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Frugal Gifts for Girls Who Hate Valentine’s Day

valentines dayI have a confession to share. I think I am a glass half full kind of girl. I do my best to turn negatives into positives. I love puppies, children, and old people. However, with February 14 fast approaching, it’s time I let my true colors show. I HATE Valentine’s Day. Now, I do have a wonderful husband who will get me some sort of gift. Who wants to be the guy who doesn’t get his sweetie a Valentine? I know I make it hard, because I don’t like the day, and I don’t want him to spend money. If you have a girlfriend or wife like me, I’ll make my peace with the big, fat, red heart day and give you some ideas for finding frugal gifts for girls who hate Valentine’s Day.


My hatred of Valentine’s Day developed during high school. I don’t know if it was the decade or the small town where I grew up, but Valentine’s day at school meant one thing, flowers and balloons. Local florists probably paid their bills for months from the deliveries to the high school. It seemed like every girl who had parents or a boyfriend got some sort of delivery on Valentine’s Day. It was so bad that the office staff recruited students and pulled them out of class to run the deliveries from the office to the designated classrooms. You’d see the girls walking down the hallway between classes trailing bouquets of roses, mylar, and latex almost as big as their hair in 1992. The bigger your stash, the more popular it made you on that day.

I wasn’t an outcast in high school. I had friends. I participated in sports and activities, but I did not run with the popular crowd. I had the same boyfriend throughout most of high school and college. I was a good girl. He was a bad boy and was way above the trivialness of buying flowers or balloons. Actually, in hindsight, I think he was just cheap. Regardless, he didn’t send deliveries to school, and being the mature person that I was, I agreed with his philosophy. Otherwise he might see me as shallow. My parents were too practical to spend money on flowers and balloons. I had plenty of gifts throughout my youth, but not ones that would wither away within a week’s time.

Basically, that always left me without any flowers or balloons on Valentine’s Day. I know in the whole scheme of world events, my lack of floral arrangements made no impact. I realize how pointless it is to declare your undying love and spend a month’s allowance or part time paycheck on flowers for the girl you probably won’t be dating next month. As irrational as it was, I hated being the girl with no flowers on Valentine’s Day. It didn’t get any better throughout college or optometry school. I don’t think I ever had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. I even had ones who broke up right before, probably to avoid the cost of a dozen roses. I grew to loathe the holiday, and when I met my husband almost 14 years ago, it wasn’t a feeling I could turn off. Even though I’m happily married and have a permanent Valentine, it would be sacrilege to embrace the holiday and forget all the single girls out there with practical parents.

My husband can be very sweet, but he learned a long time ago that if you buy me something that is red, pink, floral, or mushy on Valentine’s Day, I will say thanks, but pay no more attention than if you gave me a set of coasters. You have to work a bit harder when your girlfriend or wife hates Valentine’s Day. I won’t give you all the secrets, but here are some ideas that I’ve enjoyed over the years.

  • A Good Book-I love to read. A pretty book or a book about a topic of interest is a wonderful Valentine. Don’t buy the $1.99 paperback. Make it a decoration.  If you met in a popular city, you could give a travel book from that area. If your wife admires someone famous, a biography about that person is a great idea. I also like sets of books in a series that I have read, like the Hunger Games Trilogy.
  • Tickets-If your wife hates Valentine’s Day, she isn’t going to want to go out and see all the couples making out over dinner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go out on another day. Get her tickets to a play, concert, or even a movie you have been wanting to see. The promise of a future date night is a great gift.
  • Detail Her Car– This is an amazing gift. I am pretty good at keeping the house and laundry cleaned and neat, but my car becomes a dumping ground. Not to be sexist, but men just seem to do a better job of keeping cars clean. My husband could trip over a pair of shoes for a week and never think to put them away, but if a crumb gets in his floor board, he’s out there with the vacuum. Go wash, vacuum, or even wax and Armour All her car. Every girl wants a clean car, it just usually isn’t at the top of the priority list for us.
  • Rice Krispee Treats– For you guys that are great gourmet cooks, skip this one. If you can’t cook to save your life, this is an easy sweet treat that isn’t traditional chocolate for Valentine’s Day. All  you need is a stick of butter, a bag of marshmallows, and a box of Rice Krispees or generic equivalent. Read the directions. My five year old could make them, and who doesn’t love a warm Rice Krispee treat? 
  • Be Her For a Day– No, don’t dress in your wife’s clothes! If you have kids, you know that Mom is the organizer. Dad can usually do one job at a time with good instructions, but Mom does all the ground work. Make a list of what Mom does and repeat it. You might try on a weekend so Jr. doesn’t get to school with one mitten and no lunch, but give Mom the day off. No snacks to fix, no baths to give, no clothes to wash. Let her take a bath, do her nails, all the things she never has time for. However, if you have to ask her for a list of things she needs you to do, just skip this one and pick one of the others from the list.

