Whether you are celebrating your 18th year alone on Valentine’s Day or spending your fifth one with your longtime honey, gift giving does not have to break the bank this Feb. 14. 

We’ve all been there. Another year has passed, spring is afoot and you are bright-eyed, bushy tailed and full of optimism. You are eager to take on the new year with open arms because this year will be different — or so you think.

Not so fast, you’re not that lucky. This 2020, you’re still broke, still recovering from seasonal depression and, unfortunately, still letting yourself and the people around you down.

Valentine’s Day can be one of the most stressful commercial holidays of the year. Expectations are at an all-time high ever since Kanye West filled an entire room in Kim Kardashian’s mansion with roses and featured Kenny G playing the saxophone in the center. Some of us simply cannot keep up. 

But do not worry, you are not Kanye West, and we know that. Behold, eight gift ideas for all the broke love birds and singles too. Yes, self-love is important.

Pro-tip: Before you surprise your angel (or yourself) with any gift this Valentine’s Day, be sure to lower their expectations. Act as though you do not have anything planned, maybe even pretend you do not care about their feelings at all. Remember, the lower their morale, the more touched they will be by your subpar, low-budget gift.

A card

But not just any card, a pop-up card! The options are endless. A simple Google search, paper, glue and, if you’re feeling generous, glitter, are all you need to make your love totally smitten with poetic words, which you will show off in your card writing, of course. 

Safeway-brand assorted chocolates

Beggars can’t be choosers. These chocolates are full of high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives, but it truly is the sweet thought that counts. That trek from Gonzaga to Safeway was made by foot, and it shows. 

Gonzaga’s Hip Hop and Rap Club musical candy gram 

Supporting your peers and smothering your boo — two birds with one stone! For $2, you can send your babe (or platonic friends) a candy gram with a song of your choice. DM @gu_hiphop on Instagram to place an order.

A nice picture frame

It doesn’t get easier than this. Print out a cute picture of yourself with the one you’re courting and stick that puppy in there. People love looking at photos of themselves. 

AirPod case

Nothing says “I love you” more than gifting your Valentine (or yourself) an AirPod case. Not only is it practical, it won’t destroy your wallet as much as actual AirPods. Gifting a nice AirPod case provides the illusion of luxury without the expense. It’s thoughtful and, after all, AirPods are always there for you when no one else is. 

Stuffed animal 

You can never go wrong with the classic plush toy gift. It’s cute, foolproof and, usually easy to obtain at the last minute. Bonus points if you can find one that speaks cute messages when you give it a good squeeze — creepy and not cliche at all.

Flowers that are not roses

Gifting flowers that are not roses says “I’m not like most people, I’m original and I’m not playing games.” It tells your muse they’re special; they’re way beyond the classic image of Cupid’s day. Society does not get to dictate your floral choices this year. 

A hug

This gift costs zero dollars. Sometimes, all that is needed on this holiday of hearts is some extra PG-13 lovin’. Hug your sunshine, your platonic friends and, yes, yourself. 

Kellie Tran is a staff writer.

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