20 Frugal Ways to Brighten Your Spouse's Day

Photo: Sonya Green

With everything that my husband and I have going on in our lives, it’s often easy to forget about each other.

I don’t mean that we forget that the other person exists, but it’s not uncommon to get so wrapped up in our work and other responsibilities that we neglect our relationship at times.

I know we’re not alone in this. There are lots of other couples out there in similar situations. The good news is, letting your spouse know that they’re on your mind isn’t hard (and it doesn’t have to cost much either).

To help you show your sweetie that he or she is still the one for you, here are 20 frugal ways to bring a smile to their face today. (See also: 21 Frugal Ways to Reward Yourself Right Now)

1. Write a Love Note

Tell your sweetie how much you love them in a quick note that you put in their lunch, briefcase, or bag. If you prefer the tech route, tweet the love note in 140 characters or less for all your followers to see.

2. Draw a Heart on the Bathroom Mirror

Express yourself when your partner isn’t looking, drawing a heart when the glass is all fogged up from the steam.

3. Take on a Chore

Do something that your partner normally does, like take out the trash, walk the dogs, wash the dishes, or clean the bathroom. I sincerely hope my husband reads this entry.

4. Serve Breakfast in Bed

Who doesn’t like breakfast in bed? Eating in your undies is the best! To make the breakfast even more special, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to mold pancakes or cut a heart shape out of toast.

5. Give a Massage

Tell your partner take a load off while you rub their back, neck, and shoulders for at least five minutes.

6. Make a Special Playlist

A special playlist doesn’t have the same appeal as a tangible mix tape, but the sentiment is still there. Steal your partner’s iPod and upload a few songs that let him or her how you feel.

7. Stop by the Office for Lunch

Pop into your partner’s office at lunchtime and surprise them with a quick bite to eat at a nearby restaurant.

8. Give a Compliment on a Physical Attribute

Guys are notorious for never noticing that their partner got their hair did. Make up for it by letting your partner know how great they look in a new outfit or that their diet/exercise routine is working well.

9. Wash the Car

Break out the bucket and soap, and make your partner’s car shine.

10. Dedicate a Love Song

Call the radio station that you partner listens to and dedicate a song.

11. Declare Your Love on Facebook

You probably post a lot of nonsense on Facebook. Make at least one status update count by letting all your friends know just how special your man or lady friend is.

12. Make a YouTube Video

Record a video letting your partner know those things about them that make your heart flutter and post it for the world to see.

13. Run a Bubble Bath

Did you partner have a long day at work? Run a bubble bath and set up the tub with a glass of wine and a magazine.

14. Slow Dance in the Living Room

Turn on a slow jam and ask your partner to dance. Yes, right inside your house.

15. Pick Up the Phone to Say "I Love You"

Do you talk on the phone anymore? I don’t. I prefer texting. Which is why sometimes it’s nice — nostalgic even — to pick up the phone and call your lover just to say that you love ’em.

16. Turn Off the TV

Don’t pretend like your TV isn’t on when you’re having adult time. Turn it off so you can give each other the undivided attention you want and need.

17. Plan a Picnic

Make a few sandwiches, grab a blanket and a couple of board games, and head to the park for a relaxing afternoon filled with quality time.

18. Pitch a Tent

You don’t have to go anywhere. Pitch the tent in your backyard so you have the romance of camping but the convenience of home.

19. Cook Your Partner's Favorite Dinner

Make that special meal that makes your partner melt. The key to a person's heart is through their stomach, after all.

20. Leave Your Partner Alone for a Few Hours

I love spending time with my husband, but sometimes I just need a few hours to myself. Give your partner the space they deserve by exiting the house on a Saturday or Sunday so you honey can relax however they want to.

Have even more ways to brighten your partner’s day in a low-cost way? Let me know in the comments below.

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Guest's picture

It's always a given that dinner will take place, but what about preparing your spouse's favorite dessert? That could be a delectable surprise that either of you would certainly appreciate. Also, this is somewhat cliche but not mentioned in this article- flowers. Not only for the woman, but for the man as well. Giving flowers is a generous, "just-because" gesture that can be longer lived than you think. Having the flowers sitting on the table can remind you every time you look at them of the amount of love and care you have for each other- and they will definitely put a smile on your face.

Guest's picture

Flowers don't seem very frugal, but flowering plants are. Depending on what you buy, blossoms can last weeks to months, and the plant can last years.

Guest's picture

Maybe it's just me, but I have never understood "breakfast in bed." The other tips are spot on though. :)

Meg Favreau's picture

Me either! I consider eating in front of the TV a better occasional indulgence. I'd much rather get crumbs on my couch than my sheets.

Mikey Rox's picture

What's with all the breakfast-in-bed haters? :)

Guest's picture

I loved it when I was pregnant and my husband brought me breakfast in bed one day. Great surprise!

Guest's picture

Umm..."got their hair did"?

Meg Favreau's picture

Like in the Missy Elliot song. =)

Guest's picture

Few more tips which we both have applied -
1. Pretend as you are going to office and then after an hour just ring the doorbell and tell your partner anything....he/she will be surprised to see u back and then tell him/her that you have taken a leave just to spend time with him/her.
2. We all love surprises, arrange surprise B'day party, surprise Valentine day decoration in the home.
3. Prepare a movie with all of your memorable pictures, you can add ur favourite song with that....