When my last paycheck came in and I looked at my bank account balance, my smile slipped a little when I realized, once again, that I'd gone a bit over my spending budget for the last couple weeks. That means cutting my costs, and it just so happens that Valentine's Day is coming up and maybe a lot of us are faced with this same moral dilemma. So we need to figure out Valentine's Day gifts that are under $20, and STAT.
Enter the godsend that is the world of online shopping. If you can barely find a free moment between work hours to deposit your latest pay stub, much less go out and have to search Target's glorious shelves for a suitable gift, Amazon, Etsy, and other cyber-havens are going to be your friends.
If you're trying to mix things up this year but also be able to, like, eat this week, here's a list of great gifts you can find on the Interwebs that won't blow your bank and leave you scrambling to pay rent.
When I called my mother the other day to ask her what she considered a suitable Valentine's Day gift from dad, she said, "a new Michael Kors purse." If you're not in that pay range, consider any of the below:
1. Beer and Ale Throw Pillow
It's always been a struggle bus finding a good gift for a beer lover who already has everything — but now there's a functional couch/bed decoration that will be the correct amount of humorous yet adorable. Make their heart sing with this awesome throw pillow that not only has pictures, but also names of all the pretentious brews they try at tap houses/breweries all the time.
2. One Question a Day for You & Me: A Three-Year Journal
If you're single, it doesn't mean you can't show some appreciation! This is the perfect gift for the long-term BFF who you can share everything with — embark on this self-discovery journey together! And don't be afraid to be as vulnerable as possible. It's a great way to get to know each other and keep that friendship nice and strong all days of the year.
3. Mini Instax Acrylic Album Photo Frame
Do you love collecting memories? Gift this to a friend who's never without a cam in hand — now she'll have a chance to frame them all in this adorably versatile photo album. It's perfect for decorating and remembering all the love you have around you that you've documented over the years.
4. Adorn Raw Essentials Pure Rose Quartz Massage Stone
For your buds who veer more on the intuitive side, this rose quartz massage stone is a great steal. The crystal can help with soothing tension with its vibrations, applying pressure to achy massages or any variety of spiritual healing needs. Use it to seduce a witchy crush, or use it on your own body when the stress comes on strong.
5. Personalized Monogram Tie
If your friend/bae has always craved a tie with their initials on it, there is now a way to get that! The bottom of the tie (which comes in both blue and brown) has the monogram in white text, with his middle name in the middle. Engrave with care and watch them glow when they open it!
6. Grow Your Own Aloe Plant Kit
For your environmentally curious buds/S.O., try giving them the gift of growth here. Growing aloe has never been easier with the step by step instructions outlined, the pot's terra cotta material for maximal results, and pre-planted seeds and a bag of compost. As someone who's extremely afraid of becoming a succulent parent without a guide book in hand, I would love for someone to gift this to me. (Cough, hello? Happy guy and girl friends out there who want to help me out?)
7. Personalized Photo Accent Pillow
Want to creep out your friends with a photo of yourself on the most intimately annoying sleep accessory possible? Gift a pillow with your face on it to anyone — just upload your photo and Walmart will make it for you. Use with caution ... this might not be the best way to display the time you did a great keg stand freshman year of college.
8. The Pioneer Woman Retro Dot 2.6-Liter Ceramic Pitcher
This gives off major Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-vibes, because couldn't you just picture Midge pouring her children some nice tea out of a pitcher like this? It's cute for any occasion, but especially for your retro-loving friends. Or you can buy it for yourself too. There are very few occasions that don't call for drinking something these days, right?
9. Personalized Photo Pendant - Dog Tag Style
Awww. If you and bae have been together long term, try gifting them with this cute pendant. Or put your a picture of your favorite pupper on there and take the whole "dog tag" thing as literally as possible.
You can engrave a great message too on the back, as long as it's 3 lines with up to 11 characters per line.
10. Peropon Cat Self Watering Wild Strawberry Planter
Now you or a loved one can be a plant parent and a cat enthusiast all in one with this ceramic planter. How does it work, your puzzled giftee may ask when you purchase it for them? So long as you keep the dish filled with water, the cat's absorbent felt "tongue" will slowly "lick" up water from a bowl and releases it into the plant growing out of its back. This re-usable pot also comes with strawberry seeds and potting soil. Who wouldn't melt at the sight of such an adorable and efficient tool?
11. Molecule Necklace: Seretonin
12. Will You Beer Mine? Can Cooler
13. Cheeseburger Soap Gift Set
Enough said. I would take baths several times a day if they looked this delicious. This will be great for the cheeseburger enthusiast in your life, a friend who likes to laugh while they scrub, or ... yourself. I guess I fall in the last category. Don't forget, guys — you can be your own Valentine, too.