How much should I spend on a Valentine’s Day gift? Here are the best DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas that show you care but won’t break the bank.

Love is in the air and so are the sweet scents of chocolates and roses! And, who wouldn’t like either as a Valentine’s Day gift?

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to make your partner feel special and show them you care, but exactly how much should you spend on your Valentine’s Day gift?

How Much Should I Spend On a Valentine’s Day Gift?

Bankrate’s Be My Valentine Index estimates an all-out Valentine’s Day celebration including gifts like jewelry, Champagne, fine dining and chocolates will cost an average of $618 this year.

Most Americans, however, aren’t planning to fully indulge this year (which is a good thing, since $600 is a lot of money to spend on a single date). Americans instead plan to spend an average of $200 on their partners this Valentine’s Day, including dinner and a gift, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.

The Best Valentine’s Day Gift

While it’s a third of the cost of going all-out for Valentine’s Day, $200 is still a lot of money to spend on one night. Personally, I’m thrilled with a heart-shaped pizza and a night cuddled up on the couch.

Ilyce Glink agrees that spending time together, not money, is what matters most. “My favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to make a romantic dinner, light some candles, open a nice bottle of wine, and hang out with my number one guy, my husband, Sam,” she says.  

When they were first dating, Sam’s Valentine’s Day Gift to Ilyce was dinner out on the 14th, but it wound up being an overpriced meal due to the outrageously expensive Valentine’s Day preset menu. It was years before she started Best Money Moves or even was writing about money for her syndicated column. “It just struck me as wrong. I love eating out as much as the next person, but I’d rather pay a normal price for a normal meal. “The price was so high,” she jokes, “that it was hard to swallow.”

If you have your heart set on dining out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Glink recommends picking a different night and designating that as your Valentine’s Day to avoid steep menu markups on the 14th.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

While some couples don’t feel the need to shower each other with official Valentine’s Day gifts, there are things you can DIY that will wind up being enormously satisfying.

Baking a sweet treat for your partner is an easy way to show you care and it’s something you’ll both enjoy. Thanks to all the basic boxed recipes available in the baking aisle at the store, plus millions of baking videos online, you don’t need to have superior baking skills to make a delicious batch of brownies or lemon bars.

Face/body scrubs, bath bombs, lotions or candles are also an excellent DIY project for Valentine’s. There are thousands of recipes out there and a quick search on Pinterest is a good place to start brainstorming ideas.

Personalized gifts, like scrapbooks or framed pictures, are a great opportunity to savor the sweet memories you’ve made with your partner. It’s an inexpensive way to truly celebrate the life you’re building together.

Homemade cards are a chance to get creative and make a statement. Store bought cards are so expensive and stale, why not create something heartfelt yourself? Odds are your partner will appreciate the effort regardless of your artistic ability and if you don’t have much of it, you’ll both get a good laugh at what you come up with.

Should You Buy Men Valentine’s Day Gifts?

Yes! Men actually have higher expectations this Valentine’s Day than women do. Women expect their partner to spend an average of $154 on their Valentine’s Day gift and men expect theirs to spend an average of $211. Bankrate’s survey focuses exclusively on the dollar amount couples are planning to spend, but what most partners (men or women) really want is to feel treasured and that can be easily accomplished with a thoughtful gift that doesn’t break the bank.

From all of us at Think Glink, happy Valentine’s Day!

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