From an epic all-day adventure to a trip down memory lane, here are 5 free things to do with your love this Valentine's Day.
Last year, Americans spent nearly 20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day. But you and your partner don’t have to spend a single cent to show your love for each other. This year, shift the focus from what’s in your wallet to what’s in your heart with our 5 ideas for romance without the debt.
1) A Jar Full of Love Notes
Instead of spending money on store bought greeting cards that will get thrown out or jammed in a drawer, show your spouse they’re special with a homemade jar full of love notes. It's easy to make: just grab two mason jars or repurpose empty condiment jars; Do a quick Google search for quotes around love; Decide how many notes you want to write (52 is a good number because that’s one note for every week of the year or you can get really ambitious and do 365); Write a love note on each slip of paper using one of the love quotes you found and also mix in your own personal notes like: Things you love about your beloved, reasons you’re thankful for them and your favorite memories of them. BONUS: If you have some ribbon or paint laying around, decorate your jar to make it extra special.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
2) Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Another sweet idea that won’t drain your savings account, hop in the car and take a scenic driving tour of your relationship. Print off a map and mark every special spot with a heart and a caption (i.e., "Our First Kiss.") Drive past your first date spot, the places you hung out in the early days, and all the locations that played backdrop to your milestone moments together – it could even be fun to cruise past where you had your first argument and laugh about how silly you both were. Bring along any photos or mementos and take a look at them during the stop. If you have any old love letters or Facebook posts commemorating that time, read them to each other at the stop. If you've moved too far away for a trip down memory lane to be free, make a list of all the places in your new hometown where you're building memories.
3) Volunteer Together
Volunteering is always a great way of reminding ourselves how much we have. And if you and your special someone have a lot of love, why not share some of it? Spend a little time, a lot of love, and leave your cash at home.
4) An Epic, All-Day Adventure
Flip open the newspaper and crawl the Internet for a list of all your city’s free concerts, exhibits, and events. Find a day when several overlap. Then, surprise your honey with a day filled with events. Think up a hint for each event and see if they can guess where you’re headed. Don’t worry if you’ve been to a few of the stops before. Instead, focus on a new angle you may not have explored like an exhibit at the local museum you haven’t spent much time in or look into the story behind a local band’s most popular song.
Be sure to pack snacks or even a picnic, so you all don’t get hungry along the way and get tempted to whip out the credit card at the nearest restaurant. Take lots of pictures. You could have them printed and make an album of your day together.
5) Bring Back The Mixtape
Making a mixtape for your love was the younger generation's ultimate high school romantic gesture. It's not too late to make one for your Valentine! While tapes and CDs have fallen out of favor, you can still use someone else’s lyrics to show your love for the love of your life – make a free playlist on Spotify.
Here are some suggested ideas for your playlist:
●“Our Special Songs”
●“Songs I Play When I Miss You”
●“One Love Song From Each Decade”
●“Songs We Danced to at Our Wedding”
Remember, Valentine’s Day may only be one day a year, but you can use these spend-free ideas all year long to show your loved one how special they are to you.