5 Free and Cheap Ways to Show You Care


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You don't need a dozen roses or jewelry to express your feelings. Cheaper alternatives are often more effective than a pricey gift.

A common regret of the dying is not having had the courage to express their feelings. Crossing this one off your potential list of regrets can be done easily and  cheaply while still showing your loved ones how much they mean to you in marvelous ways.

These can be used for all types of love — romantic, familial and platonic — and you don’t have to wait for Hallmark to tell you when to express yourself.

Have I told you lately that I love you?

Of course the obvious is to simply utter those three words: I love you. Or any variation such as adore, cherish or treasure.

One that I find especially touching and has been known to make me misty-eyed is: I appreciate you. Love may be all you need but appreciation is pretty awesome too.

Post-it notes with similar words and sayings are another great vessel. Leave the messages in random places such as on the alarm clock or dashboard of the car.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Remind your loved ones not only that you admire them but also why. This sweet idea from Pennywise Cook was originally made for her husband but could also be used for children, roommates or anyone.

All it takes is a frame (she picked up one at a dollar store), dry erase markers and a piece of paper with “I love you because … .” written on it. Then every so often, you fill in a reason.

“It’s a simple way that we can connect with each other each day. Love is so hard to share sometimes, especially with a busy schedule and work. But it definitely shouldn’t be forgotten. If you don’t already do something like this, this might just be a quick and simple way to start!” the Pennywise Cook writes.

Dedicated to the one I love

Music offers another great way to share your feelings. For instance:

  • Create a unique playlist or CD of music that you’ve shared with that person.
  • Play a song on the jukebox, either one you know is their favorite or a tune that means something special to both of you.
  • If your local station still has a disc jockey, call in a radio dedication.
  • Sing a song at karaoke. Even better, do a duet.

Practice random acts of kindness

  • Get creative. A creative idea from one of my favorite movies makes me swoon every time. In “Stranger Than Fiction,” the main character brings the woman he loves “flours” because she is a baker. Creative, thoughtful and totally dreamy.
  • Use your natural talents. If you sew, knit, paint, photograph or the like, do something especially for the person.
  • Draw a picture or write a poem. An old boyfriend used to make my lunch every day for work. On the paper bag, he would use a Sharpie to sketch a line drawing or write a special message of encouragement. It made me look forward to grabbing my lunch each day and made me feel a bit warm and fuzzy.
  • Surprise them with sweetness. Treat them to breakfast in bed. Scrape the ice off of their windshield, or wash their car windows if you don’t have to deal with snow. Pick up their favorite snack. Showing that you know their preferences will likely earn even more brownie points. While writing this, my caring roommate brought my coffee of choice, a cafe mocha. Score two points for her!

P.S. I love you

Resurrect the lost art of the love letter. Technology is great, but seeing personal feelings written in longhand can make it more meaningful. Also, this will fend off any urge to use text speak or LOLs. How about a postcard sealed with a kiss or a handmade card?

What ways do you use to express your feelings for the special people in your life? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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