Cheap Valentine’s Day Ideas

Here is a good pre Valentines day article from Yates. When it comes to Valentines day I am a firm believer that simple and thoughtful beat out wallen busting gifts.- Bobby

Cheap Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas by Yates

The Cheap Date Handbook is now in stock. It has been several months since we could get them. In talking with the author Bruce Brown, I said let's just give the readers one chapter from the book. He said, Great. So below follows a single chapter.

Romance Costs, Right? Wrong, at least not nearly as much as most people would have you believe, particularly America's advertisers.

Most Women are closet romantics, even if they appear otherwise. Your romantic attitude can bring her out of the closet, and right into your arms. And she'll love it. The fastest way to make yourself welcome in a woman's heart (and bed) and to be offered return engagements is to romance her. But the furs, the jewels, the expensive French Champagne, the horse back riding on Tahitian beaches. How can I give her stuff like that? No Problem. You can give her the real truth of romance that lies under these expensive trappings, worth much more, of course.

When a girl or woman first meets a man, she may harbor all sorts of hidden needs and desires, some of which you must fulfill if you are going to be successful with her. Some of these you can get her to tell you through astute questioning and listening.

However, there are some romantic or thoughtful gestures, some simple, some more elaborate, listed here that are virtually fool-proof for transforming you from an ordinary dull dater to a much more interesting, sexy and charming one. Some of these ideas cost nothing, others are very inexpensive but most can be put into effect for less than $10.00. If you're unsure of your lady, it's best to stick with the simple, inexpensive (at least in the beginning) ideas. The more you get to know her, the safer it will be to choose some of the more elaborate suggestions listed.

While you're at it, be sure to observe how a woman reacts to any romantic gesture. I've seen men send women flowers and the giftee wouldn't ever take the trouble to call and say thank you. A woman like that could be very selfish or self-involved. Or, maybe she is just shy or embarrassed. The latter can be understandable and if you really like the lady, you may wish to work through her insecurities by continuing to see her. But remember that changing someon this way can be a very negative experience as well as extremely introverted women may require more effort on you part to draw them out than you want to give. Also keep in mind this proposition could be expensive and time is money, not to mention money is money. So, spend your time and budget wisely. And selfish, self-involved women are not only expensive, but also boring and frequently lousy lovers. If you find yourself interested in one, I'd drop her like a hot potato. She can burn you in more ways than one.

And now, some ways to please all those other deserving romantic ladies.


1. Give her a gift certificate for some your time. If you're handy, fix something, tune her car, or wash it, for example.

2. Give her car a safety check, oil, etc and show her how to read all of the gauges.

3. Polish her shoes and boots (unless they're suede)

4. Put a couple of drops of your favorite cologne (best make sure she likes it, first) on each light bulb in your living room or bedroom. When turned on, it will smell masculine and appealing and make her think of you.

5. Pick up a copy of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations available in paperback. Of get another book of quotations at a local bookstore or library. Include appropriate quotes on pieces of paper or cards that you send or leave in easily found places for the deserving lady.

6. Come up with a special drink and name it after your female companion of the moment. One guy I know has come up with a very tasty drink that's a slight variation of a Pina Colada. He gives it a new female name (depending on who he's dating) whenever he invents it. The same thing can be done with soft drinks.

7. Leave an affectionate note in her purse when you leave her while she's not looking, under a pillow, or in her favorite pair of shoes, etc.

8. Call her. When she answers the phone don't just chitchat, save that for another time. Just tell her your name and something complimentary like: I just wanted to tell you that you have the most beautiful shoulders of any girl in Tucson, Arizona. That's the only thing I wanted to say … good-bye. Just make sure it's a sincere and realistic compliment. Especially nice if she's at work.

9. Send her a poem. You don't have to write it: you can copy if from someone. Poems from Kahil Gibran's The Prophet are a good start. Also EE Cummings, Kenneth Patchen, some of Billy Shakespeare's sonnets, and best of all ask the friendly reference librarian. ( If it's a woman, the event of having a man ask her to help find some wonderful love poems might really make her day.)

