It’s Valentine’s Day week and the world is abuzz with love.

Or rather, retail merchants in the U.S. are hoping that everyone feels enough love to go out and spend, spend, spend. As if you haven’t just gotten caught up from all that Christmas/Holiday shopping.

A recent survey revealed that men spend an average of $128 on Valentine’s Day, while women spend about $75. Unmarried folks spend more than married ones. (I do wonder if married couples spend more or less the longer they’re married!?!)

On my radio show yesterday, I ran down a list of inexpensive things you could do for/with your loved one without breaking the bank. Let’s call them gifts of the heart — not of the wallet.

  1. Cook a romantic dinner at home. Who needs reservations when you have the world’s recipes at your fingertips at Rahul Bali, one of the radio producers at WSB Radio says he had a wonderful time cooking at home last February 14th. He says it was less expensive AND he didn’t have to wait in line or fight the traffic.
  2. Frame a photograph. Target and WalMart have nice frames at cut-rate prices.
  3. Take a trip to an old-fashioned photo booth (the kind used for passport photos) and take a bunch of fun photos together.
  4. And while you’re out in the evening, take a stroll under the stars.
  5. Create a scapbook of photos, letters, ticket stubs and anything else memorable about your relationship.
  6. Rent her favorite chickflick (or his favorite action flick), light a candle and watch it together.
  7. Write your spouse or partner a love letter.
  8. Make your own strawberries dipped in chocolate. (I’m doing this tonight with my sons. We bought a pint of huge strawberries at our local supermarket for $1.99 per pint.)
  9. Skip dinner and instead, work out together at your health club. (Now, that’s really a gift of the heart!)

What’s your favorite least expensive Valentine’s Day gift that you’ve given or received?