Shopping for Valentine's Day can be a real challenge. Just because your significant other would appreciate a simple box of chocolates and a heart-holding teddy bear doesn't mean that's what you want to give them. Maybe you want to stand out, or you want to give them something that means more... or perhaps your budget is small.
Whatever your reasons might be, we've rounded up a few suggestions for every price point (including some DIY options!) so you can give something a little more original and heartfelt this Valentine's Day.
If You Prefer to DIY
Gift: A DIY Year of Dates
Best for: Creative types who love planning a night out
Why it's a great option: This is an excellent way to set aside time for yourselves every single month. Plus, creating your own date nights in advance gives you the chance to think outside the box, and allows you to tailor these special nights to your valentine's personal tastes.
Instead of falling back on your go-to take-out and watching a movie you've seen a hundred times before, you can do something like putting together a picnic basket of both of your favorite treats to share in the park.
Gift: DIY Love Potion Kit
Best for: Anyone who appreciates an adorable gift
Cost: Varies based on ingredients
Why it's a great option: Rather than looking up one of the many recipes online, take this opportunity to create your own love potion for your sweetheart. Mix pomegranate juice or pink lemonade for a flirty pink drink, or opt for their favorite cocktail ingredients (it can be alcoholic or not). Package the ingredients together into a festive box or basket, include a couple of glasses or mason jars, and get ready to share the treat for Valentine's Day.
If Your Budget is $25 or Less
Gift: Rocksbox Subscription
Best for: Jewelry lovers who love to try new pieces
Why it's a great option: For $19 per month, your giftee will receive three pieces to wear on loan. They can swap them at anytime for another three pieces to try, but if they really love one of the accessories, they can purchase it at a discounted price.
Just a Note: Since you have to create a style profile, skip the regular sign up. Rocksbox makes gifting a membership super easy, and offers 3, 6, and 12 month memberships, plus additional gift cards for your recipients to use for their purchases.
Gift: Customized Chocolate
Best for: Chocolate lovers
Cost: From $15 for the Valentine's Day Collection
Why it's a great option: Send a sweet message — literally! Noteworthy Chocolates allows you to compose a heartfelt message, and then laser-engrave it on Fair Trade Certified chocolates. You can choose different sizes and complex designs to help display your deepest desires on milk, white, dark, or golden dark chocolate. This definitely beats those generic heart-shaped boxes of chocolates you'll find at your local grocery store.
If Your Budget is $26 to $50
Gift: Paint Nite painting class
Best for: Couples who enjoy trying new things together
Cost: From $45 depending on the area
Why it's a great option: It's low-key and relatively inexpensive, and it can serve as a bonding experience if it's your first time. If you can snag tickets to an event at a bar, you'll be able to imbibe in wine or cocktails while you paint; and at the end of the night, you both have a lovely piece to take home and display.
Gift: Foodie and Cocktail dice
Best for: Adventurous types who want to try new tastes
Cost: $38 for each set
Why it's a great option: These dice make it easy to shake things up and try something new. Each set comes in its own tumbler made from reclaimed wine bottles. Opt for the Foodie set if your giftee loves to cook, and the Mixology set if they want to learn how to make the perfect cocktail.
Gift: Sweetheart Collection Truffles
Best for: Anyone who remembers those candy hearts fondly
Why it's a great option: These truffles have all the cuteness of the chalky conversation hearts from your youth, but with much better flavors. Think things like Bourbon Pecan, Caramel Macchiato, Black Currant Caramel and Fleur de Sel, and more. There's six unique flavors in all, and twelve pieces. So if your Valentine is feeling generous, you can share each flavor.
If Your Budget is $51 to $100
Gift: Morse Code Jewelry
Best for: Anyone who isn't into public displays of affection
Cost: From $50
Why it's a great option: It's a fashionable piece that your sweetheart will appreciate. Create a custom message and the artist will turn that into a series of dots and dashes with different kinds of beads, or stamp the pattern into metal. It'll be just like a secret only the two of you know... unless your SO happens to be around others who recognize Morse Code every day.
Just a Note: There are a ton of sellers who do this kind of thing, at many price points. The more expensive ones tend to look higher quality, so if you can afford it, it's worth it to spring for one of these. If you're interested in this as a gift, start shopping ASAP to ensure custom pieces will be ready for Valentine's Day. If it won't, be prepared with a second gift as a backup.
Gift: Aphrodisiac Truffle Collection
Best for: Foodie romantics
Why it's a great option: Yes it's another chocolate pick, but chocolates are pretty synonymous with Valentine's Day. These truffles go beyond your everyday candy, and are an ideal way to set the mood for a romantic evening, instead of just being a bland sugar rush. This set contains 16 pieces covered with direct-trade dark chocolate and includes fillings made with different kinds of fruits, liqueurs, and spices.