10. Write something loving on her bathroom mirror with soap.

11. Compliment. Be sincere and mean it. Really look at her, and comment on what you find to be special and lovely about her, for example, the color of her eyes, the feel of her hair, etc.

12. When you two take a trip to your local park, bring along a penknife and carve both your initials in a tree on the inside of a heart. You will probably have to forget this idea if your lady is a hard-core ecologist.

13. Do her dishes.


1. Send her a romantic or fun post card (tourist type if possible) and write on it Wish you were here (with me).
2. Buy her a lottery ticket (many states sell them by mail).
3. If you fly anywhere, for any reason, buy some insurance with her as benefactor.
4. Send her a greeting card. Cards are the next best things to flowers sometimes better. One very successful lover I know, Marty, sends funny cards to all the ladies in his life, constantly. He always sends a cute thank you card to a woman after the first time they make love. The Peanuts line of greeting cards is safe places to begin. To save time, trouble, and money, Marty buys his greeting cards a dozen at a time. But selecting individual and personal ones has its virtues. You never know when two girlfriends (if you have a lot) may coincidentally meet and see each other's cards! The best place to send the cards is usually to her place of work. But be sure to write “personal on the envelope. Also, it's usually best to keep any message you write in the card tasteful and non-graphic. Example: Dear Donna, You're as sexy and sensual as you are bright. More please on a regular basis. But whatever you say, being sincere and honest is the best policy.


1. Buy her a copy of one or more women's magazines? Vogue, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Cosmopolitan, etc.
2. Buy an inexpensive trophy at a five and dime store and spend a couple of bucks more to have a new message engraved at a real trophy shop (found in the Yellow Pages again) such as: Award for being the sexiest legal secretary in Texas. She'll probably love it, and now of course she has a reputation to uphold being the sexiest for you.
3. Give her one of those fake newspapers with a special headline: Jan Franklin Voted Prettiest Blue Eyed Woman In Iowa. Again, she'll then have a reputation to keep. Many mail-order houses like Spencer-Gifts offer these.
4. Bake her yummy cookies or a cake to take to the office (or deliver them yourself). You'll have every woman in the office talking to her about how wonderful you are for the next month. Good strategy.
5. Give her special romantic candles to use (when you're wit her, of course).
6. Find out something that she like to eat or drink and then give a large quantity of it – a carton of two dozen candy bars for example, or a case of her favorite diet soft drink. This sort of gift can be very impressive and fairly inexpensive.
7. Send her a night-telegram or mailgram. Nobody sends telegrams anymore. It will make a very classy impression. A mailgram is less than half the cost of a night telegram (currently running across town the charge is about $9.00), and should do the trick for less than a five-spot. And best of all, you can charge either or both of these on your telephone bill. Just the Western Union Operator to explain current rates for your area and the number of words you get, including signature, etc. Then, say you'll call back after you've taken the time composing the night-telegram or mailgram on paper. Try not to get too mushy (this depends on the woman, of course) but be fun, affectionate, complimentary, and not sexually graphic.
8. Give your ladylove the gift of the future? you. Most cities and towns have astrologers, palm readers or other advisors of the future. Visit the gypsy or other soothsayer ahead of time and tell her that you wish to bring a special lady to her to give basically an honest reading but to emphasize the positive things about your lady and you. You might even give her an extra tip but this may not be necessary. She may simply enjoy your romantic idea. Then, take your lady for this surprise some weekend or evening (making an appointment ahead of time).
9. Take her to play Bingo.
10. Take her for ice cream.
11. Keep a scarf and sunglasses and a vanity mirror in the car for all your dates (tissues, comb, hand cream, brush) to morrow when they need them.
12. Find our her birth sign, and then give her the flowers that match her sign (call your local library to find out which to give) along with a note of explanation.
13. Take her to a poetry reading. No other man she knows would do this. Very romantic.
14. Show some class. Buy some sealing wax (usually available in business supply and stationary stores – back to the Yellow Pages, or internet) and purchase an inexpensive seal with either your initial or other unusual symbol. If you don't find them where you bought the wax, you might try an inexpensive jeweler. When you send her a letter or card, use the seal. It will make a good impression.
15. Make something for her. Almost anything will be appreciated. Check your Yellow Pages or internet under Craft Supplies and for just a couple of bucks you'll find the makings for a lovely necklace or pair of earrings. (Find out if her ears are pierced if you make the latter.) And, if you just ask them, they'll be happy to show you how before you leave.


