Valentine’s Day is one of the more popular holidays in the United States, celebrated by around 62% of the population. From the children who exchange cards and candy in their classrooms, to the couples who go out to fancy dinners, U.S. consumer spend close to $20 billion each year on the love holiday (as per History.com).
The holiday we celebrate on February 14 has a long history, dating all the way back to Ancient Rome. It has evolved over the years into the holiday it is today and these days, it can certainly get expensive. On a per person basis, consumers spend an average of over $100.
The three most common items people buy on Valentine’s Day are candy, flowers, and jewelry. But for those looking to go a little outside of the box, we’ve created a list of under $20 Valentine’s Day gifts that are sure to be a hit. Read on to check out these gifts, along with a brief history of how February 14 became Valentine’s Day.
1. A framed picture
Price: around $15
You can buy a quality picture frame on Amazon for around the $10 to $15 price point. And, once you add in a favorite picture of you and your sweetheart together, this makes for a sentimental gift that really can last forever. Plus, it’s all for under the $20 price point.
2. A modern day mixed tape
Price: around $20
Back in the ’80s, we made mixed tapes for that special someone. On a cassette tape, we’d put together all of the songs that reminded us of that person. We could even make “side one” and “side two” different types of songs.
Then in the ’90s, we stopped making cassette tapes and started making mixed compact discs. The same premise applied, but the recipient of the CD could navigate through the playlist a little easier.
Today, we listen to music on MP3 players, iPods, and smartphones. But this doesn’t have to stop us from making those good old fashioned cheesy “mixed tapes.” Loading your S.O.’s playlist up with some of the music and movies that make you think of him or her is a still a great gift, even in the 21st century.
3. A collection of memories
Price: between $5 and $20
A scrapbook, a shadowbox, or another type of display containing memories is another sentimental gift idea that will show your Valentine that you really took some time to show them that you care.
If you gather together memories, like a ticket stub from the first concert you saw together or a menu from the restaurant where you went on your first date, and showcase them in some sort of display, it’s sure to be a hit.
4. A cool, yet inexpensive gadget
Price: up to $20
If you want to shy away from the sentimental gifts, and go with something a bit more practical, there are a ton of cool tech gadgets you can buy your S.O. for under the $20 price point. You could get him or her a new pair of pink or red ear buds, a key finder, or a pair of tablet and smartphone friendly gloves (that can be used with a touch screen).
For him, a Swiss army knife or multi-tool (like a combination Ballpoint Pen, Stylus, and Flashlight from Amazon for about $15.
5. A keepsake
Whether it’s a simple stuffed animal, a figurine, or a plaque, keepsakes often serve as perfect Valentine’s day gift options for those who are looking for something that’s sentimental, yet affordable. The above keepsake pocket tokens are priced at under $10. You can combine one of these tokens with a heartfelt card and an inexpensive box of chocolates and still stay under $20.