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What to Give Your GF If You Can’t Afford a Lexus

You’ve probably seen that Lexus commercial where the guy gets his woman a luxury SUV for Christmas.? He ties a big bow on it and everything.? The guy is obviously wealthier than most people.? That’s a $40,000-plus vehicle.? He could have dropped a few thousand on some diamond jewelry and it still would have been impressive.? Either Mr. Lexus is completely pussy whipped or, perhaps, the woman is his wife and she just caught him cheating with the maid, so he had to pull out all the stops to keep her from kicking him out of the house.

You can do better, no doubt

It’s one of those hard truths: rich guys get more action.? But what if you aren’t rolling in cash?? On birthdays, holidays, and the dreaded Valentine’s Day, what are you supposed to do?? Going into debt to get some jewelry or other form of bling is probably not the answer.? If you, like the Lexus guy, were caught with your pants down, then go ahead and pull out all the stops.? Otherwise, keep your credit cards in your wallet, and try to get her attention with something besides a high price tag.

Flowers and candy are usually appreciated, especially on minor holidays like Valentine’s Day, when that’s exactly what the entire female race expects – even demands – of you.? But doing the flower giving at an unexpected time could earn you more points.? Doing something like sending flowers to her at work or showing up with candy during her lunch break can make an impression, and it won’t cost you any more than if you handed them to her before you hit the town for your requisite Valentine’s Day date.? You can even get a discount on your roses (see below for the details).

Experiential gifts can likewise score points without costing more than a regular date.? The advantage of some sort of experience is that it is difficult to compare to a tangible gift (?but the Lexus guy got his girlfriend a car, and you only got me a coffee mug with your picture on it?).? The problem is that you have to know your girl’s interests.? Tickets to a traveling Broadway show might sound great, but if she isn’t down with musicals, then what’s the point of getting her that???? If you have a little more cash to drop, a weekend getaway or even an overnight in a decent hotel (that’s Hotel not Motel), could earn you some points.? To make this work, you should probably give her the tickets directly.? A note promising to take her to some event at some point in the future is not going to earn you any extra-special loving, and may even inspire her to start looking for her very own Lexus guy.

The writers at AskMen put together a top ten sort of list on this very gift-giving subject.? While some of the entries were boring and predictable, one stood out: ?something vintage.?? This could be anything from an antique that you have lying around the house to something you pick up at a local antique dealer (or even a second hand store, as long as it’s not too beat up).? Not all females will go for this, but many will equate vintage with romance and attach meaning to it that will make it seem more valuable than what you paid for it.

That stuff you did for your girlfriend in high school can still work, if you are able to put a unique spin on it.? Teddy bears? Those probably won’t get you any extra loving.? Giant teddy bears (that you can find online for no more than $50)?? Maybe.? But what about watches, electronic gadgets, etc?? If you can personalize them in some way, you might be able to get away with it.? Plenty of places can engrave iPods or do detail work on cell phones for reasonable prices.? These could help increase sentimental value without increasing the price tag too much.? This is, if you look at the big picture, the point of virtually every idea mentioned in this article.

If you have a credit card that offers discounts for people who shop through its online shopping portal, you can really turn up the thrift.? This is because lots of the companies that offer discounts through these sites? are companies that sell items that are good as gifts.? Discover, American Express and Chase all offer this feature.? Sometimes, the deals are only for free shipping or a slight discount of 5%.? At least on Discover’s shopping portal, however, flower sellers offer discounts of 20% or more.? Your girlfriend doesn’t have to know about the great deal you got.? She might even think that you’re a bit of a high roller because you had flowers delivered instead of buying them from the local grocery store and totting them to her front door yourself.

So, you see, you don’t need to buy your lover a Lexus to impress.? If you do it right, you can be frugal without looking cheap.

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About Josh Lew Josh Lew lives in the Midwestern US when he is not traveling. He is a columnist for Gadling and has contributed to Hackwriters and Skive Magazine.

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