36 Creative "I Love You" Ideas!

Need to think of some creative “I love you” ideas?

We all want to show those we love that we care- but sometimes the budget doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room! Nice dinners, fancy gifts, or an expensive trip aren’t always an option- so we get creative with our “I love you” ideas! We enjoyed many of these creative ways to show someone you love them, and I hope they help you (and your budget) as well!

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Creative “I Love You” ideas for the Words Person

When someone loves words- hearing them, saying them, and generally being encouraged by words, here are some great affordable ways to show them you love them.

  • Write a love letter

  • Leave sticky notes in a bunch of places where they’ll find them

  • Send an unexpected text with reasons you appreciate them, or send a series of texts throughout the day.

  • SAY IT. Look them in the eyes and tell them you love them, and why.

  • Intentionally say “thank you” for all the things they do- big or small. Show you are noticing the work they put in to make your family work.

  • Write a note on a whiteboard, if you have one.

  • Mail a letter or card.

  • Find an old deck of playing cards and write down reasons you love them on each one (or at least on a bunch of them) and hide them for your loved on to find.

Creative Ideas for Frugal Dates

Getting time together is a great way to show someone you love them- and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some creative date ideas that you can do on a small budget!

  • Go for coffee. Coffee/tea can be cheap, and it’s easy to find a coffee shop to sit and talk!

  • Make dinner together! (use my Meal Planning on a Budget guid e to do it even cheaper!)

  • Have a movie night in. With so many ways to watch movies, it’s easy to find a free or cheap option! Amazon Prime rents movies for only a few dollars!

  • Go for Ice Cream or dessert.

  • Have a game night in! Why not pull out your old Monopoly board and play a round?

  • Do a coupon date! Find something you have a great coupon for and use that to cut down on your expenses!

  • Do a gift card date! We did this a month or so ago, and it was really fun! The idea is to try and only go places you have a gift card for, and only spend what’s on the card.

  • People watch. Find a seat somewhere you can watch people (like the mall), maybe get a cup of coffee, and then just sit and watch people and talk.

  • Send them a song that reminds you of them or has a special meaning. My husband and I used to put CDs in each other’s car, but with smart phones you can send one on youtube via text! Try and time it so they’ll have a chance to listen.

Creative “I Love You” Ideas for those who love Quality Time

  • Surprise them at work. Maybe bring a treat, like cookies, to share with the co-workers, too!

  • When you are with them, pay close attention and listen well. I know this one is more of a skill to develop than a one-time thing, but I think anyone would agree that it will make anyone feel loved!

  • Go for a walk. Even if the kids are with you, going for a walk will likely give you a chance to have a less-interrupted conversation.

  • Pray together.

  • Dance together. This can be going somewhere where you can take dance lessons, or just dancing to a favorite song around the kitchen!

  • Go for a picnic! If it’s too cold to picnic outside, drive somewhere pretty and sit in the car!

  • Give a back rub or foot rub.

Creative “I Love You” Ideas for the Person who Loves Gifts

  • Make them their favorite food

  • Bring them coffee/tea/dessert/a small gift to their workplace or home

  • Give intentional gifts- it doesn’t have to be expensive- but something that shows you were thinking about them will mean a lot!

  • Give them a small gift card to do something for themselves

  • Buy them a book (and if needed, provide childcare so they can actually read it!) or a subscription to Audible.

  • Bring them breakfast in bed

(Psst…If you’d like more gift ideas for Moms, Preschoolers, or Older Babies, check out these posts!)

Affordable, Creative Ways to Say “I Love You” to the Practical Person

  • Do something for them that they don’t like to do. Anyone who cleans my bathroom will be my hero forever. Same thing with filling my car with gas or cleaning anything that requires bleach.

  • Unexpectedly clean the house, or even just do a chore or two that they normally do.

  • Pack their lunch for them or for the kids- even if they are a Stay at Home mom, they’ll appreciate not having to prepare a meal!

  • If you have little ones, take the baby monitor for a shift/night/nap. Give the other person permission to not be the responsible one for a bit.

  • Let them take a bath or shower uninterrupted.

  • Give them alone time or social time (whichever fills their cup).

  • Let them sleep in/take a nap.

Other Creative “I Love You” Ideas

Now I want to hear YOUR creative and frugal ways to say “I love you”! How do you say “I Love You” without spending much money? Please comment below and let me know!

I’ve also got a gift for you- a 30 day Savings Challenge! Throw your email in the box below and I’ll send the printable challenge your way!

Other creative ideas to help you live well on a budget:

I hope you enjoyed these creative “I love you” ideas!
Stephanie | Mama Shark
Want more details about this and other budgeting & minimalist living ideas? Check out more here!
Join the conversation
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Aug 20, 2022

    They should have a list like this for friends male and female

  • Walt Walt on Aug 20, 2022

    Some other ideas from my own personal head:

    Wash their car without telling them beforehand.

    Put new laces in their shoes.

    A gift card for a manicure/pedicure.

    Quietly make a deposit to their bank account.