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20 Ways to Show Your Friend You Love Her (without Spending a Dime)

Galentine’s Day seems to be filled with nothing but hearts, gifts, Instagrammable photos, chocolates, and flowers. The images we see of women celebrating each other typically shows them going all out—and trust us, we’re here for it! But how can you show your friends some love if you’re working with a budget?

We show our love in a variety of ways to the friends who matter the most to us. We can give love to our local besties through heartfelt embraces and weekday impromptu lunches. Our out-of-state friendships can be nurtured over FaceTime catch-up sessions or thoughtful “thinking of you” texts. These things don’t cost anything but your time and voice. So often, we associate holidays with gift giving. And even though it is one of the five love languages, not everyone shows love through their wallets. Simply put, all our friends need from us on a day like February 14th (or any day, really) is recognition and gratitude. So, this year, let’s celebrate the love we have for our friendships and let’s do it without spending a dime.

Here are our top 20 ways to show your friends you love them without even opening your wallet.

  1. Write a heartfelt letter of gratitude to them. Trust us, hearing why you are loved and appreciated never gets old.

  2. Create a girls spa day experience at home with items you already have. Set up the good old train massages, paint each other’s nails, do each other’s hair, and give each other facials.

  3. Put on your chef hat and cook a meal for your friend. Your talk time around the table will grow into yet another memory to cherish. Afterwards, watch a film that has meaning for the two of you- maybe you choose a flic that scared you both as kids but now is a laughing matter or a classic you adore from high school.

  4. Exercise – go paddle boarding, try goat yoga and share a laugh, or take a long, seaside walk. Do anything that gets you moving and your hearts pumping but do it together.

  5. Cater to her interests: Maybe make music together, or have a dance party at home themed to her favorite decade. Or if music isn’t her thing, start a project together. Perhaps she enjoys refinishing antique furniture or sewing quilts- whatever the preference, you’re nurturing a solid friendship and developing an invaluable skill. Win, win.

  6. Spend a day with your toes in the sand. Enjoy soaking up some vitamin D and each other’s uninterrupted company.

  7. Create a “friend bucket list” of things you want to experience together this year and hold yourselves accountable.

  8. Spread the love to someone else who may need it: Donate your time to a charity together, help feed the homeless, or participate in Habitat for Humanity. The options are endless, the feeling it will bring is priceless, and the memory you will make is timeless.

  9. Organize a book or clothes exchange at your house with favorite books or clothes you love but are ready to part with! What better way to show friends some love than sharing something you love with her – or used to love but need to pass on.

  10. Make a recipe book of all your home-cooked favorites, recipes you have shared together, or recipes that harness a memory of your friendship. You will thank yourselves later and so will your tummies.

  11. Go old school and create a video/photo collage of cherished memories together. This will evoke nostalgic conversation you can discuss over a drink or meal.

  12. Share your plant clippings! There is no better way to show your love than by giving the gift of oxygen… and aesthetics. Over the years, your garden will grow and mature much like your friendship.

  13. Think of a meal or baked good you both have always wanted to learn to make. YouTube it and turn it into your own cooking class! After you enjoy your hopefully tasty cuisine, you can relax with the warmth of your friend’s company.

  14. Create a good old coupon book! Yup, I am talking about the ones we used to make, but never actually followed through on, for our parents when we were kids. But this time, actually commit.

  15. Create a piece of art for her based around an inside joke or a meaningful moment. You could paint, draw, sculpt, mold ceramics, create anything really. You don’t actually have to be a professional artist to bring to life something memorable. Just have fun with it!

  16. Be vulnerable together. Take the time to share a secret with her. The vulnerability will grow the trust in your friendship, taking you to new heights.

  17. For your brave friends- embrace their fearlessness and do something daring with her. Commit to a trust fall or go cliff jumping! We are not suggesting you risk your lives for each other, but you get the point. Take each other out of your usual physical comfort zones. The experience will be unforgettable.

  18. Give her a nice, tight hug. The touch of a close friend increases endorphins and it’s nice to feel the warm embrace of someone you love.

  19. Set a FaceTime date with your out-of-town friends as though you were actually meeting up for a hangout session and share a glass of wine just as you would if you were in person, then follow it up with a game of “Quiplash” on Jackbox Games.

  20. Make a shared playlist that you both can add to, enlisting both old and new tracks that spark nostalgia or bring about new artistic interests.

Don't think Galentine's Day is worth celebrating? Check out this video that outlines four (surprising!) benefits of being friends with other women (and if you'd prefer to LISTEN to the tips, subscribe to the Friend Forward Podcast!)

In short, use this Galentine’s Day to embrace your friendships through the simple gift of time and togetherness. No matter what experience you choose, if it is purposeful, valuable, and thoughtful, there is no pricy gift that could add up to its worth. Who needs the prick of Cupid's arrow when you have friendships made of pure and reciprocal love?

If you've been struggling to create (or maintain!) healthy female friendships, please consider booking a one-on-one friendship coaching session with resident friendship coach and friendship expert Danielle Bayard Jackson. This year, it's time for you to get intentional. And we've got your back!

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