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Falling in Love on a Budget—Best Affordable Gifts for Valentine’s Day

Ahhh—young, dumb, and in love! The triple threat to a college partner’s wallet. Florists are beyond expensive, fine dining restaurants cost more than a trip to the grocery, and homemade gifts are time-consuming. It doesn’t even seem plausible to get the perfect gift after addressing all the barriers in our way. Luckily for you all, I got dealt the worst hand with my anniversary being right before Valentine’s Day— so my partner makes my wallet hurt this time of year, for lack of a better phrase. Being the ultimate cupid, I have accumulated a brainstorm list full of tips, tricks, and gift ideas for this loving season!

1. Do not underestimate the power of social media (TikTok is the biggest winner!)

Social media is a resource to you, so reap the benefits! Scrolling on TikTok for just 10 minutes under various Valentine-themed searches will lead you to hidden, budget-friendly gems that will put the biggest smile on someone’s face.

2. DIY projects are meant to be easy

With this one, it’s a matter of not getting ahead of yourself. Marketing can be deceiving, but if you are unfamiliar with the products they are using in a video—the craft probably isn’t met for you. Stick to beginner level projects and pay close attention to the technique so you don’t get yourself in a deep hole.

3. Hot glue guns for the win

Going alongside the crafty side of Valentine’s Day, get yourself a glue gun if you haven’t already… I promise you won’t regret it.

4. Cook them a meal/desert

Cooking can be intimidating, especially in college when your biggest daily concern isn’t about executing flawless 5 course meals. But I promise you, this one has a 99% successful response rate—think about it… Even if it’s a failed project, how could someone be upset at the hours of effort you put in for them? (Pizza is cheap and a great makeup gift!)

5. CANDY… but make it cute

The second part of this is VITAL. Candy is a default Valentine’s Day gift, right? Well, it’s cheap too so it’s the best and most common option for college students to give on this day. We won’t get caught being boring or anything less than spectacular— so throw any pink and heart themed décor on a cheap basket to jazz up a simple gift bag.

(she/her/hers) Junior @ Purdue University with a major in Hospitality & Tourism Management and a double minor in Event Planning & Meeting Management and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies As a part of Her Campus, my goal for this organization is to give women something to resonate with. Through content on all aspects of a collegiate woman's life, my contributions to Her Campus will help further build a safe, fun, & welcoming foundation for women everywhere.
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