Happy Friday: Frugal Valentine’s Day Surprise

Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

Sent from reader, J:

Hi there! I thought I’d share my frugal Valentine’s gifts for my kids (ages 3 and 7). My mom always had a small little surprise for us on the kitchen table every Valentine’s Day morning and that sweet memory has turned into a tradition for my own children. However, unlike my parents, we’re paying for private school tuition, flipping the home we live in, trying to become debt free in 2018 and juggling special diets, which can get expensive fast. Oh, and all while I’m a stay-at-home mama. One income – EEK!

Anyway, thanks to thinking a month ahead and to Kroger sales, coupons and Ibotta, I got the Lindt chocolates, Oreo cookies and juice for free. (Since my youngest is on a special diet, they don’t get these types of snacks often.. won’t they be surprised!) Then, I swung by my local Salvation Army store and grabbed the gift bags for 29¢ each, tissue paper for 49¢ and the tiny TY babies for 39¢ each. That’s a grand total of $1.85 (+ tax) for everything. Just under $1 per kid?? Yes, please!

It’s not much but just a little bag of goodies to say “I Love You”, just like my mother did for me.


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique photo to share?! Email us at happyfriday@hip2save.com. Every Friday, we post one photo, submitted by a Hip2Save reader, that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If your photo is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon e-card!

Join The Discussion

Comments 41

  1. Casey

    How sweet! Love this.

  2. Jaci

    Very cute! ❤

  3. keesh

    So cute i love it

  4. kw

    Memories > Things ..simple, but true!

  5. Christina

    I do this for my kids every year. It’s one of my favorite traditions!

  6. Christie

    I also am a stay at home/homeschool mom of 2 and I love your idea. Very sweet!

  7. mrs.greenway

    Kid’s will love anything we do for them ❤

    • Jennifer

      So true! It’s the thought

  8. trace

    Good job! You did better than I did! And I only got a few things each for them at the dollar store. I feel for you about the private school…we r in the same boat, no one gets it and it’s really hard being on one income. It’s so worth it though and you’ll be so thankful you did what you did.

    • J Canvek

      I agree, people kind of roll their eyes at me haha but we’re very determined so raise our kids this way! You’re right, it is SO worth it. ♥

  9. Michelle

    You’re a sweet, creative mom. 💙 Love that you’re taking a favorite memory from your childhood and incorporating it into your own kids’. 😊

  10. Patrice

    I love this idea! My parents did the same thing I do it for my 3 boys now.

  11. Laura

    LOVE it

  12. Jestemqt

    Hi nice idea. I’m very curious what are you doing to become debt free in 2018 ? If you could share some of your secrets I would love to know . Thanks Monika

    • Elvira

      I think one of the most important things about becoming debt free is sitting down and being honest with yourself by taking a hard look at where your money is going. Cut out unnecessary spending and nonessentials (Cable, restaurants, attractions) and use that money to bring down credit card debt or any other bills.

      • Amy

        What counts as debt free? Is your house paid off? That is the one bill we have. No other debt here.

        • Erin

          Mortgage is debt.

        • Mei

          If you owe money on it – It’s debt. No way to spin a mortgage other than debt on a house.

        • Elvira

          Yes I would count that as a debt. I agree with other posters. David Ramsey has a great plan for going debt free.

    • Bethany

      Look up Dave Ramsey’s budget – envelope system for financial peace. It’s called something like that 🙂 anyways there are YouTube videos about it too. There are a lot of families I know that are doing it and it works great!

    • J Canvek

      My husband works extra hours, I coupon, Dave Ramsey (EveryDollar.com is the best budgeting website/app!), meal planning with frugal meals (as much as possible with diets), reducing cell phone plans, eliminating unneeded expenditures, finding cheap activities for the kids, receiving wonderful gently used clothes from extended family members for our kids, applying for scholarships for the private school my children attend, etc. We’re just overall trying to be as smart as possible with the money we’re blessed with. One secret a financial adviser gave us is we now put “Exempt” on our W-4 tax form through our employer. This means they won’t take any taxes out of paychecks but take it all when we file tax returns. So, since we qualify for child tax credits, our return is just smaller but it’s like we gave ourselves a raise all year long (like $100+ per pay period!). Not every likes doing this but it works for us. Hope this helps you!