I hope my sarcasm doesn’t ruin Valentine’s Day if you truly are a sucker love February 14th. Show the girl in your life love every day, but don’t forget to remember her with a unique gift on her most hated day.

Do you love or hate Valentine’s Day? Do you have a horrible high school experience that still haunts you?


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Haha, it’s funny how our experiences as kids shape us. Twice growing up I had unexpected declarations of love directed my way on Valentine’s day… and they were definitely not reciprocated. It’s awkward saying no to a carnation in front of a bunch of the guys’ friends, right? But it’s better than lying… I think!
    Not sure if that really impacts the way I feel about Valentine’s Day, since I really feel nothing about V-day. It’s just a day. We don’t celebrate anything for it and never really have.

    • That might be worse than not getting a Valentine, getting one from someone you have no feelings for. It’s a wonder I ever made it out of high school without some sort of weird complex. or maybe I do have one and don’t know it?

  2. “Dad can usually do one job at a time with good instructions, but Mom does all the ground work.” Lol! That is so true! 🙂 Great post Kim. I’ve given my wife the day off before and do her work and she loves it and I am exhausted at the end of the day and ready for a drink. 😉 Seriously though, that’s a great idea and she loves good books as well…in fact that’s what she asked for this year. I really don’t care much one way or the other about V day, it’s just another day to me and another day to enjoy spending time with my lovely wife.

  3. “Be Her For a Day- No, don’t dress in your wife’s clothes!” Hilarious! I didn’t have a bad high school experience with Valentine’s Day. I was never dating someone on Valentine’s Day in high school, so that made it a little easier 😉 I do like to gift things to my significant other, but the thoughtful gifts are what she likes, similar to the things you said (a thoughtful book, serving her by doing chores or running errands that she normally does, etc.). We’ll be on a cruise on Valentine’s Day so I’m off the hook this year 🙂

  4. Looking back, I don’t really like how my school handled Valentine’s day. You could buy flowers for various friends/bfs/gfs and choose which class to have them delivered to. So on V-day, there would be a knock on the door in each class and it was always interesting to see who got the roses. Unfortunately, there were many people that didn’t and became a seriously popularity thing. It didn’t really bother me as I got some, but I always felt bad for the people that didn’t.

    Anyhow, I’m that dude that doesn’t buy anything for his wife for v-day. I believe Valentine’s day is crap and frankly you’re a terrible husband if you need a reminder to show your wife you love her (and especially if you only do it once/year). That’s just my $.02 though. It’s not worth much. 🙂

    • High school was hard. You don’t want to stand out in any way from what I remember. If all the girls are getting Valentine’s, you want one. Now I could care less. It’s too commercialized and men get a bum wrap if they don’t shell out. Just be nice every day.

  5. I’m not really a fan of Valentines Day. I just don’t get the point of it haha. He should treat me great all the time 🙂

  6. Wow, my high school didn’t allow anything like that!

    Valentines Day doesn’t really strike me either way. I know that my mom will send me some sort of pink or red token gift (like pens or highliters) and will give a call. V-day conveniently falls in between our birthdays, so we never feel the need to go out to eat or buy each other presents.

  7. Well I’m just single so it’s kind of hard anyway. I pretty much stay off FB because to me the “holiday” has turned into a day where insecure girls love to post pics of the flowers/balloons/etc that their sweetie got them to prove what? They are loveable? Datable? I also had a friend ranted for weeks prior to vday that her husband BETTER get her something good or else. I’m thinking “how about you stop being such a needy, controlling _____ (insert bad word)” Nothing says I love you like a woman who demands gifts. An I going off on a rant. lol! probably! anyway, I hear ya!

