Valentine’s Day is that time of the year when love is in the air, and the pressure is on to find the perfect gift for your boyfriend. As a UK uni student, you’re probably juggling a tight budget, coursework deadlines, and the desire to make this day special. Fear not! This guide is here to help you navigate the treacherous waters of Valentine’s Day gifting with a touch of humour and a lot of love. There’s plenty of inspiration and ideas on different types of gifts for him if you’re wondering what to get your boyfriend for Valentine’s Day that can be done fairly cheaply.

Gifts based on your boyfriend’s interests

gifts based on your boyfriend's hobbies for valentine's day

Choosing a gift that aligns with your boyfriend’s interests is a surefire way to make his Valentine’s Day special. It shows that you understand and appreciate what makes him tick. Whether he’s a tech enthusiast, a sports fan, a book lover, or a foodie, tailoring your gift to his passions speaks volumes. It’s about acknowledging his hobbies and preferences and selecting a gift that says, “I see you and what you love.”


For the boyfriend who’s always up-to-date with the latest technology, consider gadgets that are innovative yet budget-friendly. Quirky USB drives, affordable smartwatches, or even a DIY tech project kit that you can work on together can be exciting gifts. These items cater to his interest in technology and offer a fun, shared activity that can strengthen your bond.

Sports enthusiast

If he’s passionate about sports, memorabilia from his favourite team or tickets to a local game can be a home run. This kind of gift shows that you support his interests, even if you’re not a sports buff yourself. It’s a way to engage with his world and maybe even share in the excitement of his favourite sport.

The bookworm

For the boyfriend who finds solace in the pages of a book, scouring second-hand bookshops for a rare edition or a sought-after novel can be a thoughtful gesture. It shows that you’ve paid attention to his literary tastes and have put effort into finding something special. A well-chosen book can be a treasure for a book lover, offering both a thoughtful gift and a new story to dive into.

The foodie

And for the boyfriend who loves exploring new culinary horizons, consider preparing a homemade meal or organizing a food tour of local eateries. This allows you to explore new tastes together and share in the experience of discovering new dishes. It’s a personal and enjoyable way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, especially if shared culinary experiences are something you both cherish.

Budget-friendly gift ideas

what to get your boyfriend for valentine's day - Budget-friendly gift ideas

Creative but cheap gifts

When it comes to gift-giving, the price tag is often less important than the thought and effort behind the gift. Budget-friendly gifts, especially those that are DIY or creatively chosen, can be incredibly meaningful. They show that you’ve taken the time to think about what would make him happy and put effort into making or selecting something special. Gifts like homemade baked goods, a personalised playlist, or a scrapbook of shared memories are not just cost-effective; they’re heartfelt and personal.

Affordable tech gadgets

Technology doesn’t always have to break the bank. There are numerous affordable tech gadgets that can be both useful and thoughtful. Consider items like Bluetooth trackers for his frequently misplaced keys or a durable, stylish phone case. These gadgets are practical, and they show that you’re attentive to his needs and interests. Plus, they offer a modern touch without the hefty price tag of high-end tech products.

Sports memorabilia

For the sports enthusiast, memorabilia can be a great gift choice. Instead of going for the more expensive options like signed jerseys, look for more affordable yet meaningful items. Vintage posters of his favourite team, a biography of a sports legend he admires, or even a classic piece of merchandise can be just as appreciated. These items can hold a lot of sentimental value and show your support for his interests.

Second-hand book finds

For the book lover, there’s a unique charm in second-hand books. Hunting down a first edition of his favourite novel, a rare comic book issue, or a book by an author he loves can be an exciting quest. These finds not only add to his collection but also come with a story of how you found them. It’s a thoughtful way to acknowledge his love for reading and to provide him with a new treasure to enjoy.

For more cheap gifts for him, check out our list of Valentine’s Day gifts under £10.

Experience gifts

Experience gifts - What to get your boyfriend for Valentine's Day

Creating memories together

Experiences often hold more value than physical gifts because they create lasting memories and stories to share. Planning an experience, whether it’s a day trip, attending a special event, or participating in a fun activity, can be a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. These experiences allow you both to step out of your daily routines and share moments that deepen your connection. Experience gifts are particularly good for long-distance relationships (we’ve got more tips on how to survive a long-distance relationship while at uni here), as they make sure you come together to do something fun.

