In case you’d forgotten, it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday. Of course you could do the usual boring thing and spend it on flowers, chocolates or a nice romantic meal. But that would be rather dull wouldn’t it? According to Evolution Money, the average cost of a Valentine’s Day gift is now £25 so we’ve scoured the web looking for alternative sub-£25 gifts for your loved one instead. But don’t blame us if your partner prefers something more conventional!
Nothing says romance more than, er, buying your loved one a tracking device for Valentine’s Day. But this isn’t intended to pin on your partner to check they are being faithful (though you could try that if you wanted and see how far it gets you). Instead it’s to help them protect their valuables.
According to TFL, over 20,000 mobile phones, 18,500 travel card wallets and 11,000 keys and umbrellas were left/missing on London buses and trains in 2014.
This tiny device measuring 31mm in diameter and 3.5mm thick can be discreetly attached to many items you want to keep track of including keys, wallet, a bike, even a pet! It costs less than £25 and is environmentally-friendly.
It uses Bluetooth-low energy that connects to an app running on your phone and operates on a replaceable battery that lasts for up to a year. Also, if the item you are looking for is out of Bluetooth range, TrackR will use the power of its Crowd GPS Network to find it.
The gadget is now available in the UK in EE shops, John Lewis, Argos, Currys and Urban Outfitters.
Virtual Reality Headset
Fancy the adrenaline rush of racing down a rollercoaster or running away from a T-Rex from the comfort and safety of your own living room?
OK it may not be the most hi-tech of VR experiences, but The Immerse Virtual Reality Headset from I Want One of Those allows you to watch 3D movies, indulge in simulated games and experience virtual simulations simply by downloading content onto your smartphone.
The headset offers 360 head tracking plus a screen that adapts with your head movements, ensuring that you will become completely immersed in your own wonderful virtual world from the moment you press play.
The VR headset costs £19.99 from I Want One of Those.
Thirsty plant kit
Give your flowers power and let them do the talking, with this DIY Thirsty Plant Kit.
Every day, millions of in-house plants go thirsty from inattentive owners – don’t be one of them! The DIY Thirsty Plant Kit is a moisture sensor with an LED light that flashes when your plant needs water.
Using basic electronics, this kit comes with everything you need to create your simple circuit moisture sensor.
Instructions are included or you can check out the YouTube video below for a complete tutorial. For more advanced makers, this kit works with Arduinos, so you can create self-watering plants or sensors that sing!
It’s available for just £19.95 now from www.prezzybox.com.
V Gauge Wine Preserver
Fancy a glass of wine, but don’t want to waste the rest of the bottle? The V Gauge is a wine stopper with its own built-in pressure gauge. Unlike most wine stoppers which let oxygen seep in when the vacuum deteriorates transforming your bottle of plonk into vinegar, the V Gauge will keep your wine fresh and tasty.
It’s staggeringly simple to use. You just pop it in the top of the bottle, pump out the air with the vacuum pump (included) and watch the needle on the gauge swing into the red.
Once it’s there you can stop pumping knowing that the there’s enough of a vacuum to keep your wine fresh for ages. The best part is that you’ll be able to see when the vacuum needs to be topped up as the needle will start dropping out of the red.
It’s available from I Want One of Those for £21.99
Alessi Piripicchio Fabric Shaver.
Another great design classic for Alessi by Stefano Giovanonni! Functional, but definitely not boring, this fabric shaver is a very useful gadget indeed.
Stefano has designed a huge range of products for Alessi, amongst them are an electric fruit juicer, a hand held vacuum cleaner, a set of kitchen scales and a set of bathroom scales.
But this clothes shaver in PC with detachable fluff container is certainly one of the most useful, especially when it comes to de-bobbling your collection of jumpers! Size: H 14.3 cm, L 8 cm, W 6.5 cm.
Available from A White Room for £25.46.