Putting a Price Tag on Love – Inexpensive Ideas for your Valentine Kid

As if it’s not enough that we’re just recuperating from the pressures of what to buy whom for Christmas, now Valentine’s Day is staring us in the face!  No one wants to look like a cheap sucker when expressing their love on Valentine’s Day, but in this economy, with your good friends Mr. Mastercard and Miss VISA expecting a little something to reward them for how loyal they were to you during Christmas, what can you afford to do?

Let’s run it down by the list of people who might be expecting gifts and see if we can’t help you show them that you care for them with a champagne heart but a beer pocketbook.

Gifts for the Kids


Drugstores all over America make it easy for you to treat your littles to something sweet for Valentine’s Day, and because kids don’t really get the whole gist of putting a price on love, you can get away really inexpensively here.

1 – Walmart has a Valentine aisle – as does Target, Walgreens, and CVS.  You’ll find $5 plush toys, .99 candy filled hearts, $1 Valentine socks, and other inexpensive goodies.  You can fill a gift bag for your kids for under $10 and have it bursting with Valentine treats.

2 – Valentine clothes – We almost always get Valentine PJs for our girls, mostly because they usually need new PJs, but also because we can find for less than $20 (and sometimes for less than $15) a cute Valentine set of Pajamas and a stuffed animal, so we avoid the candy and sweets route.  You can find Valentine PJs, t-shirts, and socks at stores like Target, Walmart, and Old Navy.  I kinda like this little t-shirt for $5!

At Old Navy – http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=64713&vid=1&pid=818880&scid=818880012

3 – A Coupon Booklet – Treat your child to a Frosty at Wendy’s, a hot apple pie at McDonald’s, a trip to the library for story time, or even a pedicure and manicure, courtesy of Mom.  You can fill a book of coupons with free or almost free things that your kids will love!  Promise a picnic at the park on one coupon.  A popular coupon at our house is the Get Out of One Chore coupon, where your child can redeem the coupon to get out of setting the table or walking the dog, without risking allowance!  You might even offer to play that horrendous board game they got for Christmas – you know, the one that you’d rather skip playing in favor of a root canal?  Just keep reminding yourself that it’s all in the name of love.

4 – Special Valentine’s Day Meal – You probably have red plastic table cloths or red napkins left over from Christmas – or you picked them up for 75% at an after Christmas sale, so go ahead and decorate your table!  Dress it up in reds, pinks, and whites for a festive themed setting your kids will love.  Then when they sit down to a meal, it doesn’t have to be fancy, just Valentiney!  Use cookie cutters to cut heart shaped sandwiches with their favorite filling, or put that art school degree to work and shape a meatloaf or a pizza for your special kids.  Use food coloring to put a Valentine hue into mashed potatoes, biscuits, or muffins; and consider a dessert with strawberries!

The thing kids love most is your time.  If all else fails, read them an extra bedtime story, take time to listen to their playground tales, or volunteer to be the guinea pig as they try their hand at being a beautician.  Kids know that you love them when you make time for them, and your time is the one thing that really doesn’t cost you anything.  It is the best – and the cheapest – gift you can give your kids on Valentine’s Day – and every day.

A Very Disney Valentine’s Day

You know I love a dose of Mickey Mouse, wherever I can get it!  We ran into Walmart today to pick up ONE thing (famous last words), and while browsing the Valentine aisles (which, by the way, were nowhere near where that ONE thing would be), I came across a few things that will make this a Mickey filled Valentine’s day for you and your sweetie!

First were these adorable swirl lollipops.  They came in flavors like watermelon and strawberry (check the labels when you buy, because they are all the same color), but the tops were just too cute to pass up!  As cute as I thought Minnie was, the Mickey with the flowers behind his back were just so sweet.

Okay, so my photography skills could stand improvement, but without the red ribbon in front of this one, it’s kinda cute.  The bottom is two pink hearts, and the Mickey head, made from some squishy, gummy type candy, is dipped in a chocolatey type substance.

Now that I see this out of the context of the G rated store, it could be a little obscene looking.  You might not want to send these in to the class – especially if the class is filled with Tweens, prone to hysterical outbreaks when something is misconstrued.  Okay, these were way cuter and way less pervert looking in the store – but hey, it’s Mickey Mouse!

I thought these were so, so cute!  These are individual sized boxes of wrapped candy hearts.  The boxes are about the size you might give in school or maybe just to your kids (do you give your kids Valentines?), and they feature Mickey and Minnie prominently on the front.  I loved these, and if they had been a little less expensive, I thought about getting them for my students.  Instead, I got these:

The ONLY character Valentine’s they had out yet at Walmart were these, and I snapped them up for my class.  They are Mickey chocolate (colored red) lollipops that you can put into the accompanying Valentine cards.  The cards themselves were kind of old fashioned looking, and I thought the kids would like the candy.

There you go – you don’t have to go all the way to Disney World to find Disney treats for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day!

Macy’s clothes shopping

Tip number one about going clothes shopping?  Make sure you are wearing the appropriate undergarments so everything doesn’t have panty line.  I went in wearing a baggy, broomstick skirt (you know, the kind I’m trying to ease out of), and you can’t see any panty line under that.  Not so the fitted skirts I tried on.

This was the only one I marginally liked, but honestly, I didn’t see that many “casual” type of skirts in Macy’s today.  Most of them were career oriented, business like skirts for people that have a Jay Oh Bee – which is not me.  I just want to look good when I get dressed in the morning, not look like I’m out to conquer corporate America.

Shopping is way too frustrating for me.  I found very few things I liked.  This blouse I LOVED, but they only had it in a 4 and a 16.  I tried to convince Jim to stop for a banana split on the way out so I could get the size 16, but he wasn’t hearing any of it.

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

Then I found a few cute skirts in the Michael Kors section.  Cute, but I’m not in love, and if I’m going to pay Michael Kors prices so the man finally has enough money to buy himself some new duds (is anyone else tired of the black on black look he’s had going for, like, EVER??), I want to get engaged to this skirt.
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

Oh wait – a rack of black denim – I can wear black denim!

WHAT?  Black denim for $100 a pop?  Have these people no shame?  I am destined to be a People of WalMart forever.
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH

So the end result of today’s journey out to the mall is that I came home with some autumn scented soap for the bathrooms and the kitchen.  And a latte.

It wasn’t a total loss.