Day trips

Exploring new places together can be incredibly rewarding. Consider taking a day trip to one of the UK’s many hidden gems. Whether it’s a quaint village, a bustling city you’ve never explored, or a scenic hike in the countryside, these trips can offer a refreshing change of scenery and a chance to create new memories. A day trip is a perfect way to spend quality time together, discovering new places and experiencing new things as a couple. Here are some of the UK’s best staycation destinations.

Concerts or sports events

Tickets to a concert or a sports event can be an exciting gift, especially if it’s something he’s been looking forward to. It’s not just about the event itself but the experience of sharing something he loves with you. Whether it’s the electric atmosphere of a live concert or the thrill of a sports game, these events can provide a memorable experience that you both will cherish.

Cooking classes

For a unique and interactive experience, consider signing up for a cooking class together. It’s a fun way to learn something new and enjoy the fruits of your labour afterwards. Cooking classes can range from learning to make exotic dishes to perfecting classic favourites. This experience is not just about the food; it’s about the joy of creating something together, sharing laughs, and enjoying a meal you made as a team.

Personalised gifts

Personalised gifts for your boyfirend

Adding a personal touch

Adding a personal touch to your Valentine’s Day gift can significantly enhance its sentimental value. Personalised gifts like engraved watches, bespoke artwork, or a handmade item show a level of thoughtfulness and effort that generic gifts cannot match. These customised items become keepsakes, symbolising your affection and the unique bond you share. They stand out not just for their aesthetic appeal but for the personal story and meaning they carry.

Customised items

Consider customisation options in everyday items like wallets, keychains, or even a bottle of his favourite drink with a personalised label. Engraving his name, a significant date, or a meaningful message on these items transforms them from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s a way to turn functional objects into daily reminders of your relationship and the special moments you’ve shared.

Handwritten letters or poems

The power of the written word in expressing deep emotions is unparalleled. A heartfelt letter or a funny poem written by you can convey feelings that store-bought items cannot. It’s a deeply intimate and personal gift that can communicate your love, appreciation, and shared memories in a way that truly resonates.

The element of surprise: unexpected but romantic gifts

surprise gifts for valentine's day

Gifts to spice things up

Consider a themed gift that aligns with a shared interest or fantasy. This could range from a set of novels from his favourite author, a collection of movies from a beloved genre, to something more intimate like a role-play costume or a game designed for couples. Themed gifts show that you’re in tune with his preferences and are willing to explore shared interests in fun and creative ways.

Surprise plans

Surprises add an element of excitement and novelty to Valentine’s Day. Planning an unexpected event, like a surprise picnic in the park or a mystery gift that he has to uncover, can make the day thrilling and memorable. It shows your willingness to go the extra mile to make the day special and can break the monotony of routine, adding a spark to your celebration.

Mystery gifts

Creating a treasure hunt with small gifts and clues leading to the main present is a playful and engaging way to give your gift. It turns the process of receiving a gift into an adventure, making the final reveal all the more satisfying. This interactive approach not only makes for an exciting experience but also adds a layer of anticipation and fun to the gift-giving.

Sustainable and eco-friendly options

sustainable gifts

Gifts that give back

Opting for presents that support charitable causes, are made from sustainable materials, or contribute to social enterprises not only reflects a shared commitment to making a positive impact but also adds a layer of significance to your gift. For instance, you could select items from brands that donate a portion of their profits to environmental or social causes. Or things like planting trees in the name of your partner or sponsoring an animal with organisations like WWF, which is very environmentally friendly and easy to do.

Eco-friendly gadgets

In today’s environmentally conscious world, opting for eco-friendly gifts can be a thoughtful choice. Look for gadgets made from recycled materials or those that promote sustainable living, like solar-powered chargers or bamboo keyboards. These gifts show your commitment to sustainability and your respect for his values and lifestyle choices.

