8 Actually Thoughtful Valentine's Day Gifts from the Drugstore

February 11, 2016

Valentine’s Day ranks as the #1 holiday to make fun of but then go along with (#2 being St. Patrick’s Day and its Irish Car Bombs, #3 a tie between New Year’s and every food holiday).

You can do better!

So if your feelings about February 14 are the same as mine—I will do it if you really want, but I will not devote much time or money, and I will figure it out the day of—then this post is for you.

While it might be your instinct to go to the drugstore and get the chocolate in heart boxes or the teddy bears or a shiny card that sings, that won’t get you a wink and a chuckle. But these ideas for funny, cheeky, low-touch presents that only require you to go to the nearest convenience store and pick up a maximum of four items will.

Because if you really wanted to "set the mood" rather than elicit a laugh, you'd go for the undie roses (please don’t do that).

Keep walking.

Chocolate Covered

This one's a safe bet for when you haven't figured out your partner's quirks and likes just yet (or if Valentine's Day is your first date. If that's the case, tell us more).

  • Delicious, high-quality chocolate ice cream
  • Delicious, high-quality chocolate bar
  • Hot chocolate mix—liquor optional
  • Your favorite candy bar (this is a bonding moment)

You Light Up My Life

The neon pack. Permission to use our cheesy pun.

  • Gummy bears
  • Crayons—and a coloring book if that's around
  • Rainbow of nail polish colors
  • Skittles
  • M&Ms

Cold Pack

Sometimes the best gifts are the practical ones. It shows you know what they need, and then took the initiative to help them out. It also makes you appear like a good planner despite almost dropping the ball on Valentine's Day, as chances are very high that one of you will be sick in the coming months.

  • Chapstick
  • NyQuil
  • Lozenges
  • Tea
  • Tissues

Sweet and Sour

After you present this gift, you can make a little joke about how you want your relationship to always stay sweet and never turn sour. They might hand you a cheese ball, but at least you'll know you're both proficient in food puns.

  • Emergen-C (that stuff is expensive! This is a good gift.)
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Sour gummy worms
  • Beer

Love Like You're Ten

This one is rated P.G., because Valentine's was a lot more fun when you had to hide it from your parents.

  • A nostalgic DVD, nostalgic because of the movie choice but also because you bought a DVD
  • A kids' Valentine's Day card—like the ones you gave your classmates
  • Lollipop

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

This one can go in a lot of directions, depending on what type of ice cream sundae you like. To keep the gift themed for the holiday, though, go with the ice cream choices mentioned here.

  • Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra
  • Tate’s cookies, for crumbling on top of your ice cream
  • Chocolate bar, for melting
  • Heavy cream, for whipping
  • Nuts, for topping

Movie Night

Because Netflix and chill is not an acceptable suggestion.

  • Crappy comedy on DVD
  • Popcorn
  • Junior Mints
  • Red wine

Take a Hike

This one doubles as a break-up tool.

  • Make trail mix with dried fruit and nuts and seeds
  • A reusable water bottle, filled with water and sliced citrus
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Walking stick you found on the street

Tell us about your best holiday save!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sarah Jampel
    Sarah Jampel
  • foofaraw
Editor/writer/stylist. Author of I Dream of Dinner (so You Don't Have To). Last name rhymes with bagel.


Sarah J. February 11, 2016
I really hope my Valentine doesn't read this, since I'm about to go get all of these things for him...
foofaraw February 11, 2016
A tube of ice cream; a homemade, microwave-friendly, 2-ingredients magic shell; and a tiny bottle of Irish cream/liquor.