As Americans, we are convinced that the best things in life are free. MasterCard believes everything but four to five select items are priceless. Jenny from the Block has informed us that her “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” And just by being a U.S. citizen, you, too, can have several enumerated rights at your disposal. Unfortunately, Hallmark, Zales and almost every American restaurant (yes, even White Castle) have crafted their first quarter marketing campaigns to suggest otherwise.
Forget true love, a successful Valentine’s Day is contingent on one thing: your wallet. For the broke college student, however, this poses a problem. Despite all our cleverness and ‘potential,’ our bank accounts have little…or nothing…or overdraft notices to show for it. Luckily, we do have one critical advantage over the average adult: Bear Bucks, points and meal credits. Our principles for impromptu, edible Valentine’s Day gifts on Meal Plan after the jump.
- Chocolate: A known aphrodisiac, chocolate is to Valentine’s Day as awkwardly green-tinted beer is to St. Patty’s Day or an abundance of casseroles to Thanksgiving — you just can’t have the holiday without it. Don’t trouble yourself with trips to Providence Place for boxes of Godiva… You need look no further than Campus Market to scoop up some overpriced chocolate. The Chocolove bars come in a bunch of different flavors to satisfy every palate, but what’s really special is the love note inside: what more could your darling Valentine want than a cherry dark chocolate bar wrapped in “Sonnet 18”? SHAZAM.
- Practical Gifts: No level-headed Valentine is going to deny that a package of cough drops is a decent gift idea mid-February. Plus, they’re red…like hearts…and love. What’s more, colored index cards double as a blank canvas for a hand-crafted love note AND study tools for the upcoming Spanish midterm.
- Fresh Produce: Nothing says I love you like a serving of fruits and veggies. Blue Room’s got your back with its swagtastic new offerings. Take the coy, traditional route with strawberries (show off and dip them in melted chocolate!) or make your intentions more clear with a good ole English cuke, you rascal, you.
- Breakfast in Bed: This one is a go-to for impromptu Valentiners everywhere, and one thing you can do with Bear Bucks is buy breakfast. Does
lustlove put you in the mindset to gild the lily? Spoil your sweetheart with baked goods (try to find something so obscure, s/he won’t know it came from the Blue Room). Also, don’t forget to splurge on top shelf juices — $3.75 in points is a small price to pay for the massive smile on your Valentine’s face as (s)he wakes up to 355 glowing milliliters of Odwalla juice.
- More is More: Everybody knows that rummaging through a ‘gift bag’ is more much fun than simply unwrapping a box. The trick here is to zero in on the cheapest things possible (small candies, trinkets, free condoms) and toss them together into some kind of creative arrangement (see Swedish Fish heart above). Perhaps the effort of unwrapping twenty individually packaged Swedish Fish will distract your Valentine from your Duck & Bunny reservation fail.
Where to put all of this? That’s easy. Pop into the Brown Bookstore and pick up a mug (who doesn’t love a mug?!). Charge it to your Bursar account. With a Valentine like this, who needs fancy diamonds?