Christine Illes
Features Writer

Scrapbooking shows you care while also showing the special
moments spent together.

It can be really tough finding the perfect gift for that special someone. And not only that, it can be really expensive! According to Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times, on average, men spend about $169 on gifts for their loved one on Valentine’s Day. That’s nearly double what women spend. When added together, consumers are expected to spend around $17.6 billion each year.
There are plenty of people that would prefer not to spend so much money. And honestly, you shouldn’t need to spend that much on your significant other to show them your love. Listed below are cheap and romantic gift ideas for boyfriends and girlfriends, and hopefully they help with the stress you may be feeling as Valentine’s Day approaches this year.
For the guys: We know chocolates, roses, and jewelry are the typical and ideal gifts for women. But if you would like to go outside of the chocolate box this year, here are a few ideas:
1. Make her dinner. You may not be good at cooking, but it’s the thought that counts. She’ll find it romantic no matter what! If you are really opposed to cooking, take her out to her favorite restaurant instead.
2. Be crafty. Make a scrapbook or photo collage of pictures of you two together throughout the years, months, or however long you two have been together. They always turn out so nice and will be something great to hold onto and look at for years to come.
3. Make her a CD. To make it sweet, select tracks that make you think of her. It’s bound to make her swoon or tear up. Over all, it will make her happy.

Roses are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift, but personalize them this year by hiding romantic messages in the petals.

4. Personalize the flowers or chocolate. In every rose, slip a piece of paper of a quality you think she has, and explain how she possess that quality. For example… “Sweet. You’re sweet because….” It’s basically a “reasons why I love you” kind of thing. For chocolate, do the same thing except slip the pieces of paper underneath each piece of chocolate. Doing something like this is really sentimental, and will really remind your girl how much you care about her!
5. Buy her a stuffed animal! They are always adorable and if you hand pick it (not choosing the typical white and red bears they have CVS) it makes it just a little meaningful. A stuffed animal can make any girl smile!
For the gals: It can be really difficult finding a great gift for your boyfriend. Men tend to be tough to shop for! If you’re having trouble, here are some suggestions to help you out:
1. Bake him something sweet! A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all. Make him a cake, cupcakes, or cookies. He won’t complain—men love their sweets.
2. Buy him something for his car. Men love their cars, and the possibilities are endless. “You can get a license plate frame, a steering wheel cozy, or seat covers. Other car gifts you can buy are a wash-and-wax set, or a gift certificate good for several car washes, or a car detail.” (A. Hermitt, Yahoo contributor)
3. Support his hobbies. If he loves to play video games, go out and buy a game he wants, or buy him a tee-shirt with his favorite band’s logo, etc. He will really appreciate the fact that you are supporting what he enjoys, no matter what it is.
4. Buy him tickets to a concert or a sporting event. This is a date and a gift in one! And not to mention, he’ll be very excited.
5. Offer to clean up his dorm or apartment. We all know men can live in a pigsty. In the end, he’ll thank you for it. And you’ll be happy too!
If none of these gift ideas feel right, a Google search tends to do the trick! And remember not to stress yourself out over gift giving this year. Valentine’s Day is about love, not gifts!