14 Super Fun (and Thrifty) Ways to Say I Love You

by Jason Kotecki on · 30 comments

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Valentine’s Day is the hol­i­day of love. Well, at least accord­ing to Hall­mark. The stores are sat­u­rated in pink and red, the cal­en­dar has that pesky lit­tle fine print next to the four­teenth day of Feb­ru­ary, and the pres­sure is huge to com­mem­o­rate the big day with your sweet­heart. That often means roses, choco­late, a din­ner out…zzzzzz…oh, sorry, I drifted off there for a sec­ond. Valentine’s Day may be one of those oblig­a­tory hol­i­days, but it’s never a bad thing to show some­one how much you care, and it needn’t be bor­ing. Your honey deserves more than ho-hum! And the fun ideas that fol­low won’t break the bank, either.

1) Fill your sweetheart’s car or office or closet with bal­loons. Lots and lots of balloons.

2) Some­where between a mas­sage and a tickle is what I like to call “back skat­ing.” It’s like hav­ing your fin­gers ice skate across the back of your part­ner. Take turns draw­ing sim­ple pic­tures or spelling out words and see if they can guess the message.

3) Write a love mes­sage in soap on the bath­room mir­ror. Dry erase mark­ers also work beau­ti­fully (and wipe off eas­ily) on glass. Don’t for­get about adding lots of hearts. Or a funny mustache.

4) Get a box of those cheap kid­die valen­tines and hide them every­where: in the car, under the pil­low, in the lunch bag. Or make one grand ges­ture by fil­ing the sink or a briefcase!

5) Make break­fast in bed. But make it fun! Fash­ion a face out of the fried eggs and bacon. Or make heart-shaped pan­cakes, topped with sprin­kles or candy hearts. (And don’t for­get to use the good china.)

6) If you’re in the car together, kiss at every stop­light, or any­time you see a red sports car.

7) Slow dance to “your song” in the liv­ing room. Clothes are optional ;)

8 ) Meet your honey for lunch with Happy Meals in hand.

9) If you live in a colder cli­mate, write a love note in the snow. You could use snow­balls, your foot­prints, or a spray bot­tle filled with col­ored water. Hooray for food coloring!

10) Replace the Chee­rios with candy con­ver­sa­tion hearts.

11) Get your sweet­heart a gift inspired by their favorite child­hood toy. It could be a t-shirt, cuf­flinks, a poster, or the toy itself, pur­chased on ebay.

12) Get a roll of cookie dough, but instead of bak­ing a dozen cook­ies, use it to make one BIG one!

13) Rent and watch a clas­sic love story from child­hood. Some­thing like Princess Bride, Beauty and the Beast, Lady & The Tramp, or one of my favorites, Karate Kid 2. (Fun trivia: Glory of Love by Peter Cetera was the first song Kim and I danced to as hus­band and wife.)

14) Make a pizza together — includ­ing the dough! (There’s some­thing roman­tic about being cov­ered in flour.) Arrange pep­per­oni in the shape of a heart and have a pic­nic in your liv­ing room.

What is your favorite FUN and THRIFTY way to say “I love you?”


by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and pro­fes­sional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a for­mer kinder­garten teacher) make it their mis­sion in life to fight Adul­ti­tis and help peo­ple use strate­gies from child­hood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escap­ing adulthood.
Jason Kotecki
View all posts by Jason Kotecki

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

rob white February 13, 2012 at 11:30 am

Great ideas, Jason. I love the sincerity of these acts of heart & mind! Whenever we are thinking from the heart-mind, the thought and visions become inner world experiences through feeling … and like dropping a stone into a pond, it has a ripple effect. Compelling action in all walks of life are born from the merger of loving thoughts and feelings.
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Jason of Kim & Jason February 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Indeed, Rob. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
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Simo Rida February 13, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I loved the #3 and I’ll do it tonight :)

