According to www.valentinesday.org, there are more 190 million Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually, making February 14 the second biggest card giving holiday, after Christmas.

Valentine’s Day is third most important day for flowers, behind Christmas and Mother’s Day. Chocolate sales total over $1 billion (US) and more than $14 billion worldwide each Valentine’s Day.

However, if you are hoping to think a bit more economically this Valentine’s Day, the following list includes some ideas that GreenPath credit counselors came up with that have little or no cost.

“In some cases, these gift ideas might be even more special to the recipient than a store bought gift,” said GreenPath trainer Megan Bridgett.

  1. Write a letter telling each loved one in your family what they mean to you. Put it on nice paper and frame it in an inexpensive second hand store frame with a photo of the recipient.

    According to one counselor, her then teenagers (now in their 20’s) saved their letters that she wrote and still have them. “So, don’t believe it when they tell you it is corny,” said Bridgett.  “Affirmation is a great gift.”

  2. Make CD’s of your favorite music selections personalized for the recipient. Don’t use pirated music, though.
  3. Offer a coupon to be a workout partner for a friend or relative, and keep each other accountable for your exercise goals. What is better than planned time with people that are important to you, while getting healthier in the process?
  4. Give the family heirlooms away before you die. Not to sound morbid, but instead of keeping grandmother’s crystal in the cupboard, give this special family gift to others to use and enjoy.
  5. Give a coupon to wash windows, clean the basement…or some other dreaded job.
  6. Give your kids a coupon for one week of no bed making or other hated chore.

If you give it a little thought, your heart-felt gift can certainly make someone’s heart beat a bit faster this Valentine’s Day!