Ah, Valentines Day. The most romantic, and for some, pointless holiday of the year. In a world where we feel the need to shower our significant other with lavish gifts, here are some practical tips and ideas to help you get through Valentine’s day this year without going completely broke.
Tip One: Eat In (with candles, of course)
My biggest tip to save some money on Valentines Day is to eat in! And no, this doesn’t mean buy some TV dinners and cheap out. Go to a store like Aldi, and buy some fresh vegetables, meats, and cheeses and create a delicious meal. While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up some of Aldi’s top-notch wines. They are seriously good – just check out this article from Food & Wine!
Not only will a delicious home-made meal save some serious dough, if it’s done well, you have the chance to seriously impress your significant other. Plus, it shows your significant other that you care – making a home-cooked meal takes a lot more time, effort, and passion than calling a restaurant to reserve a spot.
Plus, you can be super inventive – How about breakfast for dinner, with heart-shaped red velvet pancakes and sausage patties? With a little creativity (and a small amount of money), you can make a lasting impression on your significant other this Valentines Day, and your wallet won’t be heartbroken either.
Tip Two: Skip the Flowers
Flowers are one of the most cliche things that drive me crazy – especially when you see how much they can cost. However, flowers are a timeless symbol of love and romance – what can you do instead?
Pick up some flower seeds, some potting soil, and a pot. Then, take some time to plant the seeds and watch as your flower grows and flourishes over time. If you want to be extra cheesy, you can always tell your significant other that it represents your love for each other – given the proper care, your love will continuously grow, just like the flower.
Okay, that was too cheesy, even for me – regardless, it’s a unique and creative idea that won’t break the bank.
Tip Three: Movie Night
Let’s face it – at this point, just about everyone has some sort of streaming service, like Netflix, Amazon Video, or Hulu. There are countless movies available to watch, and you don’t have to spend any extra money on actually seeing the movie.
Obviously, you’re going to need to spice it up a bit for the special occasion – make some homemade popcorn and some Valentines themed snacks, like red velvet cookies or cupcakes to eat while you watch.
If you just have to see a movie in the theater, then, by all means, go ahead – just try to find a theater that doesn’t charge a ridiculous price for movie tickets. I recently saw The Disaster Artist in Indiana while visiting some family, and the tickets were almost 15 dollars each! Although that movie was phenomenal, it simply was not worth the price.
Oh, and make sure one of you has a handbag or purse large enough to hold some snacks – never buy snacks at the theater!
Tip Four: Make a Fire
If you have a fireplace in your home or apartment, put it to good use this Valentines Day! Create a romantic playlist, and just relax – just sit with each other and talk – isolate yourselves from all of the nonsense in the past and in the future, and just become absorbed in meaningful conversation with each other.
Sitting in front of the fireplace can be a great place to talk about goals, your vision, and so much more. Even if you’re not ready to start talking future plans, the fireplace can be a great place to play some fun board games, listen to music, or just relax and take a moment to step out of the daily grind and appreciate the company of someone you like.
Valentines Day Tips for the Extra Frugal
Now, the above tips are for the person who is frugal, but is unsure if their partner would be on board with the concept – those were practical tips to save some money for a “normal” Valentines Day.
But, what if you aren’t “normal”?
Here are variations of the above tips for the most frugal of people (who have frugal significant others):
Tip One (Frugal Edition)
Cut all the fancy nonsense. Let’s keep this under seven dollars, shall we? $3.00 champagne from Wal-Mart (if the prospect of this makes you gag, skip it), pasta (80 cents), sauce ($1.50), a loaf of Italian bread, ($1.00) and a $1.00 candle. Done. All the benefits of eating in, but the savings are dramatically enhanced. If pasta isn’t your taste, then find something else. If you’re frugal enough to even be reading this section, then chances are you have a cheap go-to meal – just use that!
Tip Two (Frugal Edition)
Skip the flowers. Literally this time. No flowers. If your significant other has to get flowers on Valentines Day, then just get one. For us truly frugal folk, this is a part of Valentine’s Day we can just skip altogether.
Tip Three (Frugal Edition)
Find a movie on a streaming service or service you already pay for, and skip the fancy snacks – grab a bag of dollar candy from the store plus a bag or two of microwave popcorn. Done. Movie night for just a couple of bucks.
Tip Four (Frugal Edition)
Keep the fire, skip the board games. Well, at least if you have to go out and buy some board games to do this, then skip it. However, if you’re like most people, you’ll have a few games laying around in the closet or basement. If you do, enjoy the nostalgia trip and save some bills while you’re at it.
Well, there you have it! My top tips to have a fun, eventful and frugal Valentines Day for people in every stage of frugalness. What do you and your significant other do for a frugal Valentine’s Day? Comment below and let me know. Also, be sure to tweet at me here to let me know how much (or little) you spent on Valentines Day this year!
No matter if you’re gay, straight or bi, this day is all about love. So, go out there and love whoever it is you love – just make sure you save some money while you’re at it.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!