Can’t Buy My Love: Gifts That Don’t Cost Money

We all love gifts, but sometimes the best ones don’t cost any money. The catch is, they take a lot more effort. Here’s a list of ideas for doing something really special for your loved one.


Surprise them with a date…with someone else!

Hear me out. Your partner follows the happenings of people they admire. Are some of them local? Could you set them up on date with a local business owner? Do they have favorite local dog Instagram star? Or maybe they are interested in learning to garden. Have them spend some time with the local nursery owner. Do you have acquaintance who they have expressed wanting to get to know better? Plan a double date! If the people are too famous or busy, they may cost money to book, but there are tons of people who would be excited to hang out with a fan.



Take on all the chores…

And be gracious about it! Could your loved one use a break from walking the dog before work? Or maybe they want you to cook dinner, so they can spend time hanging out with the pooch. Water the plants, brush the dog, vacuum the floors, do the dishes, wash the couch cushions that haven’t been cleaned in a year, fold the laundry–don’t hesitate to do anything you can to surprise your loved one with a worry-free day. You know what stresses out your partner the most. Go ahead and take care of it!


Re-organize one area

Every time I open what we call our “dog cabinet,” toys fall out all over the place. It drives me nuts, but I haven’t had time to get in there and fix it. So what could you do? Get a few shoe boxes and put things away that have been left untouched for too long. Is there a junk drawer? Tackle it. Is the basement a mess? Tackle it. Is it hard to find the right bedsheets when you need them? Tackle it.



Plan a nice day!

A classic one, but for good reason! Relationships are all about compromises, so sometimes people let their personal interests take a back seat to shared interests. Take a day to do things that they love, and, again, be gracious and even excited about it. Does your partner love flowers, but you always get them plants because you think flowers are wasteful? Then, you’re the person I’m talking to. Do what they want! Do I want to go to that comic book shop downtown? No. Do I love seeing my partner happy, and spending time with them? Yes. If it’s something that makes you uncomfortable, or that you truly wouldn’t enjoy, set the day up for them and a friend. For instance, my partner would not be the best person to go to PetCon with, but would I be so thrilled to go with friends? Yes. It’s about making them happy, and allowing them to explore their interests. That may not include you. Those interests are not shared for a reason!




Yep, buying a gift would be a whole lot easier than most of these, but that’s what makes these activities so special. Some of these have options that could cost some money, but be creative, and do your research! That research may just be listening to your partner extra carefully.


Now go be extra helpful, gracious, and kind, and don’t ask for anything in return. That’s really the most romantic thing you can do!



Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Become an Insider

Steph Wasser

Steph has lived in NYC for 7 years, and knows all the best neighborhoods for dog watching. Currently, she's a mom to 15 plants and one sweet dog. She firmly believes there is nothing better in life than a wet snout.

Your inbox could be cuter.