Happy [Frugal] Valentine’s Day: The Jar of Encouragement

Happy [Frugal] Valentine's Day: The Jar of Encouragement

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner?! This lovely consumer-driven holiday has been used for years — quite successfully I might add — to entice us to buy, buy, buy. By nature, I’m strongly opposed to the whole idea and refuse to participate in the consumption. But what I’m not opposed to is showing the people I care about just how much I love and appreciate them.

After re-reading my post on 15 Potentially Free Gift Ideas To Show Someone You Care (Yes, I re-read my own posts. Is that weird?), I decided that this year I’m going to show my children that I appreciate them through the Jar of Encouragement. My hope is this jar will be a cherished well of uplifting words for my daughters. Especially during times when they are feeling down and discouraged.

Words of encouragement are free…and no material thing can replace them.

The Jar of Encouragement

To assemble the jar:

Happy [Frugal] Valentine's Day: The Jar of Encouragement

-Fill a glass jar with multiple small slips of paper that include reasons why you love or appreciate your son, daughter, or spouse.

Happy [Frugal] Valentine's Day: The Jar of Encouragement

-When they are discouraged or frustrated they can pull out a source of encouragement and remember they are loved.

Happy [Frugal] Valentine's Day: The Jar of Encouragement

Share your creative ideas for making this season of love meaningful!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Andrea,
    I recently discovered your blog while doing an internet search and I think it’s such a great site to visit. Over the last year, I have become dissatisfied with all the consumerism being shoved in our faces around the holidays. I don’t want to be anti-holiday, but I also don’t want to fall victim to consumerism either. I am going to start my own holiday traditions by making my daughter homemade gifts for the holidays. I’m still going to buy Christmas presents, but I don’t feel that it’s necessary to go all out and get broke in the process of celebrating the holidays. I am planning on suprising her with some homemade heart-shaped cookies when she comes home on Valentine’s Day.

    I know that you homeschool your kids, therefore, they don’t have to have candy shoved at them during the holidays. What advice can you give me for eliminating all the processed candies around the holidays? Every holiday when my child goes to school, candy is given to her to celebrate, but I don’t want her to have all of the candy due to it being made with non-healthy ingredients. Most likely the candy has some form of GMO ingredients and I avoid GMO’s like the plague. I’ve talked to her teacher about why I don’t allow my child to eat processed school lunches, but what can I do about the candy? I would really appreciate your advice. Keep up the good work and I have saved your blog to my favorites list.

    • First…I want to thank you for your readership 🙂 I too share your concerns! And yes it is easier to control the whole candy/school lunch issue from a homeschool perspective. However, my children are involved in sports and different activities outside of the home. The temptations are everywhere aren’t they!?! We try to instill healthy eating habits at home and lately I must say my eldest (10 years old) is really starting to refuse somethings. It’s amazing! It’s all about balance for me. I want my babies to know why we eat the way we eat and I think this is helping them make good decisions. I have posted a portion of your question to the wall of my fb page. Check out what some of the others have to suggest: http://www.facebook.com/frugallysustainable

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for your response. I’ve been researching foods for the past 5 years and have learned a lot about real foods. I have taught my daughter about real foods and she just loves to be mommy’s little helper. Also, I allow her to eat non-healthy foods every now and then because just like your daughter, kids are going to want to have the things that other kids eat. Thanks so much for this site and I love all of your DIY recipes.

  2. Andrea, thank you so much for this post on the encouragement jar! That is such a sweet way to let your family know in your own words how you and God feels about them! Blessings from Bama!

  3. I love this idea Andrea! I have about 8 people in mind to do it for. I better get crackin’. 🙂

  4. Andrea, this is priceless! One cannot put a price tag on love and how love is shown. This ia a great way to show those that are dear to us that we love them. The word of God tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. This is a beautiful way of speaking life into those that we cherish to build them up and encourage them. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

  5. when l first saw the email for this, l thought oh here we go valentine stuff – great as l have been single for nearly 15 years now. However, having just read about the Jar of Encouragement think its a lovely lovely idea, not just for Valentines but birthdays even weddings. You can fill it with little notes along side confetti etc.
    Brilliant idea. Thankx Andrea.

  6. I love this idea! I am doing some pretty card stock notes I made for my husband called “How Do I Love Thee” and I think I’ll put them in a jar. I’m giving each of my three daughters a journal and teaching them how to count 1000 Gifts like Ann Voskamp (www.aholyexperience.com). It just seems that when we look around and start to count our blessings, we see how much God loves us again and again. Like one continual Valentine to us from Him!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful idea! I’m going to make one for my husband and a friend who needs some extra encouragement right now!

  8. I read my own posts too :0) I love this idea! I once started a little book of reasons why I loved my spouse-to-be, he still has it! I think this would be a fun tradition to start though, what better time to start than now!

  9. My daughter Grace, had a similar idea for my birthday last year. She decorated a large jar with ribbons, then cut up pretty papers into 365 strips. She set up a basket with pens and the papers and put the whole family to work filling up the jar. The notes from my two daughters were touching and funny–the notes from my husband and four sons were funny, cheesy, and could get pretty mushy! Where they needed inspiration, Grace told them to write about a fun, crazy or sweet memory.
    As the recipient, the whole jar was pure pleasure. Some days I read a lot of the notes and some days just one.
    One of my best gifts ever!!

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