By this time every year we are completely surrounded with gift ideas and celebration tips to say I love you for Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the heart-shaped candies, sweet cards, big bouquets, and love-themed lip balms as much as the next person.

But there are lots of cheap and easy (read: no excuse not to do them) ways to say I love you that can be just as meaningful. They work for friends, spouses, coworkers, or girlfriends. And you don’t even need to wait for Valentine’s Day to try them.

Here are 25 Cheap and Easy ways to say “I love you”:

25 cheap and easy ways to say I love you

  1. Hide their favorite chocolate where they’ll find it during the day.
  2. Write a note. Start with, “I appreciate you because…”
  3. Create a playlist of songs that make you think of them. Share it.
  4. You love so many things about them: be generous with compliments!
  5. Don’t remind them that they’ve told that story before (even if you’ve heard it 100 times); just listen.
  6. Say “I’m so happy to see you!” and mean it.
  7. Email a youtube clip of their favorite comedian to share a laugh.
  8. Make their favorite dessert just because.
  9. Text them about one of your shared memories.
  10. Borrow their kids so they can have a break (and you have time to enjoy the people they love).
  11. Take over one of their least favorite tasks for a day.
  12. Chocolate. (It bears repeating.) Maybe brownies?
  13. Say something nice about them to someone else—and make sure they overhear it.
  14. Call when you know they won’t answer just so you can leave a happy message.
  15. Make a list of your favorite things about them. Share it.
  16. Drop off dinner so they can have a night out of the kitchen.
  17. Learn something new together: read the same book or take a class with them.
  18. Give hugs. Without a specific reason. Frequently.
  19. Say “please” and “thank you.” Often.
  20. Pick up lunch for them.
  21. Go to the game with them—even if it’s not your favorite sport.
  22. Put down the phone when you’re together.
  23. Help them with a project they’re working on.
  24. Let them choose the radio station in the car.
  25. Even if you don’t know what to say or how to say it, just be with them.

Bonus, and maybe the most important one—never forget to:

26. Tell them how much they matter to you.

What are some of your favorite ways of saying “I love you” to the people who matter most to you? Please share in the comments!