Sustainable clothing brands

Supporting brands that use sustainable practices and materials is a gift that’s thoughtful for both your boyfriend and the planet. Choosing clothing from brands that prioritize eco-friendly processes and materials sends a message about the importance of sustainability in your lives. It’s a way to contribute positively to the environment while giving a gift that he can use and appreciate.

Incorporate humour and fun: Funny gifts for him

funny gifts for what to get your boyfriend for valentine's day

Gifts that make laugh

A gift that can bring a hearty laugh or a wide smile is invaluable. Humour is a powerful element in any relationship, and incorporating it into your Valentine’s Day gift can make the occasion even more memorable. When choosing a gift, consider his sense of humour and the inside jokes you share. Quirky gadgets, humorous books, or entertaining board games not only provide a good laugh but also add a playful dimension to your relationship. These gifts show that you appreciate his lighter side and value the joy and laughter you share.

Quirky gadgets

The world of gadgets is vast and varied, with many options that can bring a touch of whimsy and fun to his daily life. Consider novelty items like a phone holder with a humorous design, a desk accessory that reflects a shared joke, or a kitchen gadget that’s as amusing as it is practical. These items can serve as a daily reminder of your relationship’s fun and playful aspects. Whether it’s a gadget that solves a silly problem or just something that makes him smile every time he sees it, the key is to find something that matches his personality and your unique dynamic as a couple.

Funny books or comics

For the boyfriend who loves a good read, a book that tickles his funny bone can be a perfect gift. Look for humorous novels that align with his sense of humour, comic books that he can enjoy leisurely, or funny memoirs that offer both laughter and insight. These books can be a great way for him to unwind and enjoy some light-hearted entertainment. They also offer an opportunity for you to share in the amusement, creating another layer of connection in your relationship. Whether he’s into dry wit, slapstick humour, or satirical commentary, there’s a wide range of funny literature to choose from.

Gifts that celebrate your relationship

Gifts that celebrate your relationship

Gifts that celebrate specific memories and experiences you’ve shared

Valentine’s Day offers a beautiful opportunity to look back and celebrate the unique journey you and your boyfriend have shared. Gifts that encapsulate the memories and experiences you’ve had together can be incredibly touching and meaningful. They serve as a tangible reminder of the love, laughter, challenges, and growth you’ve experienced as a couple. Whether it’s a photo album, a scrapbook, or a custom playlist, these gifts are more than just items; they are a storybook of your relationship.

Photo albums or scrapbooks

Creating a photo album or scrapbook is a wonderful way to chronicle your journey together. This could include photos from trips you’ve taken, events you’ve attended, or just everyday moments that mean a lot to both of you. You can add annotations, little notes, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia to make it even more personal. The process of putting it together can be as enjoyable as presenting the finished product, offering you a chance to relive those cherished memories. This kind of gift is not just a collection of photos; it’s a narrative of your time together, capturing the essence of your relationship.

Custom playlists

Compiling a playlist of songs that are meaningful to your relationship is a deeply personal and thoughtful gift. Each song can represent a specific moment, feeling, or period in your relationship. It could include the song that was playing on your first date, tracks from concerts you’ve attended together, or songs that just remind you of each other. This gift is not only sentimental but also incredibly versatile. He can listen to it while commuting, relaxing, or whenever he wants to feel connected to you. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, evoking memories and emotions every time he listens to it.

Valentine’s Day gifts that involve your boyfriend’s friends and family

Valentine's Day gifts that involve your boyfriend's friends and family

Group efforts

Involving friends and family in your Valentine’s Day gift can add an extra layer of meaning and fun. It’s not just about the gift itself but the sense of community and love it represents. When you plan a group event or collaborate on a gift, you’re acknowledging the important role that others play in your boyfriend’s life. This can be particularly touching if you’re celebrating a significant milestone in your relationship or if your boyfriend values the close connections he has with his friends and family.