1. Send her flowers. Too expensive, you say? Not true. (I don't mean from a florist, at least not if you can help it.) If you live in a major city (even some minor ones) you'll probably have a flower mart where all the florists buy their flowers. Look in the Yellow Pages under Flowers Wholesale and then find out their hours. Usually it is something like 2AM to 6AM Monday through Saturday. Not real convenient, but you'll save a bundle. Bring cash. You might even buy enough flowers for all your dates for the week. For $5.00 to $10.00 you should be able to buy flowers at to what it costs at a florist. Also, buy one or more flower display boxes there, while you're at it. Keep the unused flowers in water in your frig. (After you've cut the ends off at an angle.) Now deliver the flowers with an appropriate card either to your lady's office of to her apartment. (Call first if visiting her home, as you don't want to run into another boyfriend.) Her office is best, because the girls she works with will be sure to admire your flair, and probably tell her so. It's good public relations.
2. This unusual gift may take a little searching to find but it will be worth it. Contact all the local art school and college art departments and ask if there are any students adept at the almost lost are of silhouette cutting. You'll need a profile photo of the lady. You may need the help of a mother, sister, or other relative to get the profile shot you require. This is a particularly appreciated gift if your giftee likes antiques or other fine old things.
3. Send her balloons. Yep, more unique than flowers and usually less expensive. Deliver from six to twelve helium filled balloons to her, along with an affectionate card. Here's how to pull it off. Look in your local Yellow Pages directory under helium rental or gases. Get some names and addresses and make a list. Now, go to a local toy store (again listed in phone book) and buy a package of high quality balloons of different colors (or her favorite color, if you know it), along with some string. Take the balloons to the first helium place on your list. The secretary w2ho greets you may thing your idea is so cute that you may get your balloons filled for free. Otherwise, it may cost a few bucks. You now deliver the balloons to her either at home or her office. If you opt for her office, make sure you're certain her boss has a sense of humor so you don't get her into trouble.
4. Perfect for a rainy day or just a fun surprise, an indoor picnic. You supply the food and beverages (wine is best). Get a blanket and put it on the floor with plastic tableware, paper plates and maybe even a radio. No problem with ants either.
5. Take her to a foreign film, especially if it's a love story. This costs more than other dates, but gives you your money's worth in romance, especially if it's French.
6. This is an especially good gift for a lady's birthday but could be given anytime. Find out the exact date of her birth (She might not tell, so sneak a look at her driver's license when she isn't paying attention). Casually get her to tell you her exact place of birth. Then write to the largest newspaper in the city where she was born and order a photocopy (or an actual copy, if possible) of the pape's front page from the day she was born. Or better yet, a copy of her birth announcement in the paper (probably the following day or week). You might even blow it up to poster size.
7. Does she have a favorite place, such as a park, lake, restaurant or any other place she loves? A photo can make a very special gift. Many camera stores rent 35mm cameras by the day (and will instruct you? they are fairly easy to use). Take black and white or color and then have the film developed at a professional lab. Have a contact sheet made, choose the best pictures and make up a photomontage. Frame it with an inexpensive frame from the five and dime.


Romantic ideas and gestures that will melt a woman's heart are limited only by your imagination. Once you tune in to the simple things and the thoughtful things that most women love to have a man do, you'll come up with dozens of your own winning ideas in no time. It could be something as easy as taking out her trash.

Thank you Bruce.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.