Gentlemen,

My wife has been the breadwinner while I've been in seminary, and she recently lost her job. Happily, I have found a job, but we are currently in an in-between phase where we don't have any extra money to spend on things like Valentine's Day gifts. So, we've decided on a $5 limit. Here's where I can use some help. I really want to do something for her/get/make her something that says, "I appreciate you working and bearing my children for me," but how to do that with nothing but a fin? 

Before you suggest cooking for her, let me say that I am already going to do that. That's a given. But you can't even get a nice floral centerpiece for five bucks! And please don't suggest the penny bracelet. She's not a bracelet kind of girl. 

Anybody have any ideas? 

Respectfully, 

J. M. Settecase

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Hey J.M. Settecase,

My suggestion is that you go with what V-day is about. Roses, chocolates/food & a card. 

Food/Chocolate

With that in mind you have the food part knocked down.

Roses

If you are able to source a single rose for $5 that might be worth it. But if not and you are up for some creativity I would try this Napkin Rose as it basically free!

Card

As for the card I would go buy her a nice $5 card (or whatever is left of your budget) and write a personal message like you did above or something like "Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction..."

I hope this helps you out mate, let us know what you did end up getting her!

Go to the craft store and braid her a bracelet.  But a button that looks neat as a charm.  It is a small silly token of love that was not made in china.  If you have to Google how to braid and it is not perfect it will be all the better because it came from you.

My wife and I don't celebrate Valentin's Day.  I got fed up with national spend on crap to expect to get some day before I started dating my wife so it was not an issue.  The one good thing about Valentine's day is that it is a way to get my 5 year old to practice writing his name on the social expected cards.

No I'm not a scrooge, my wife and I do get each other small tokens such as cards and flowers through out the year.  I just boycott paying 5-10 times the regular price for a hallmark marketing day.

Even if you had the cash overflowing out of your pockets I would not recommend buying flowers at a florist. Lots of grocery stores today have really good floral departments. When I buy flowers for my wife I get them at the grocery store. I have bought everything from a single long stem rose (definitely less than $5) to a dozen roses to other flower bouquets. Maybe you can't afford the dozen roses but you can afford a single long stem rose or maybe an arrangement with other flowers in it. Go by the nicest grocery store in your town (I would try whole foods or something like that because they tend to be more expensive) and see what they have.

You could also help the kids make cards for her.

Even Kroger hiked up their prices for arrangements in a vase. My wife has planty of vases so I just bought a dozen roses and she cuts the stems and puts them in whatever vase she wants.

Lots of good ideas already.

I got a $1.50 jewelry box at a craft store, stained it in a way that got her initial on the top, and glued red felt inside.  It's still crappy, but it seems appropriate.

A rose for $2.50 at Kroger is good.  My wife still has the first one I gave her.

Thanks for the q -- I will try getting creative as well.

What did you end up doing?

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