Love on the cheap: Valentine's Day gift ideas for guys

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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Perhaps this year more than ever, we should stop for a moment to celebrate Valentine's Day.  With most men working overtime and feeling stressed about providing for the family in these turbulent economic times, it might do them a bit of good to be reminded how much they are loved and appreciated.  But although love may be in the air, your wallet is probably airtight with no room or change to spare, so here are some cheap, but unique, ideas to celebrate your love for him on February 14th. 

Shop Your Home For Him
Sometimes you need to look no further than your own home to find some gift ideas that he will appreciate.  Put together a brag book with photos that you have been meaning to get cleaned off  your memory card.  I organized my many pictures and printed some really fun ones that went into a little $3 photo book.  Now when my husband travels, he always grabs that little book filled with family who love him. 

I have noticed that when I do get the occasional manicure or pedicure, I oftentimes see a man enjoying a good old fashioned foot rub in the chair across from me.  Open your own medicine cabinet and grab a good hand lotion and lightly scented foot cream and treat him to a relaxing hand and foot massage.  Such a small and free gesture will relax him and remind him that he loves you and your touch!

How about turning a honey-do into a honey-don't?  Do a project that he just can't get to.  I recently cleaned the garage and added some hooks on the garage wall for our jackets.  Now that one is off his list and I burned some calories and got our tools, bikes and junk organized.  A gift that we both have enjoyed!

Unique & Cheap Love Finds
I recently noticed that Walgreen's has an entire guy gift section for Valentine's Day and all of the items were inexpensive.  Some of my favorites are the chocolates that come in masculine heart shaped designs.  See the segment to see what I mean.  Rose petals, body paint, a message in a bottle kit and many other ideas that all sell for under $10 each.  My favorite are the candy bars that double as a treat and a coupon good for things like breakfast in bed or a massage. 

Target has some fun beer boxers that sell for under $10.  I had seen heart boxer shorts for men before, but the undies adorned with mugs of suds is just too fun! 

I also really like the website called perputualkid.com for unique gifts for guys.  If your loved one is a list person, this site has every kind of list you can think of including a daily meal plan log, a beer rating list, a make-a-decision pad and my favorite, a Pack This! notepad.  This travel pad has saved me from forgetting my usual list of  items that I remember after take-off!  At $6.99 a pad, these fun and useful note pads can add a little laughter or organization to your man's life! 

Barnes & Noble has a neat coffee cup called the Chalk Talk Mug that comes with a chalkboard side and chalk so that hand-written love notes can be written daily on your darling's cup of  joe.   Fun and sells for $9.95.

Love coupon books are fun and can be steamy, but I found one that really touched me at Urbayn located in Chandler at I10 & Ray Road.  Called Why I Love You, this 22-page book comes with coupons that say things like "I love you because you make me laugh.  This coupon is good for a night out at your favorite comedy club."  Another favorite page of mine reads, "I love you because you know when to say "I'm sorry.  This coupon is good for ending one argument, no matter how much I think I'm right."  There are also pages about sticking through the good times and bad together, listening and other love expressions that can be easily taken for granted in today's crazy world. 

For long-distance love, don't forget about the greeting cards that enable you to record a personalized greeting in your own voice.  Or have the kids record a message.  At around $7 a card, this is a great idea for military families. 

Be sure to watch the segment to see any last-minute ideas that I may have left out of this column as I usually find additional items on the way to the show!  And remember it is truly the thought that counts when it comes to Valentine's Day.  With the economic stress that many of our men are feeling, a simple gesture can go a long way.  So, here is to love on the cheap because you don't have to empty your wallet to fill his heart.  Happy heart day!