Make a Memorable Valentine’s for Zero Dollars

Number one: Write something and perform it. Writing words on a Hallmark card is classic for Valentine’s day, but standing up and speaking them outloud is far more impressive. Adding energy and personality to your writing is not only free, but also daring. While it may feel theater-kid-esk at first, it also will be memorable and bold. Whether it be a joking poem or a love letter, reading your card out loud gives it life. 

Number two: Making a gift out of nature. Almost all Santa Barbarians appreciate a good piece of sea glass or impressive pinecone more than a stuffed pink bear or heart, so why not play into that. Set aside a little extra time the weekend before Valentine’s day and find some drift wood you could glue on an old picture frame. Pick some wild flowers, press them in a book, and arrange them in another old picture frame. 

Image Courtesy of Olivia Miller

Number three: Annotate their favorite book. If the person you’re trying to please this Valentine’s day has a favorite book, borrow their copy and drop notes in the margins. Add silly commentary, point out parts that remind you of them, and draw doodles, all for the price of zero dollars. 

Number four: Cook them something simple. While buying food is easier, putting in the time to cook for someone is a much more sincere gift. The key to cooking on a budget is picking something with few ingredients. Advanced culinary student Stella Ashamalla recommended making truffles. All they require are chocolate and cream. For a vegan option, use vegan chocolate and coconut cream. Another advanced culinary student, Claire Gamble recommended making focaccia. This type of flat bread requires yeast, flour, water, rosemary and salt. For a full recipe San Marcos’s culinary class recommends using the website Allrecipes.

Number five: Drive to a pretty view for a picnic. Views over Santa Barbara’s foothills and ocean are as breathtaking as they are cheap. Places like Lizard’s Mouth, Farren Road, and Franceski’s house are perfect for a Valentine’s Day hike or picnic. Going to a fancy restaurant is extremely overrated when there are Santa Barbara views to be enjoyed.