Gift: Color-Customized Xbox controller
Best for: Serious Xbox gamers
Why it's a great option: If your sweetheart has an Xbox they play regularly, creating a color-customized controller is a great way to remind them of you while they're gaming. It's also a nice way of showing your support for a hobby that doesn't always get a lot of love. Make it special by choosing their favorite everyday colors, or their most-loved sports team colors. You could even opt to customize it with your wedding color scheme for an extra romantic touch.
Gift: Love poems set
Best for: Literary lovers
Why it's a great option: Fans of classic love poems will enjoy having this set, since it covers not just poetic works but also letters from the likes of John Donne, Christina Rossetti, W.H. Auden, E.E. Cummings, Shakespeare, Yeats, and many more. Score some bonus points when you pick out your favorite piece and read it to your SO before gifting them the set.
If Your Budget is $101 to $200
Gift: Touch Lamp
Best for: Long distance lovers
Cost: $150.00 for two lamps
Why it's a great option: Text messages and phone calls are sweet, but you don't always have time to make them. With these lamps, you can set them up via WiFi, and whenever one of you reaches out to touch one of them, the other one will light up, no matter how far apart you are.
Plus, buying these lamps means supporting a good cause. They're assembled by hand and tested by members of the Wichita Women's Initiative Network which is a nonprofit in Kansas that provides survivors of abuse with educational and employment opportunities.
Gift: Lé Petite Eternity Arrangement
Best for: Valentine's Day traditionalists
Why it's a great option: Gift your sweetheart roses with a twist for Valentine's Day. This arrangement might seem pricey for four roses in a box, but these buds are purported to stay fresh for an entire year. Venus et Fleur uses their Eternity Roses, which come in 16 different colors, so you can go beyond the standard Valentine's Day red. Add a loving message for the greeting card, and your Valentine will think of you fondly all year long.
Gift: Hero Within or Film Jackets
Best for: Your knight-in-shining-armor
Cost: From $119
Why it's a great option: Hero Within and Film Jackets both provide looks that are excellent choices for fans who love to support their heroes. Some pieces are straight replicas of what you'll see in the movies, while others are sophisticated pieces that feature hero emblems. Either way, your hero is sure to love them.
Gift: A Valentine's Day Cooking Class
Best for: Couples who know how to work together in the kitchen
Cost: From $79
Why it's a great option: These classes allow couples a chance to learn how to make something new and tasty in a controlled environment. Which means there's less of a chance of your dishes not turning out quite how you expected, and more of a chance of having fun together instead of risking frustration. And since these classes very often involve working in groups of four, there's always a chance you and your honey could walk away with new couple friends to hang out with.
If Money Is No Object
Gift: A Dream Vacation
Best for: Wannabe jetsetter
Why it's a great option: No matter where they've wanted to go, whether it be Paris, Rome, or another far-off locale, taking the time to plan a trip for them will not only show how much you care, but it'll also provide an experience that's unforgettable. Spring for a LoveLock if there's a place within your destination to leave it, for a kind of cheesy, but still romantic touch.
SEE ALSO: 5 Ways to Save on Your Next Flight
Gift: Fresh flowers, every month
Best for: Seasonal flower lovers
Cost: $719.99 for 12 months
Why it's a great option: Gift your Valentine with fresh flowers every month for a year. Flower Muse will reportedly choose their best picks every season, and send one type each time. Your giftee can expect more than just roses, including mini calla lilies, tulips, ranunculus, special Dutch varieties, and more.
Just a Note: These arrangements won't include vases, so go ahead and gift a container that will look good with any flower type all year-long.
Gift: Alcohol of the month clubs
Best for: Spirited lovers
Cost: Varies based on type of alcohol
Why it's a great option: It allows them to try new varieties of their favorite spirits, wine, or craft beer. Spirited Gifts has a club for practically everything — gin, bourbon, rum, vodka, scotch, you name it. Plonk and Uncorked are both solid ways to try new wines. Fat Cork will expand their champagne horizons. Beer clubs can be found in microbrew and craft beer varieties (and yes, there's a difference).
Just a Note: Before you bother placing an order, check the club thoroughly to ensure they can ship to your lover's locations, and if there are any stipulations for doing so. Some states might require that the shipment be sent to the state liquor store, and picked up from there.
Readers, will you be shopping any of these gifts for Valentine's Day? Or will you opt for something more traditional? Sound off in the comments below!