  13. leslie

    Always do this for my girls still 19-20💜

    • Tina

      Dave Ramsey’s envelope system and program is the way to go! He lived thru it and he’s lead thousands (if not a couple million) thru financial freedom. Going through his program now and there is soooo much wisdom! It’s like the diet plan that works!

  14. Phyllis

    With the love you include with the gifts they will be thrilled. To be remembered with love is what we all desire. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  15. Janelle

    I love this! The smallest treats can be so special! Well done mama!

  16. A.B.

    I think this is such a sweet post!!! Well done, Mama!!! Thanks for sharing this H2S! 🤗

    • J Canvek

      You’re so kind. Thank you!! 🙂

  17. Kay

    Also a SAH mom. Also started this new tradition (for us) of setting out valentine gifts on kitchen counter. With Christmas over and a boring month just passed (Jan is my least fav month), it’s fun to give presents again…this time on a smaller scale. U did great with ur budget. Congrats! Very cute n sweet n frugal.

  18. MrsFelix1004

    If your kids are in private school and a dependent of someone in the military please apply for the Folds of Honor Scholarship…it pays up to $5000 per child per year they win and all three of my kids won for one year and I won last year for my college and received $4500 for myself. Big big thanks to Folds of Honor and CVS!! Any other scholarship tips please let me know! My husband is 100% permanent and total disabled veteran serving in OEF and OIF. Thanks!

    • J Canvek

      Wow! THANK YOU! I’ll check into this!! Our school offers the scholarships I apply for through private donors so it’s not a national one, unfortunately. I deeply appreciate you posting about Folds of Honor. 🙂

  19. Nina

    God bless all of you military moms n dad’s! And this is an awesome idea, leaving a little something for the kids 1st thing on Valentine’s Day 😍

  20. Ger

    I always do this for My girls & they look forward to this every year!!! It’s great when I work late on valentines Bc I get hit up Wally World 🙃 for After V Day sales. Then my girls wake up to an array of goodies on our dining table😍

  21. Roks

    Would you be able to share what type of diet you follow for your kids? Is it due to allergies? If you can give me an idea that would be so helpful as I take care of two little ones at home

    • J Canvek

      We’re basically Paleo. It’s due to auto immune issues. My advice to you, go Paleo. I have done it for my kids for a while now but recently pretty strict for myself… I’ve lost 17lbs since January 1st! Won’t complain about that!

  22. Laura

    Be careful those ‘Juice’ drinks, they will rot your teeth out.

    • J Canvek

      LOL! Yep, that’s why it’ll be such a surprise to them.. because they don’t often get these types of snacks. 😉

  23. Happymama

    I love this! My kids don’t get candy or ice cream except for something special as well. There is nothing better than the reaction from a surprise for a child 🙂

  24. Laura

    I give my kids each a little Valentine themed book for v-day. Nothing big, but just a little something to make them smile. And NOT candy! 😉

  25. Dana

    Your children will look back and love the memories you’ve made. My mom always did these type of treats for my brothers and me and now for grandkids. I have been doing it for my girls since they were very little-usually a practical item (a book or socks) and some fun things like their favorite treat like goldfish or candy. They’re 16 and 17 and still love getting these surprises💕 It amazes me how these little things mean so much to them

  26. Cb

    So sweet and savvy! ❤️

  27. *Angela-Miles*

    Aww my mom always did this for me and my siblings too, on all the holidays. So fun, she actually still does it whenever I go to her house LoL!! She would get us a pair of socks, some lip balm, candy and other random item for that holiday. I think we got them on St Patrick’s day, Valentine’s day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving… It was always a nice way to start off that holiday morning with a surprise. I loved this post!! Memories are forever 🙂 🙂 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

It's not your Grandma's coupon site!

Sign up for a Hip2Save account (it's free) to access all of the awesome features!

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Register

Forgot Password

Don't have an account? Register

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!

Already have an account? Login

Become a Hip2Save Insider

Don't Miss Out! Join our large community of insiders - it's totally free! Once you join, you'll be able to save & share your favorite deals, rate posts and recipes and add items to your HipList and Cookbook! What are ya waiting for?!

Already have an account? Login

Thank you for rating!

Would you also like to leave us a comment?