Whenever I write pieces like this I feel like I should be standing in front of a microphone saying something like, “Ladies, don’t you hate it when your man…” Overused stand-up cliches aside, ladies don’t you hate it when your man doesn’t do anything nice for you?

Men, I am talking to you. The economy is in the toilet, but guess what, romance isn’t. I am not trying to turn my weekly column into a rant about being a lady or anything, I’m just trying to help out my brothers from other mothers.

Recently a few girlfriends (yes, multiple) admitted to blossoming relationships going sour because of men intimidated by their higher paycheck. I completely understand this, like so many other things, the economy has also affected the dating scene. But I am a firm believer that you don’t need to drop a lot of money to impress a girl — unless you are into those super high-maintenance types.

Show You Care for Under $7

Here is a list of cute little things you can do show that special lady in your life that you have a crush on her, love her or care about her. A lot of these steps require attention to details or being slightly sneaky, but the payoff is completely worth the challenge. Warning: some of these may come off as cheesy, but when is being romantic not a little cheesy?

Be Sweet. Find out her favorite: snack, candy, cookie or any food-related item, and present it to her with a cute note when it’s least expected. Sneak it into her purse, or somewhere in the house for brownie points! This is good if you just recently started dating someone. COST: Under $5

Buy Sunflowers: Okay, okay. You don’t have to get her sunflowers, they just happen to be my favorite flower. NOTE: Contrary to societal stereotypes not all girls like flowers — I’m one of them. If it isn’t a sunflower I don’t like it. I am more of a plant kind of person. This is where your sneakiness comes in, find out if the girl you are with even likes flowers and which one is her favorites. Yes, flowers may seem like an antiquated dating practice, but hey it’s an excellent gesture. This is also good for one of those 2-3 date kind of deals, or to surprise a long-time sweetheart. COST: $7

Make a Mix CD: Isn’t it sad that mix CDs are considered retro now? I wasn’t even done with the whole mixtape business! Even though everything is streaming these days, people still have CD players a.k.a Laptops. Make your sweetie a mix of some of your favorite tunes and pop them into her computer or car when she isn’t paying attention. Great for those “just starting out” relationships. COST: $7 for 10 CDs (OfficeMax.com)

Make A Note of It: Write song lyrics, inside jokes, poems or draw funny pictures. Next time you are hanging out at her house hide the notes all over, the more obscure the places, the better. This is a very cute move and is sure to make any girl go crazy for you. This works better for couples who have been together for a while. COST: $2.75

Broadcast Yourself. This one is a little lofty, but can you really put a limit to how far you’ll go for love? You can use your phone camera or a flip camera to put together a cute or funny video letting your lady know how you feel. Lip-sync the lyrics to her favorite song, go to special spots you two share and throw on some music in the background. Don’t worry about exposing you soft side, you can make the video private so only someone with a link can see it. This is better suited for couples in more serious relationships. COST: Free.

The Quickest Way to A Girl’s Heart is through chocolate. Why do men get to have all the fun? Bake your sweetheart her favorite cookies and bring them over to her place next time she’s had a rough day. If you strictly follow the packaging it’s hard to mess them up, and even if you do, bring them anyway with some store bought cookies — a very endearing move. COST: $3 (Ghirardelli Cookie Mix)

Chalk it Up. Ah the power of sidewalk chalk. Grab a few sticks of chalk and write some cute notes where she lives or where she works. This takes a little work but is a super cute gesture. Cost: $2

As you can see a lot of these are nice gestures that take more effort than they do money. At the end of the day little notes, surprises or reminders are all you need to make us ladies feel appreciated. If you have an example or an idea share with our readers in the comments section:

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  • Ashley

    Or, give that money to a homeless person. That impresses me.