Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

For my Valentine dinner, I make meatloaf and shape it into a heart. I add red food coloring to my mashed potatoes, serve beets as my vegetable and make red Kool-aid. I usually make cupcakes with red icing or a heart shaped cake.  My kids are almost grown but they still like having our Valentine’s Dinner. From: Karen K.


Chocolate Tree

A few years ago, my husband bought me a Valentine’s Day “chocolate tree” from a florist (pre-kids when we had money to burn!). It was made of small dried branches and twigs in a terracotta pot with individually wrapped tim-tams and toffees hung by red ribbons from the all the branches.

When the florist delivered it to my work, my boss was so impressed with the idea that he made me go out and find twigs, buy a terracotta pot, pre-wrapped biscuits and lollies and red ribbon and make his wife a copy of my “Valentines Day Present”. Apparently, she loved it and was none the wiser about it costing next to nothing.

We often make these “gift trees” for Christmas and birthdays and simply substitute the attachments to suit the receiver. From: Sue

Using this same idea, it would be GREAT to make a lollipop tree for kids.  It makes a great centerpiece for Valentine’s Day or ANY occasion, especially birthdays.

What about an everyday thank you? It’s a good incentive to let kids pick a lollipop from the tree when they are caught helping in a special way, remembering manners without being told or going above and beyond expectations with their grades, schoolwork or any other responsibility. They could even take turns being the “gardener”, letting mom and dad know when the tree has been pruned and is ready for new blossoms. From: Robin


Melted Heart Candies

Make hearts out of chocolate chips in each of your pancakes.

Use a heart cookie cutter and melt peppermint candy or cinnamon candy in the center. Place a greased cookie cutter on a greased cookie sheet. Put one layer of candy in the cookie cutter and melt at 350 degrees for about 6-7 minutes. Use metal cookie cutters, of course.



photo by: ButterflySha


  1. Bea says

    I like the heart shaped meatloaf idea, and the red Kool-Aid. Sounds fun. Also, I think I will make the pancakes with chocolate chips in a heart shape on my pancakes. Yummy.

  2. Grandma says

    I guess I am odd man out.
    I have never liked valentines day.
    In school it was simply a competition to see who got the most valentines in their basket.
    The really unpopular kids got none and they would have been thrilled with even one.
    I would go in at recess and put one into all the baskets where none were just to make them feel better.
    Then it was a competition to see who’s boy friend gave the most expensive gift.
    The poor guys wanting to give but unable to afford something spectacular were ridiculed.
    Now husbands who are not really romantic by nature are supposed to remember 1 day of the year and make up for all the faults they committed during the past year.
    I would rather have him treat me like a friend and sometimes a princess during the year and leave the commercialism on the shelf on the 14th of Feb.
    It is one holiday that to me should never have come about.
    Maybe it is my dislike of chocolate and that seems to be the main gift people give.
    Or maybe I am just not a romantic.
    Oh well will not mention it again. Just curious if I am alone out here or if others feel the same.

  3. Brenda Cloney says

    I’m with Grandma on this one. Big-time Hallmark holiday!! Somebody definitely making a big-time buck on this one!! I think everyday could be Valentine’s day with your sweetie. A big kiss and an “I love you” is all I will ever need.

  4. Bea says

    In a way I agree with you Grandma. People shouldn’t have to be told when to show love. It should happen everyday with loved ones. In ways big and small. But another way I look at it, because of being a Catholic, every day is a Saint’s Day, with celebrations and prayers corresponding to it. St. Valentine was a REAL PERSON, A MARTYR. He died defending marriage and love. So in his honor and memory, it’s nice for people to give tokens of love to each other. I look at it that way, and it has much more meaning. Not so commercial. There is a wonderful Catholic website that has cool ways to honor the Saints of the day at

  5. Paula says

    I think it is wonderful to show love every day and then to make a extra special effort on Valentine’s Day. You just can’t have too many celebrations. I do love all the ideas of how to do something special with very little money involved. I also love to make a special meal and make some kind of red dessert. I can’t change the way the media portrays how to show love, but I can control that in my own house.

  6. ann d says

    Don’l laugh folks. We are on a fixed income and I ddn’t have the money to buy a bag of cow manure for my little garden last fall. My sweetie stepped up to the plate and for Valentines Day bought me a bag. Two weeks ago we had some 60degree weather and I put it on. I guess not only is beauty in the eyes of the beholder but gifts are to. Happy Valentines dsy everyone!

    • says

      I know I wasn’t suppose to laugh Ann but that was too funny. My son in law will totally relate to you guys. He gets so frustrated because he always thought he would marry someone he could give candy and jewelry to for gives but he got my daughter instead who loves getting things just like your cow manure for presents.

  7. LAC says

    I am simple when it comes to ALL the Holidays. I just helped my Granddaughter make her own Valentines for everyone in her pre school class. We are having a tea party and we are making tea sandwiches with egg salad and cucumber sandwiches. We are making sugar cookies and brownies. We made our own decorations with free things from online. We are getting juice for the tea party and we already have tea so we will not have to buy any. It is very inexpensive and memorable.

    For my husband I plan on a very inexpensive home made Italian spaghetti dinner(if hamburger is too expensive I will price ground turkey, if that is too expensive I will use lentils) with salad and wine and garlic bread. For desert I plan on a home made choc covered strawberries which are not expensive in my area.
    The Holidays do not have to be a big expense or a competition just do simple things and make it special by serving it in special table ware that you may only have for special occasions or by setting the table in a special way. I have fake flowers that I use over and over again for my occasions. I just switch them around and put them in different places and they give a nice feeling to the occasion. I get mine at the $ store and they have served me well for years! I am even using my fake poinsettias from the $ store as Valentines decor. The point is you can have a special time without spending a lot of money!

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