Friday, February 14, 2014

Of All the Fish in the Sea...

I love Valentine's Day, but this year, I was determined to do it on the cheap. Because who doesn't love a cheap date?! Not only did I want to find something that was inexpensive, but after last year's cookie bouquet debacle, I was also looking for something dead simple. Without thinking about the date on the calendar, I planned a trip to visit a girlfriend, putting me home late the night before the day of love and actually being out town during Charlie's party, for which I volunteered to make cupcakes. Naturally. So I needed to have everything done and ready for the kids to assemble while I was gone; I filled out Charlie's for him, but Henry did all of his own.

For the kids' class exchange a free printable, lollipop bags from my party supplies and a few bags of Swedish fish created a cute valentine with a small amount of candy. Goldfish crackers, which we already own, could have been used, but I had zero faith that a bunch of tiny bags of goldfish crackers would get to school un-crushed, so sugary red dye number whatever for the win!

A few of the teachers got the same valentine as the kids, but for the classroom teachers and the school secretaries, I found this free printable which I printed onto pink cardstock from my paper stash and fastened onto re-usable cups you can buy at Starbucks for $1 each. I was at Safeway and planned to buy the reusable cups you see on display, but at $6 each, it didn't really fit into my V-day on the cheap scheme. I remembered the cup I'd purchased for my own use the month before, and snapped up several of them. I had planned to get Starbucks giftcards to go with each one, but then saw the new latte versions of Via. I picked up a couple of four-pack boxes, but then saw the single serve 'try before you stock up' samples that were $1 each. Hmm..same product size and almost half the price. Why yes, yes I did clear them out. 1-2 in each cup along with brown paper lunch bags that I cut into strips and crinkled, reminiscent of cafe au lait (and also free). I added in peppermint kisses because I still had an unopened bag of them that I didn't use for midnight kisses on New Year's. Valentines day at under $25 out of pocket  for two kids; teacher gifts and classroom exchange combined, not too shabby!

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