  8. Ah, 90’s high school days, I remember them fondly! I can relate Kim, I hated Valentine’s Day in high school for the very same reason. All these girls with their balloons and flowers and it was annoying.

    My husband and I don’t really do anything for Valentine’s Day. We like to celebrate birthdays and our anniversaries more and plan those out 🙂

  9. Personally, I don’t wait for a particular day to show my love for my wife and neither does she. Do you exchange gifts with your spouse because youonly mention the things you would like?

    • I will probably do some small gift or we may go out for dinner. He really could care less about Valentine’s Day, but as tradition, he feel he has to get me something.

  10. I don’t like V Day that much, it has never been a big deal, in France you would be lucky to get one rose, let alone a card or a gift. I had one BF who overdid it on Valentine, showered me in gifts and took me out, it was lovely but really not meaningful.
    I like your ideas especially the day off idea, although it is hard not to be on top of the poor guy checking he does it fine.

    • I do have a bit of a control issue sometimes. If someone does something for me I need to not be critical if it isn’t done just like I would do it.

  11. Amen to that. no matter how many times I tell my husband NOT to buy me anything (especially flowers) for Valentine’s Day he does it anyway. All I want is a meal and a card. Quite possibly be me for a day!

  12. I think Valentines Day is very special and I love it!!

  13. A woman can say that she hates Valentine’s day, but if she doesn’t get something the guy is in the doghouse for at least a month. The nature of that something can be debated (flowers, car detailing, home cooked dinner, etc) but the gift must be delivered on the 14th of February, lest there be dire consequences.

    • I honestly would not care, but I’m sure my husband will do something or we may just go out to eat sometime that week.

    • Not us. I’m with Kim. I don’t expect anything at all. On the other hand, my good friend tried to tell his GF that they shouldn’t do anything for V-Day, cue massive fight and him in the dogbox already.

  14. Both of us look at it as just another day because we love each other every day of the year. We do cook a nice meal and bake a treat but we just hang out and enjoy each others company like every other day.

    • Not every day an be super special, but you really should appreciate each other daily. It shouldn’t take a holiday to remind you.

  15. I was only in a relationship for one Valentine’s Day of my entire scholastic career. Actually for my entire life up until I started dating my wife. So this will be my 5th Valentines Day with someone out of 31 years.

  16. I was single all throughout high school. When I had my first serious bf in university, Valentine’s day was a big deal for me because I never celebrated it before. He handmade me a card one year and baked heart shaped cookies another year. Now, I don’t really care and to me, it’s just another day and I feel sorry for the guys who go through the stress of trying to find that perfect gift. It’s like Christmas all over again, but WORSE!

  17. Meh, not into it at all! Monday’s post is about this very topic.

    I would love tickets to something cool as a gift. That or an awesome homemade dinner.

  18. This is one time where I have to agree Kim, I’m not a big fan of these Hallmark holidays either. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t buy my wife flowers or get her a card but I’d rather do something more unexpected such as a take up some of the choirs around the house for her or make her dinner. I think these things have more of a meaning to her which she will come to appreciate.

  19. I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, but I don’t love it either. I do like getting something practical though instead of flowers that will die or chocolate that will give me 5 pounds. My favorite V-day gift is to go out with my husband to a nice restaurant, eat dinner and enjoy a bottle of wine. I’ll take the memories over the flowers any day.

    • Samantha,

      I agree.. a nice dinner with someone you care about.. husband, BF or whomever.

      Those memories last much longer than flowers or balloons.. and I happen to be one of those strange people who hates chocolate.. so that has never been an option. But I do love a nice dinner with a glass of White Zinfandel.

  20. I am kind of impartial to Valentines Day. It’s nothing special although I absolutely love your detail the car idea. That would be what I would want!

  21. Wow, I can’t believe people were doing that in HS! Nobody at my high school got delivered flowers. We did to a carnation sale for student counsel and that sort of turned into a status thing (red for love, pink for friendship or something like that). I’m not even sure my HS would have allowed deliveries like that due to the disruption it would have caused. I hope your high school doesn’t allow that anymore. I know there must have been many other people who felt the same way you did. Hate holidays that make people feel bad.

  22. A nice dinner is nice enough for me. Something homemade and thoughtful might lead to an eventful evening. But, forgetting all together is insurance you’ll be in the dog house.

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