Valentine’s Day on a student’s budget


The Appalachian Online

Liz Flamming

Valentine’s Day; a holiday that is celebrated and despised, anticipated and dreaded. Is Valentine’s Day a holiday invented by corporate America and the Hallmark industry to profit off the desperate need to express love through stale chocolate? Obviously. However, a genuine expression of love, whether it be to a significant other, a friend or a family member, is a beautiful way to remind someone you care.

Of course, most college students can barely afford a Jimmy John’s sandwich, much less  a token of affection for the love(s) in their lives. For this reason, here is Valentine’s Day on a budget: fun, meaningful gifts from the heart – all under $15.

Hand-crafted cookbook
Does your special someone have a yearning for the yummy? A thoughtful, hand-crafted cookbook might be the gift for you.
All you need is a binder or notebook, construction paper and a knowledge of someone’s favorite meals. Write or type out their favorite recipes – and maybe some of your personal favorites, too – add some pictures of the scrumptious dishes and put in all together in a personalized binder. Your foodie Valentine will appreciate the effort and love that went into putting their favorite recipes together. Before you know it, you’ll both be in the kitchen frying up some love.

Personalized mixtape
An oldie but a goodie, the personalized mixtape is a staple of affection. Receiving a specifically customized CD from a friend or significant other is pure joy. You can purchase a pack of blank CDs from Staples, Wal-Mart or CVS for typically under $15. Then, you just need to spend a while carefully crafting the perfect playlist. If your V-Day dearest prefers an afternoon listening to the perfect album over a box of chocolate, then perhaps a personalized CD is the best low-cost gift for him or her.

Mini alcohol bottle bouquet
For the inclined, a mini alcohol bouquet is a fun way to express your affection and perhaps get a little tipsy in the process. Alcohol shooters can be purchased at the Boone ABC Store for as cheap as 95 cents and range from tiny bottles of gin and flavored vodka to bourbon and tequila. To make a mini bottle bouquet, buy five to 10 colorful varieties of mini bottles and pick up some green pipe cleaners from Wal-Mart or Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. Glue or wrap the pipe cleaners around the bottles, and voila – a beautiful alcoholic flower. Put your bottle bouquet in a vase or tall glass embellished with a ribbon or bow and your adorable mini alcohol bottle bouquet is complete.

Half-price sushi at CoBo
Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, which means half-off house rolls at CoBo Sushi Bistro and Bar after 11 p.m. House rolls are regularly priced from $6-$11 and include spicy tuna rolls, Alaskan rolls and shrimp tempura. Sushi lovers everywhere know that a well-made, delicious roll of sushi is not cheap and that half-off house rolls are an amazing deal. Why not grab a friend or loved one and enjoy some late night –and maybe a CoBo martini as well – for cheap. Keep in mind that CoBo, located on Howard Street, is 21-and-up on Friday and Saturday nights, so have your ID ready!

Heart-shaped eggs and toast
Do you have eggs? Do you have bread? Then all you need is a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or a little creativity and ingenuity) and you can make heart shaped eggs and toast! A personal favorite, this easy recipe is a cute and delicious way to show your love. First, cut a heart-shaped hole in the middle of a thick piece of bread with your cookie cutter. Then toast the bread by placing it in a skillet, and cooking until the bread is a light brown color. Place the cookie cutter in the heart-shaped hole and crack an egg in it. Cover the skillet for a few minutes until the egg is cooked, and then remove cookie cutter – it will be hot, so be careful – and serve. Add a side of bacon and you have breakfast perfection. This is a great idea for a romantic breakfast with your significant other or a fun brunch with the roommates.

Story: Liz Flamming, A&E Reporter