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 13, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Sweet. Have fun!
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Jessica February 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Wow, these are some really creative ideas! I always struggle with what to do for V day, I feel like its silly to spend loads of money on a day that has no special meaning to many people. I love these romantic and clever ideas! Making a large cookie is my favorite :)

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I’m glad you like the ideas, Jessica. Enjoy the giant cookie :) Make sure you get a giant glass of milk (with a few drops red food coloring, of course ;)
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Jennifer Richardson February 13, 2012 at 6:31 pm

LOVE the doughnut art:)
awesome ideas!
Got my wheels turning…..
-Jennifer

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I’m happy with how the art turned out, too. Thanks for mentioning it, Jennifer!
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Alice February 13, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Haha, cute ideas! And actually pretty easy to do!
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Jason of Kim & Jason February 14, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thanks Alice! The easier the better, I always say :)
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Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan) February 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Can I trade my wife for you?

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

Ha ha.
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Meg February 14, 2012 at 7:47 am

I LOVE all these ideas. All you need is love…. right?
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Jason of Kim & Jason February 14, 2012 at 9:50 am

The Beatles were wise chaps, indeed.
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Megan Bord February 14, 2012 at 8:02 am

What a fun post to read. Jason, you and your wife seem to know how to celebrate life at every turn, Valentine’s Day included. I can’t wait to put some of your suggestions to work…

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 14, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thanks Megan, I hope you have fun with them! I have a saying I often use: “Every day is a holiday; it’s just that most days, what to celebrate is up to you.” Good perspective to have, methinks. (I love using the word methinks :)
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Julie February 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Such a great post! I had been searching for a couple of weeks for a really nice idea to surprise my husband on valentine’s day, when I’ve found your post:) Thanks for the inspiration, I just can’t make a decision, they’re all so cute!

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Jason of Kim & Jason February 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hope you had a great day, Julie — glad I could help!
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Jody - Fit at 54 February 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Love it! Ours – just be together! :-)
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David Rodwell February 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Oh my goodness, kissing at every red light!? That’s what my high school sweetheart and I would do on our dates! Wow, I thought I invented that! Think I’ll make the big cookie tonight in the shape of a heart! Peanut butter cookies for the win! Good stuff, Jason!
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Jason of Kim & Jason February 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thanks David. Green lights seemed too dangerous ;)
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J.D. Meier February 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm

> a gift inspired by their favorite child­hood toy
I like that. It’s a way to connect, rekindle, and renew.
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Jason of Kim & Jason February 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

Thanks, J.D. I like that one too. It’s certainly open to a lot of creativity, and it’s deliciously retro :)
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isloooboy February 15, 2012 at 12:31 am

I like number 6 tip which is best and suite both of us ;) kiss at every stop­light, or any­time you see a red sports car – wow it will be a real fun :D

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Noel February 18, 2012 at 12:07 am

You are such a romantic guy to come up with so many creative and sweet ideas, Jason. But we shouldn’t save them for Valentine’s day only, right? ;) Give our loved one these little surprises once in a while and this will definitely spice up our relationship. Thanks for the awesome post Jason!
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Andrew Walker February 27, 2012 at 3:27 am

Well these are great ideas. Despite of Valentine’s Day that has went by, I think they’re all still applicable later on! Thanks a lot for sharing these fantastic ideas!
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Kelly Sajonia January 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

These are great ideas! Texting an image in the middle of the day that I know will make him smile is one great way to say “I love you” inexpensively.
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Katie Jones February 8, 2013 at 6:34 am

One of the greatest gifts that my boyfriend gave me for Valentine’s day was made by himself. He wrote 365 reasons “I love you because…” put all in a box and made me pick one every day so I read one every day for a year. It was really great.
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Ryan D July 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm

13) Movies from your childhood… I totally did this with my last GF and she loved it! ;)

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Sebastian October 18, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Yes, I’ll definitely send this list to my next girlfriend! Thank you!
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