Who says this occasion requires you to burn a hole in your pocket?

Valentine’s day is around the corner. Oops, you forgot to make a reservation. Again. But it’s not really your fault, right? After all, there’s more important stuff to be done, like… playing Dota. You don’t have the spare cash, and Chinese New Year is a good five days away (not that you intend to splurge on her – buying the PS4 seems like a better idea).

Why even create a special day to celebrate love just so merchants can capitalise on it? It’s so commercialized. V-Day? More like Doomsday. But surprise, surprise, girls love it.

Well… forking out some time preparing for the day wouldn’t hurt. We’ve got you covered in this nifty guide to unleash your inner hobo and still spend the much dreaded V-Day with your special one. Remember to bookmark this for future reference!

The Gift Guide

1. Tissue flowers

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For a big day like Valentine’s Day, flowers are customary. Of course, we know how the florists always jack up the prices of useless bouquets during this occasion. Why not get crafty, save money, and make one yourself? If she asks, just tell her it’s more environmentally-friendly. Plus, they last forever. At least until she hates your guts and shreds it up.

Tissue flowers are practically free – just grab the items lying around at home. If you don’t have tissues at home (we’re questioning your hygiene but that’s another matter), just conveniently steal grab some from Starbucks! Maybe just avoid making white flowers that are more suitable for a funeral.

2. Handmade notes/ cards

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Sincerity at its best – definitely way more heartfelt than purchasing one off the racks.

3. Hearts lolly

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They say the best way to a man’s woman’s heart is through her stomach. If she has a sweet tooth, this treat will be sure to tickle her fancy. To do this, get a mould from Daiso, then simply pop some hard candy into the microwave and pour the melted mix into the mould with a lollipop stick and wait for them to solidify.

4. Chocolates


Remember the chocolates you were nomming on the other day? It gave you a really bad sore throat and you still have half a box left. Waste not, want not! If you’re thick-skinned enough, try asking your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, whatever, if they have leftover chocolates they can spare. Then, at least make an attempt to pack them nicely into a box. Voila, an assorted box of chocolates!

5. Say it with stickies


Stick it all over the wall in the shape of a heart. Be sure to pen notes on the post-its to prove your love! You can complement this with something cheesy, like ‘You stole a piece of my heart’. And as a rule of thumb, remember to take selfies! You don’t want all that effort down the drain. Not Instagramming means it never happened.

6. Cross stitch

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Go old school: get a cross stitch kit from your mum’s long-hoarded stash. Take turns to do the embroidery with her – doing so not only provides some precious bonding time, it is also symbolic. It’s like your love – a work in progress.

7. Photo Frame


Gather leftover art materials and get crafty. A photo of you on her work desk would do the trick to let her colleagues know she’s attached. Hands off!

8. A mixtape


Yes, mixtapes are so 1999. But just look at how precious his mom’s mixtape is to Star-Lord! Grab a CD (or a thumbdrive), load it up with her favourite tunes of sappy love songs into a playlist, or even record your own to serenade her.

9. World map

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Scrimp if you can – yank the world map out from your niece’s geography textbook. Tell your valentine she means the world to you. If she gets unhappy, say you need to save up for your future with her now and this is a guide for your future holiday destinations. Make her pick out as many countries she’ll like to visit as possible, whatever floats her boat. Just try to wheedle your way out the next time she brings up this topic.

10. ‘Jack’ in the box

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Wrap yourself in a big box – you’re the best present you can give your other half. If she disagrees, subtly remind her you had to pay for the box too. Alternatively, try asking for a box from the garang guni who stays near you.

The Food Guide



Bring your inner MasterChef out and whip up two bowls of pho. Doesn’t matter if you’re Vietnamese or not – let your food do the talking for you.

2. Potluck


Each of you should put some food on the table – literally. After all, in Japan, V-Day is supposed to be a day the girls gift the guys, not the other way round. So… contributing half is good enough right?

Warning: Try this only in a stable relationship or risk having to face a breakup.

3. Picnic under the stars


Apply the above to this situation, only with a change of location. Be the man and buy a nice, $2 polka dotted picnic mat from Daiso. Since places like Marina Barrage would definitely be packed (still must spend money on public transport or cab), we suggest just heading to any available grass patch in the vicinity of your neighbourhood. Just don’t drink any alcohol or you’ll both run the risk of being arrested.

4. Chocolate cake in a mug

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Tell her it’s buffet style and she can have as many rounds as she wants. That should melt her heart. All you need to do is whisk 1/4 cup of flour, 5 tablespoons of sugar, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 3 tablespoons of milk, a dash of vanilla extract and salt in a large mug (make sure it’s a cute one!) until the mix is smooth. Microwave it for about one to two minutes and your cake is ready to be served. Try topping it off with a scoop of ice cream or some rainbow sprinkles too!

If she hates chocolate (who does?), try these recipes instead.

5. Candied popcorn


Suggest having a V-Day movie marathon. Prepare some snacks beforehand – you’ll need popcorn, pink or red candy, cup and ring pops. Sneakily feed her with more candies – she’ll be so stuffed she’ll forget about dinner.

Yay or Nay?

Oh damn, there’s Instagram. She’s probably scrolling through her feed browsing photos of her friends spending V-Day at posh restaurants, scorning at what you’ve done for her. When all else fails, it probably just means she’s too materialistic and looks down on your thoughtful but cheap celebration you painstakingly planned for her. She probably isn’t the one who would share weal and woe with you either. To this we say, dump her!

Just kidding. But if you decide to follow our guide, don’t blame us if you end up spending Valentine’s Day alone.

Featured image via The Asian Parent