My kids and I have enjoyed terrific cooking books and ebooks, as well as interesting articles with creative and practical ways to save money by Tawra Kellam from Living on a Dime for several years. When she offered to write a Valentine's Day article for you, complete with one of her free Valentine's Day cooking ebooks, of course I was thrilled. With great frugal living tips, recipes, ideas, and easy crafts for all ages from kids to seniors in both the article and the free ebook, you'll find delightful Valentine fun for grandparents and grandchildren, as well as sweet ideas for your dear seniors. And for those of you who are married, there are even some intriguing ideas to add loving excitement to your busy Sandwich Generation day! 🙂 Enjoy…
Using a little imagination, you can make your Valentine's day a little more fun and a lot less expensive. If you want to add a little personalized romance or if you don't have the time or money to buy all the pre-made things in the store, here are some ideas to help you make the day special.
Easy Crafts For The Grand kids (not to mention all us seniors helping them ):
- My mom always made a great but inexpensive Valentine's Day treat for us. She would take construction paper and cut a big heart out of it. (About 8×10 inches). She would staple the edges together and write our names and an I love you on the outside. Then she would fill the heart with candy, purchased on clearance after Christmas. It was very inexpensive but we loved it!
- Have a Valentine's Day treasure hunt. Leave little notes around with the last one leading back to the kitchen table with a heart full of candy.
- Leave sticks of red gum in their Valentine's Day cards.
- Make heart shaped Valentine's cookies. Cut the kids (or hubby's) sandwiches with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Add a few Valentine's chocolates and put a note in red with a big heart on their napkin.
- If they come to visit on or around Valentine's Day, serve anything red for the day. Serve red Jello, red pudding, red apples, toast with strawberry jelly, tomato soup, red applesauce, red Kool-aid, strawberry milk, or red frosted cookies. Use powered food coloring from the cake store to get the deepest shade of red. Serving all red things at a meal will really have wow factor even if it is something as inexpensive as red jello and tomato soup.
- Make red heart-shaped cupcakes. Make cupcakes as usual but place a marble down the side of the muffin tin between the muffin tin and each cupcake cup. This will make heart shaped cupcakes.
- Make hearts out of chocolate chips in each of your pancakes.
Things For Each of You In the Sandwich Generation To Do With Or For Your Honey:
- Mail your pre-addressed and stamped Valentines to Loveland, Colorado and they will postmark them and mail them for you. Send them to: Postmaster, Valentine Re-mailing, 446 E. 29th St., Loveland, CO 80538
- Make a treasure hunt for your spouse. Start by mailing or e-mailing him the first clue. Then leave clues all over the house, yard, car or his office telling him where to find the next clue. End the hunt by making a picnic in the back yard or going to a park for a picnic. Use your imagination and have fun. The simple things are the ones people remember.
- Go to a bookstore together and enjoy the silence and browse. Get a cup of coffee and make a date of it.
- Celebrate Valentine's Day AFTER Valentine's day. Everything is half off.
- Mail a love letter to your hubby's work.
- Send your spouse a sweet Valentine e-card.
- Leave "Why I love you" message all over the house. Buy a package of the cheap Valentines. Leave a message on each one and hide them all over the house for your honey. They will get to enjoy the gift for months!
- Use lipstick to make hearts and love notes on the rear view mirror, car windows, bathroom mirror or windows of the house. Leave a kiss on his napkin for lunch or dinner.
- Make a bunch of hearts out of construction paper. Put a love note on each one. Paste them all over the front door or car before your hubby or kids come home from work.
- If you don't have money to go out, have a picnic on the floor. Use some candles and lay a soft blanket on the floor. Put on some soft music and have a romantic Valentine's dinner on the floor. Use some white Christmas lights for additional romantic lighting!
Many of these ideas – as is or slightly modified – would also put a happy smile on the faces of our aging parents. When we are caring for elderly parents AND babysitting grandchildren, it's always nice to find things to do that work for everyone we love, isn't it? 🙂
As many of us in the Sandwich Generation know well, costs are often multiplied as we are dealing with the issues of caring for the elderly parents in our family as well as raising our own children or caring for grandchildren. I'm always looking for creative and practical ways to save money. Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are frugal living experts and the authors of the Dining On A Dime Cookbook which my kids and I have all loved. Dining On A Dime will help you save money on groceries by cooking quick and simple homemade meals. For free tips & recipes, do pop over and visit Living On A Dime.