Free and Low-Cost Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

The Institute of Business & Medical Careers Shares 11 Helpful Tips for Making College Students’ Valentine’s Day Special Without Breaking the Bank

Being a college student on a budget, saying, “I love you,” doesn’t have to cost a small fortune this Valentine’s Day. After all, it is the thought that counts versus the price tag on the package.

Love notes
IBMC staff writers share 11 tips for making Valentine's Day special for college students.

The year, show that special someone how much you care for he or she with a heartfelt gift, requiring little to no expense at all.

1.) Love notes: Take out a pen and paper. Dazzle your sweetie with a hand-written note telling that special someone what qualities you admire, a favorite memory you have, and how happy you are to have that person in your life.

2.) Dinner 101: Whether you’re a novice or expert in the kitchen, preparing a home cooked meal is a great idea. Become a chef sensation by making your loved one’s favorite dish, or try something entirely new. Personally, I’m a fan of all It guides you with step by step instructions for making your dinner perfect, bona appetit!

3.) Spa day at home: Pamper that special he or she with a mani, pedi, massage, and facial using products you already have at home.

4.) Get outdoors: There are a multitude of beautiful, local hiking trails in the region. If you plan to venture out this weekend, you may want to bundle up and pack a thermos of hot cocoa. Otherwise, sunny skies are in the forecast for next week.

Running as a couple
Go running as a couple this Valentine's Day. Next to IBMC Fort Collins, students can run on the Mason Corridor hiking/biking trail.

5.) Fun run: Do you typically workout by yourself? Make it a couple’s activity and go together. In conjunction with starting the day off on a healthy foot, the endorphins your body creates will only brighten your mood.

6.) Volunteer: Spread the love around by volunteering at a local non-profit. Find a cause that is important to the two of you. Beyond spending time together, you will pass along joy to others.

7.) Star gaze: Whether you live in town or you’re in the boonies, star gazing is an exciting activity to do together. You may have to drive a ways to get away from the bright lights of the city, but it is well worth it. Bonus: If you have a smart phone, you can download apps that will help you identify constellations and planets, such as the SkyView app for iPad, iPhone and iPod users. For Android mobile users, SkEye is a good app.

8.) Just dance: Lady Gaga had it right. Go out dancing, or create your own dance party right in your own living room.

9.) Play a board game or cards: Bring out your inner child and play a game. Laughter, competition, and nostalgia will take over.

V-Day Suckers
Tell that special someone how much you love them with a sweet story this Valentine's Day.

10) Story telling with candy: Create a story about your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. Use candy to help you share your sweet tale. For instance: “You are a LIFE SAVER. I think that you are a BIG HUNK, and I’m a SUCKER for spending time together.”

11.) Free events: Check with your local Convention and Visitors Bureau or other event listing sites nearby IBMC’s four campuses:
Free events in Fort Collins
Free events in Greeley
Free events in Longmont
Free events in Cheyenne

Do you have other affordable or no-cost Valentine’s Day gift ideas to share with other, fellow IBMC students? Let us know! Simply comment below, or email Holli Milenski at