Skip to main content

Valentine's Day Gifts for Any Budget

Valentine's Day Ninja by Lilley on
Published on February 3, 2010

Share It!


As you age, you realize that giving really is better than receiving. But agonizing over a Valentine’s Day gift with no time and little money isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time. We put some thought into inventive Valentine’s gifts because we heart you, our readers, and we like helping out local businesses. Enjoy, and do comment below and tell us how your giving went!

heart – The key to making a cheap gift seem expensive is to give it a richness of character. That means squeezing your brain a little and doing something out of the ordinary.

Poem With Fancy Paper

If you’re taking the Shakespeare route, don’t just write the love poem, write it on some beautiful stationary. Shops like Alaun by Design can turn a handwritten note into major relationship bonus points. Practice your calligraphy first, though, even if you’re just copying a famous verse, because on this test, handwriting counts!

Something Made With Your Own Two Hands

Felted Baby Hat by City MadeFelted Hat by City MadeA handmade gift definitely says, “Look at what a great girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse I am, I care buckets!” Fortunately, for those born without crafty little fingers, there are plenty of places to turn for unique gifts. has a truly staggering amount of one-off products, and prices range from lunch at China Buffet to lunch with Warren Buffett, meaning you’ll find something to match your price range.

For something super funky/original, check out new kids on the block City Made who describe their products as “functional, ecological, handmade in the city.”

Cook Some Grub

Fried RiceFried Rice by Jean-Georges VongerichtenMaking your loved one a special meal is a nice, cheap way of saying you care–it’s that whole gift-of-food-is-the-gift-of-life thing. To be effective the meal needs to 1) taste good (but not be something you normally eat), and 2) be made correctly (as in, you can’t screw it up). That’s why this recipe from world renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is perfect: there’s only a handful of ingredients, and while inexpensive, they are fairly uncommon (unless leeks are a major part of your diet. And in that case, hats off to you, sir). Plus, there’s a video of it being prepared so you don’t muck it up for the big day!

heartheart – If you’re spending a “normal” amount of money, your wallet alone won’t buy you the affection you crave. Here’s where it’s wise to mix creativity with a traditional Valentine’s Day gift

Inscribed Roses

Inscribed RosesInscribed RosesInscribed Roses are perfect when you want to give something special that your partner would never have expected, but you’re not quite ready to spend a fortune. Sold locally under the name Speaking Roses Omaha, these special flowers come with a custom written message on them. It’s sort of a hard gift to visualize, so we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Guys, if you want to hear her say, “I can’t believe you did this for me,” this is pretty much the gift for you.


The beautiful thing about art is that it’s…beautiful. Dammit. Words! But you have to admit, no one ever wrote an ode to a vacuum cleaner. The Dundee Gallery is chock full of art, and while some of it can nose up well into the price firmament, their stock of locally produced jewelry is reasonable and often one of a kind. Pick a piece of art that reminds you of your partner, and they’ll save it a lot longer than that fad pair of boots you got them last year.

heartheartheart – When you’re willing to go all out for Valentine’s, and can afford it, you want to make the right choice. Having the cash to splurge doesn’t make that any easier.

Get Help Picking Jewelry

Cornhusker WatchCornhusker WatchWho’s to say whether jewelry is pricey? We’re to say, and we’re saying it! Sure, you can avoid diamonds and pearls (and Prince) with some of the gifts above, but if you really want to make a statement, it’s time to head to Omaha’s top jewelers. Borsheims has become synonymous with jewelry here, and as one of the country’s largest independent jewelry stores, they have gifts for both men and women. May we suggest a Cornhuskers watch for him, and…and…well, you better get something for her. Head to the Men’s shopping night February 8th (Free beer and pizza. Seriously.) for help.

Digital Camera/Picture Frame

Digital Picture FrameDigital Picture FrameIf you really loved your significant other, you’d buy them a Porsche. End of story. However, since we’re all about options here, why not look into purchasing a digital camera/digital frame combo. The price of digital SLRs have been falling for years, and now that even lower tier models shoot HD video, you’re very much in danger of being the last kid invited to the YouTube party if you don’t have one. The digital frame, cycling through pictures of every great moment you’ve ever shared, gives it that extra special romantic touch, and puts an ounce of caring back into a pound of credit card. 

jordyAn writer since 2008, Jordy freely admits he's waiting for his golden parachute "anxiously." He microblogs @jordyclements + macroblogs