My favorite flowers are carnations and orchids. I also happen to kill every orchid I have had despite what I consider to be a light green thumb. Not to mention that flowers die eventually. For me, this means they are certainly not a frugal choice nor does another object fit the minimalist life style. This is not to totally knock flowers either, as some occasions do call for them like get well gifts, weddings, funerals, etc.
So whether you are in the grocery store, or want to make a more planned gesture here are nine ways to show your love for your partner other than flowers.
1. Make Them Coffee or Buy One
This can of course include tea. I wake up early at 4:30am now, and making Charles coffee is an occasional gesture I can do during the week that does not cost me a dime. I also love fancy latte’s that comes and go with the seasons. These $5 drinks of choice are always a nice treat.
2. Surprise Lunch Dates
In the summers when I have more free schedule I love to surprise Charles with a treat or take him out to lunch. Sadly, my lunch lasts a total of 20 minutes if I am lucky so I cannot have the same at the moment. This being said, Charles had planned a surprise dinner date instead and picked me up from work to go.
3. Chocolate and Wine
In case you are at the grocery store and may not have as much in the budget to spend or are lacking the time to plan, instead of those flowers grab the wine and a bar of chocolate. This is probably one of my favorite gestures and Charles has felt the same!
4. Love Letter
Write them a thoughtful love letter. It does not have to be long or on fancy stationary. Half of ours are on sticky notes or junk mail. Just write down one reason why you love them. We have a little box of love letter we have written for each other for the years stored in the office. While not a minimalist habit, we both treasure those little scraps of paper.
5. The Picnic Basket
Pack up a little bag or basket with some snacks and drink and head to your yard or a local park to chat and eat. While you may be thinking this is a weather dependent scenario, it is not. Spread out a blanket in the living and sit around eating your cheese and crackers chatting. It will have the same effect as going to the local park.
6. A Book
First, I want to preface this by saying do not buy your partner a self help book or any sort of suggestive book unless they have specifically asked for it That would kill the romance fast I promise. That said, I could never get into the E-reader, and as unsustainable as that is, if I am going to read a book I need to have it in my hands.
The library is typically where I will go. Yet this is troublesome when traveling as I do not want to ruin the book. Charles and I both share many trello lists, one of which are books we want to read. It is easy to go on there and find the book to buy on Amazon.
7. Tickets to an Event
This is one of my favorite gifts! It is also a bit more pricey, but it ensures a fun date night in the future. Charles and I have both bought event tickets for each other as gestures of love and we do not regret a single dime spent! We also are lucky enough to live close to a large city with many things going on.
That said we did recently find a little theater out in a more rural suburb by us that puts on incredible show for tickets around $20 each. A cheap and fun event followed by a few beers or cups of mead at the local brewery down the street is a great night out in my book.
8. Surprise Hike
I love a Saturday morning where Charles brings me my coffee and surprises me with a planned hike that day. (Yes, he is amazing.) We do this quite often in the Fall and Mid-winter (before snow) since the trails are empty, our dogs can wander and the silence is a much needed break from our lives. One of us will plan it all and the other partner just has to bundle up and go, after that morning coffee.
While not everyone hikes, the same can apply for a walk or similar outing like the farmers market.
9. Buy a House Plant
If you simply cannot resist the greenery, buy a house plant. Charles has bought me several over the years. He does extensive research for which ones will best filter the air or be the unique and I love them. Unlike flowers, house plants stick around for awhile and do the air some good.
Some of these may better suit the needs of the introverted partner such as the love letter and others for the extroverted partner like the event tickets. I do think that often times on the FI or FIRE journey we can be so consumed with not spending money that this can be felt in the relationship.
You all know how we started out in scarcity mode with His FI saying “No more going out.” And myself not being ok with it. This has since been rectified, but it is still something I see. We as humans get comfortable and set in our ways, but gestures like these are still essential for a partnership.
So whether your partner enjoys staying in with a good book and some coffee made with love or going out on a hike in the chilly weather-these gestures will be remembered and do not die away like the bouquet of flowers from Safeway.