5 Ways to Surprise your Military Boyfriend Without Overspending

The urge to go overboard when crafting a surprise for your beloved military beau is understandable. After all, no gift seems too lavish when you consider the sacrifices soldiers make for us. But you don’t have to break the bank to delight your military guy with a surprise that is sure to make him feel cherished and appreciated. To prove it, here is a list of five creative ways you can surprise your military boyfriend affordably.

Messages in a Jar

Soldiers miss out on a lot of events, big and small, during deployments, which can leave them feeling disconnected and left out. To help keep them in the loop, create a memory jar to either present or send to your military boyfriend. On little pieces of paper, write thoughts, loving messages, or anecdotes for your guy every day or week he is gone, and place them in a jar.

If you send the jar to your deployed soldier, he is sure to feel close to home upon reading your messages. For returning soldiers, presenting the jar after the happy chaos of coming come has died down is the perfect segue into catching up.

Experiential Gifts

Experiential gifts, or those that involve an activity rather than an object, are ideal for military men, who are usually energetic, adventurous doers. Readjusting to the mundane pace of civilian life can be tough when your returning soldier is probably used to constant high-stress, high-stakes situations. For these reasons, some of the best gift ideas for men in the military are experience-driven.

For example, would your guy adore being able to drive race cars for a day? While experience packages that allow the recipient to actually drive the car can get pricey, you have more affordable options. For instance, for about a quarter of the price in most cases, your guy can enjoy a stock car or Indy car ride along.

Army Scrapbooks

A thoughtful scrapbook can carry deployed soldiers through long, lonely days out in the field. When your boyfriend is missing you, how comforting would it be if he could reach for the scrapbook you made him and temporarily experience a slice of home? You might select a military-themed scrapbook with matching stickers, the only requirement being that the book reflect your soldier’s personality.

Ask your boyfriend’s family and friends to contribute pictures to add to the scrapbook. Make sure you also take plenty of shots of you and any pets he left behind. You can write a funny or loving caption under each photo to give him a smile on one of those tough days.

Camo Roses

Nothing says romance like a bouquet of roses, but what do you do when you can’t send a traditional bouquet? Consider sending a masculine bouquet of camo paper roses instead. Buy some camo-themed paper from a craft or scrapbooking store and fashion it into either a bouquet or wreath of roses. You can also use camo-themed duct tape if you can’t find paper. Paper roses can hold up even in the harshest of environments, just like your love for your guy.

Coupon Book

A coupon book will have your soldier eagerly anticipating all the treats, favors, and outings that await him upon returning home. Make a visually appealing coupon book for your guy that promises him a variety of his favorite things. You might include things such as “One-month pardon from laundry and dishes,” “Good for 10 back massages,” or “Exchange for hot, homemade chocolate chip cookies.” Also think about tossing in some activities. For example, if your guy is a roller coaster junkie, maybe include a coupon for an all-expenses-paid trip to Six Flags, with tickets to the park included.

If you want to bowl your military boyfriend over without ending up in the poorhouse, any one of these ideas is a great and economical way to show him you care. Whether your guy is homebound or deployed, gifts like these will make him even more grateful he’s yours.