he got back we continued to email back and forth as well as call and message.

A year or so ago I went through both of our emails and found any that we had still  (apparently we are both email hoarders so it was really simple to find them all).  It was really easy to just search his name or email on my own email to find any that he had sent to me, and the reverse on his email.  Then I went through them all and put them in order on a word document and sent it to a printers to have it printed and bound. The book ended with a new letter from me to him.  

 I didn't do anything fancy with the book but I am sure there are a number of sites that you could use to create a book or keepsake with your notes or emails.

2. Create a Memory Box

If you and your spouse have been together for a while I am sure that there are tons of ticket stubs and knickknacks around that would be great as keepsakes, if you could ever find them and get them into one spot.
There are a number of great ways to do this.

  1. Use a Shadow Box and fill it with the items. (Like the one found here)
  2. Find a nice wooden keepsake box and fill it with knickknacks from trips or other special mementos.
  3. Use a photo book or book with envelope pockets to store your trinkets.
  4. Create a Scrapbook. There are many tutorials on line for simple scrapbooks that are made like accordions or done as a small fold out scrapbook.

The most important part of doing this is that you need to write a note or two talking about what you loved about your time together on that outing and why its a favourite memory.
If you don't write a note, set aside time to go through the book/memory box together so that you still have a chance to share your feelings about the memories.

3. Compile Special Dates or Places

I don't mean special dates that you went on but dates (15/12/13) that are important to you.  Ie.  the date you met, your first kiss, the day that you got married, when your kids were born etc.  There are also a ton of different ways that you can create this gift. Here are just a few:
  1. Create an art print of special dates to you, there are a lot of sites and stores that can do this for you but you can also do it fairly easily by yourself.  You can find a great tutorial at this site here  or you can purchase them from some great Etsy stores by searching " special dates prints"
  2. A fun way to make this would be to create a gift using a map to mark the special places where you met, grew up, owned your first home, travelled, etc. 
  3. For a fun way to make this gift for a guy who loves to use gps and maps but without having to cut up a bunch of maps and things, you could make a print using all of the gps coordinates of the special to you places in your life.  A good tool to find the locations is found here 

4. Creatively List the Reasons You Love Them

There are quite a few tutorials out there of how to make this using a deck of cards, but I think that the best way is to find something that is special and significant to your relationship.
You could:

  • simply fill a jar with little notes folded in origami or tied up. 

  • Write on a deck of playing cards or any kind of card game that is significant to you. ( there are also a few sites like shutterfly where you can create your own deck of cards with your picture on it) 
  • You could buy a bag of their favourite wrapped candy and attach to it or write on each with the reasons you love them.  Then if you seal up the bag like it was never opened, what seems like simple bag of treats becomes a huge surprise of romance. 
  • If you have an old copy of a favourite book that they love, you could write on the top or bottom of every page or every chapter if it is a really long book. If you don't want to write in the book you could always leave sticky notes on pages of a book they are currently reading. 

  • If your spouse is a big tea drinker, you could even sneak into the box of tea bags and leave notes on each of them. 
  • For a Golf Lover, a bag of golf balls with notes written on each. 
  • You could even buy a box of Bandaids and write on each one, that way next time they are hurt they not only get the bandaid, they get to see your love written on their pain. 
  • You get the idea, find something specific not just the same as everyone else. 

5. Set up a Scavenger Hunt

Depending on the skill and amount of adventure your spouse enjoys, you could do this by setting up a simple clue by clue hunt (extra points if you use romantic spots you have visited before and you use "remember when..." kind of clues). But if they are on the more adventurous side (or they just love their new gps) you could use the same website as listed above in idea 3, to create a geocaching type scavenger hunt.

6. Create a What I Love About You Gift Basket or Bucket  ( this one could get pricey, it just depends on what you fill your basket with) 

This is one that needs a little more visual explanation and will take a little more work for you to pull off well.
The idea here is to fill the basket with things that signify what you love about them.  ( they don't have to be puns but it is kinda fun to try)
For example:
( this would be good gifts for a Handyman type Husband)   (Each is listed as Item - Note)

  •  A telescoping Magnet (for picking up dropped screws or something?) -  You are magnetic. 
  • A small bag/jar of nuts (the metal ones) - Nuts about You
  • Work Gloves - You are so Handy 
  • Roll of Shop Towels - My Mess Doesn't Scare You (or a sexier twist- I love to Get Dirty with You)
  • Measuring Tape - No one Measures up to You
Again this is something that should be built around Who they are and what they value.  The basket could be filled with things that are all similar theme or they could just be a jumble of things they would really enjoy.  Even a basket full of their favourite candy or chocolate can be something wonderful when it is covered in meaningful notes and reasons you love them. 

7. Write them a Song. 
There are a lot of helpful tools on the Internet that can give you tips and tricks on how to create your own song. 

8. Make them a Mixtape style CD.
It doesn't take long to search for and download a few great memorable songs, but what sets your mixtape CD apart is that you can take voice memos with your phone or computer. Put the track of you speaking to your spouse before or after each song telling them why the song makes you think of them or why that time you first heard it, danced to it, etc., was so special and how you will never forget that special moment. 

Give a gift that lasts all year. 

9. Buy them a new Organiser and write a love note in each day or each week. 

10. Find a desktop calendar that has space to write a note in and write a little something for your spouse on every day. 

11. Fill a jar with their favourite treat and a whole bunch of notes (365 of the two together) Give them the option of taking a treat or a sweet nothing each day of the year.

12. Write 52 Love Letters and send one weekly on the same day every week, all year long. ( the big price in this is the postage) Who doesn't love getting real snail mail.  You could include photos of fond memories or special times to give you more ideas of what to write about.   Some great tips are found here on the Art of Manliness Website.

13.  Create a Book or Journal with fun Date Ideas on Every Page.  
If you do this one as a Scrap Book you can add a photo of you on the date as you complete it. The goal here is to actually do dates that you are going to want to do so that you can accomplish every one in the book. (ie don't add - ride a hot air balloon,  unless you really mean to do it. )

Basically anything you give as a gift will receive extra value of meaningfulness if:

  • Its for no reason other than that you were thinking of them
  • It is specific to them 
  • It took effort and time to bring it together
  • It expresses your love in a new and different way. 

Hope this was helpful,  and happy Gift Giving. 


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