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Photo: Olga Alper (Shutterstock)

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday in 2023

, which means

most of us will be working. If treating

your special person to a dinner out in’t in the cards on a weekni

ght,

your first if going to have to be creative enough to tide them over until

Friday night

.

Here are our best bets: eight s

pecial gift ideas that show how much you care and that you like to think outside the box of candy

. Get inspired, and get romantic.

Image for article titled 7 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts Under $30

Joshua Weissman is a special man, a famous YouTuber who has made cooking cool for the younger generation. His “but better” videos creatively recreate classic fast food staples at home, so if you are up to the challenge, you can give your sweetie his cookbook, and share the challenge of crafting some Chick-Fil-A Waffle fries at home—if you’re up for it. Weissman has as much personality on the page as in his videos, and it shines through as he shows you how to make over 100 recipes from scratch. If your valentine likes to cook or wants to learn, this is a great book to them started and get you both some quality time in the kitchen.

Image for article titled 7 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts Under $30

FedEx did a lot of the things that Etsy now does before it was cool. One of them: Produce cheap, personalized calendars. You can customize a whole calendar with pictures special to your relationship and print them in different formats for under $30. If you want to go the extra mile, plan and schedule a date for each month and theme the pictures around it: a beach date in June alongside a snapshot of your trip to the shore last summer. Make it special. If you are less DIY inclined (or the FedEx site goes down for maintenance), check out these customizable calendars from Etsy.

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Having an artist recreate an iconic photo of you and your partner that you can hang on the wall will make both of you feel like rock stars. You can find many artists online who offer this service at affordable prices, and you can even choose the style of illustration you want: hand-drawn black and white, anime-esque, or more realistic pictures. Whatever style you want, you’ll probably find it on Etsy. Caution: This one likely requires some lead time.

Image for article titled 7 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts Under $30

If your partner loves to host friends of fancies themselves a mixologist, consider a heavyweight cocktail shaker. This one is designed for comfort with an ergonomic grip and made of weighted stainless steel that will make you feel like you’re at an upscale club. It holds 17 ounces and has a leak-proof seal that will protect them from accidents due to overzealous shaking.

Image for article titled 7 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts Under $30

Nothing shows you care like a gift that says, “I’m worried about you developing back problems from your fat wallet.” This slim wallet includes RFID blocking technology that protects credit cards from skimmers. I was gifted one and can guarantee I haven’t developed back problems, nor has my credit card information been stolen since the switch.

Image for article titled 7 Creative Valentine's Day Gifts Under $30

If you share a special relationship song, this is the perfect moment to solidify it as your song with this night stand curio. You can have the Spotify code engraved as a code that, when scanned with your smartphone, will cause the song to play directly from the Spotify app. You can pair it with a photo of the two of you, a favored lyric, or whatever you want.

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This gift box unlocks with a special code you set, so choose something romantic and stick something good inside. The default code to “Iloveu” but you can do better. For extra kicks, put their dedication to the test by making them figure out what it is so they can claim what is inside.

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