For centuries, Valentine's Day has been a day to celebrate love by exchanging gifts that express love. As the years have gone by, the standard Valentine's Day "tokens" have been flowers, chocolate and diamonds. Some people have actually received cars and houses for Valentine's Day! However, in these tough times, people in love have started casting around for new, creative and economical ways to still say "I love you."

Twitter
The phenomenon that is twitter has made it possible for people to do a lot of things like advertise products and services, hold discussions on a variety of issues and update friends and followers about current whereabouts. If all these wonderful things can be done via twitter, why not send love through a tweet? For the price of a twitter account (free), you can tell your loved one, how much they mean to you. (Learn more ways to keep this Valentine's Day high in romance and low in cost. Check out Be Mine, Frugal Valentine.)

Facebook
Like twitter, Facebook is a means of communication and a place for social gathering. Facebook has also become a popular source for giving out gifts on special occasions. This Valentine's season, Facebook is unveiling a new feature that allows users to schedule gifts for electronic delivery. If the delivery date is before Valentine's Day, it is virtually "wrapped" and delivered to the person's wall and they can "unwrap" it on the 14th. Not only is it an economical way to say "I love you," it is also helpful to those of us who never remember dates

Virtual Flowers
If you cannot conceive of a Valentine's Day without flowers, there is no need to worry. Lots of flower companies are beginning to offer virtual flowers. Some of these companies take orders for virtual flower arrangements, and assist you in sending an email and a customized message to your loved one. The companies also have pre-set flower arrangements and single roses. All you need is your loved one's email address. Not only is this gift option more affordable and convenient, it lasts longer than a real flower.

E-cards
E-cards are basically virtual cards. Whatever you can do with a real card, you can do with an E-card. You pick a design or color and either choose a greeting or customize your message. Like real cards, you can send e-cards by themselves or you can send them along with other gifts (real or virtual). (These break ups are the kind you and your wallet will want to avoid. Don't miss 6 Famous Prenup Screw-Ups.)

Gift Cards
Not all alternatives to real gifts are virtual. In these cash strapped times, gift cards are becoming very popular. Most retail stores offer gift cards for different occasions and Valentine's Day is no different. Gift cards make excellent gift because the recipient has the opportunity to buy what they really want, as opposed to receiving a gift they might want to return to the store.

You don't even have to physically walk into a store to buy a gift card. You can buy it directly from the store's website or sites such as Amazon.com. When you order gift cards through the internet, you can customize the message that is sent with the card. This Valentine's season, if you order a gift card through Amazon, you can email your loved one a gift card. You simply fill out the required information and a link is sent to your loved one so that they can redeem their gift card.

If you are a member of a rewards program like Airmiles, you can even redeem your points for gift cards that will be mailed to you at no additional charge. Talk about an economical gift!

The Bottom Line
Most of the alternative options for Valentine's Day gifts are more affordable than traditional gifts. Regardless of your financial situation, you can still celebrate Valentine's Day in a way that lets your loved one know how much you love them, but does not break your budget. The "new" gifts might be cheaper, but they are not less expressive or less meaningful. After all, it's the thought that counts.

Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    The Honest Company Bundles Review: Are They Worth It?

    Learn more about The Honest Company and its bundle subscription services, which deliver discounted diapers, formula and other baby products to your doorstep.
  2. Budgeting

    Bark Box Review: Is It Worth It?

    Find out if BarkBox, the leading e-commerce subscription service for monthly doggie surprise boxes of treats and toys, is worth all the hype.
  3. Budgeting

    Blue Apron Review: Is It Worth It?

    Read about one of the top meal-kit delivery services in the United States, and learn more about what it offers and how much it costs.
  4. Investing News

    3 Amazon Business Segments to Watch in 2016

    We'll look at three divisions of Amazon that are likely to perform well in 2016.
  5. Stock Analysis

    3 Obscure Twitter Accounts Making Money Off of You (TWTR)

    Learn how Twitter accounts that share quotes or information, such as @HistoryInPics and @Notebook, make money from their audiences.
  6. Budgeting

    Bespoke Post Review: Is It Worth It?

    Find out if Bespoke Post, the fast-growing, e-commerce subscription service for men's lifestyle and grooming products, is worth all of the hype in this review.
  7. Stock Analysis

    3 Predictions for Amazon in 2016 (AMZN)

    Learn the top three predictions for Amazon in 2016 as the company comes off an exceptional year in terms of revenue and expands into new markets.
  8. Stock Analysis

    5 Reasons Alibaba's Earnings Disappointed in 2015 (BABA)

    Look at the reasons why Alibaba's earnings disappointed in 2015, including weak economic growth, the soft renminbi and allegations of counterfeit products.
  9. Investing

    Seven Sustainable Retail Dividends

    Seven retailers which pat sustainable dividends when examining both the companies' payout ratios and free cash flows.
  10. Budgeting

    Craft Coffee Review: Is It Worth It?

    Learn more about one of the first and most flexible specialty-grade coffee subscription services on the market, a perfect fit for any coffee lover.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Does QVC charge sales tax?

    QVC, an American TV network, is registered with states to collect sales or use tax on taxable items. QVC is also required ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Does Walmart take international credit cards?

    Foreign visitors to Walmart locations in the United States can use their credit cards issued by banks outside of the U.S. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Is QVC publicly traded? (QVCA, QVCB)

    QVC, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation. It is attributed to the QVC Group tracking stock, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)? (AMZN, W)

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What countries represent the largest portion of the global retail sector?

    The United States and China are the world's largest and second-largest retail markets, respectively, by total retail sales. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How has electronic retailing (e-tailing) changed the consumer discretionary goods ...

    Electronic retailing has changed the consumer discretionary goods sector by increasing price transparency and product information. ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  4. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  5. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
Trading Center