Collaborative gifts

Getting his friends or family involved in a group gift can be a fantastic way to pool resources and ideas for something truly spectacular. This could be a contribution towards a bigger, more luxurious gift that he’s been eyeing but wouldn’t buy for himself. Alternatively, consider a group experience, like a weekend getaway, a group adventure activity, or tickets to a major event. The key is to choose something that aligns with his interests and that he would enjoy sharing with his loved ones. This approach not only makes the gift more substantial but also more memorable, as it’s shared with the people he cares about.

Plan a group event

Organising a surprise party or group outing is another excellent way to involve his social circle in your Valentine’s Day celebration. This could range from a surprise birthday-style party with all his friends and family to a more intimate gathering, like a dinner or a day out. The event could also be themed around something he loves, such as a sports game day, a movie marathon of his favourite films, or a tasting event for a food or drink he’s passionate about. The effort you put into planning and coordinating with others shows a deep level of care and understanding of his relationships and interests. It’s a way to celebrate not just your relationship with him but also his relationships with others, making the day even more special and inclusive.

Avoid these mistakes when thinking about what to get your boyfriend for Valentine’s Day

Avoid these mistakes when thinking about what to get your boyfriend for Valentine's Day

What not to do

It’s easy to fall into the trap of generic gifts or misjudging his interests. Avoid gifts that are too impersonal or that don’t align with his tastes. Remember, the goal is to show that you understand and appreciate him as an individual.

Overly generic gifts

Steer clear of cliché gifts like generic chocolates or teddy bears. They lack the personal touch that makes Valentine’s gifts special. Instead, opt for something that resonates with his unique personality or interests. A thoughtful, well-chosen gift speaks volumes more than a generic one.

Misjudging his interests

Make sure you’re in tune with his likes and dislikes. There’s nothing worse than giving a sports book to someone who has no interest in sports. Take the time to understand what he enjoys. If he’s a music lover, consider concert tickets or a special edition vinyl of his favourite artist. For a gaming enthusiast, look for the latest game release or gaming accessories.

Ignoring the experience

Beyond the physical gift, consider the experience it brings. An exciting adventure, a relaxing day out, or a shared activity can be more impactful than a physical item. Think about what kind of experiences he enjoys and plan something that aligns with those interests.

It’s all about presentation

valentine's day gifts presentation

Wrapping and packaging ideas

The presentation of your gift can significantly enhance its impact. Creative wrapping shows that you’ve put extra thought and care into every aspect of the gift. Using recyclable materials or fabric adds a unique and personal touch, making the unwrapping experience itself a part of the gift. It’s an opportunity to express your creativity and show that you’ve considered even the smallest details.

Creative wrapping techniques

Experimenting with different wrapping styles can make your gift stand out. Consider using unconventional materials like old maps, newspapers, or even a scarf for an eco-friendly and visually interesting wrapping option. These materials not only give a second life to items that might otherwise be discarded but also add a story and character to your gift.

Eco-friendly packaging

In today’s environmentally conscious world, considering eco-friendly packaging options is both thoughtful and responsible. Use recycled paper, reusable boxes, or a stylish tote bag that he can use again. This approach not only reduces waste but also aligns with a more sustainable lifestyle, reflecting shared values of environmental care.

Valentine’s Day on a student budget

Valentine's Day on a student budget

Maximising the day without breaking the bank

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to strain your finances. There are numerous ways to make the day special and memorable without a hefty price tag. It’s about focusing on shared experiences and thoughtful gestures rather than expensive gifts.

Free or low-cost date ideas

Get creative with date ideas that are both romantic and budget-friendly. A leisurely walk in the park, a visit to a free museum, or a cosy movie night at home can be just as meaningful as a lavish outing. These activities allow you to spend quality time together without the pressure of high expenses.

Cooking a romantic dinner at home

Showcasing your culinary skills with a romantic dinner at home can be a deeply personal and intimate experience. It allows you to tailor the menu to your boyfriend’s tastes and create a cosy, romantic setting. Cooking together can also be a fun and bonding activity, adding another layer of connection to your celebration. Here are some great Valentine’s Day recipes to try.

Choosing the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your boyfriend doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a bit of creativity, thoughtfulness, and humour, you can find a gift that’s just right for him – and your student budget. Remember, it’s the thought and effort that counts the most. Happy Valentine’s Day!