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Over the years, I have learned that these creative ideas are what truly matters and they have made our years together, lots of fun.
At one time, I would have never wanted to share my frugal ideas for showing love
to those around you. My reason for keeping it to myself? At one time I thought that no one
would be interested. After all, we were the only couple not buying each other expensive
gifts, jewelry, roses, and more, right? Reality check! I have grown up a lot over these
last 10 years and I have learned that I am not the only one clipping coupons and cutting my
children's hair myself. There are lots of other families out t Without the necessary money
to buy costly gifts for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions, we
have been very committed to doing things that were wonderful, yet inexpensive. Over the
years, I have learned that these creative ideas are what truly matters and they have made
our years together, lots of fun.
Here I have compiled my ideas here to share them with you:
PILL BOTTLE: This is a cute idea for your spouse or other adult. Take an empty pain
reliever or prescription bottle and soak it in hot water to remove the label. After you
remove the label, design your own label on paper, with something like the following: "Love
Pills" - take one as needed. Then take strips of paper and write down the things you are
willing to do for your loved one. Some ideas are: foot massage, back massage, your favorite
pie, your favorite cookies, you choose the movie we see, etc... Tak LOVE SONGS: This next
idea I did before we had internet access, so today it would be even easier to do this.
Frame the lyrics to your wedding song or other love song. The internet has several sites
that list song lyrics, so just type "song lyrics" into a search engine. Print up the lyrics
in a nice font, and frame.
CANDLELIGHT DINNER: When you are not able to go out to an expensive restaurant for dinner,
have it at home. Wait to eat until after the children are in bed, set your dining room
table nicely with a tablecloth, candles and play soft music. Enjoy a nice
dinner...preferably one that you don't usually have, and one that you and your spouse
consider to be special.
SWAP CHILD CARE: If you do want prefer to go out
for your special day, but find yourself having a hard time paying for dinner *and*
childcare, ask a friend to swap child care with you.
CREATE A LOVE TREE: Find a branch outside that has several smaller branches coming off of
it and place the branch standing up in a pot of soil, or even a coffee can filled with dirt
would work. Cut out an assortment of hearts from different colored cardstock or
construction paper and string each one with ribbon. Then have each member of your family
write the things that they love on the hearts (one "love" per heart) and hang them on the
tree. You can name just about anything you love: a beloved pet, grandm RUN THROUGH A MAZE:
If you have a gift for someone in your home, make them go through a maze of clues to get to
their surprise. At the first "stop" (which should be a place in your home that this person
is likely to go to), you should have a little poem of sorts which will tell them to go to
the next spot in your home, and so on. At each point in your home have something telling
your loved one where to go next until the end which of course will end up being their gift.
I had a friend who did this for her h HEART SHAPED CAKE: If you don't have a heart shaped
cake pans, don't despair. Create your own heart-shaped cake by baking one layer in an 8-in
round pan, and one layer in an 8-in square pan. Cut the circle in half and place the cut
side of the halves against two adjoining side of the square to form a heart. Frost and
decorate at desired.
HEART SHAPED COOKIE POPS: Bake up some heart shaped sugar cookies, but insert a popsicle
stick near the point of the stick and bake as usual. Decorate.
FLOWERPOTS: Take flat bottomed ice cream cups and place them on a cookie sheet or in a
muffin tin (you can wrap bottoms of cones with crumbled up foil to make them more sturdy).
Fill cones with 1/3 cup brownie batter and bake 35-40 minutes or until tops are puffed up
and cracked. After brownie cones are cooled insert a fake rose in the center. You can also
create a flower out of construction paper and secured it on a popsicle stick, and then
insert this into the center of the puffed up brownie.
HEART SHAPED CUPCAKES: Prepare you favorite cake mix according to the directions on the
box. Line your muffin pans with paper baking cups and fill each cup 1/2 full of batter.
Place a marble in each muffin cup....between the paper liner and the pan, which will create
the heart shape. Add additional batter as needed so that cups are about 2/3 full. Bake as
GIFT COUPONS: We have all heard of the idea of creating coupons which give of ourselves,
but have you ever given your kids some? Why not create a coupon book for your child that
has coupons such as: your choice of dessert, kids video rental, lunch out with mom (or
PLANT A TREE: Give a gift that will grow! Without your loved one knowing, plant a tree in
your yard. You may also want to make a small yard sign that will sit near the tree and that
says who the tree was planted for, and the date.
PROGRESSIVE DINNER: Call up two other couples and arrange a progressive dinner. Everyone
will go to the first couple's home and enjoy some appetizers, at the next home you will go
for the dinner, and at the last home, you will enjoy dessert. After your progressive
dinner, you may want to go out together to a movie or some dancing.
©2000 - Brandie Valenzuela
Brandie is the owner and editor of the Family First
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