Despite all of the advertising for expensive jewelry, perfumes, restaurant dinner and other gifts, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive. Listed below are some ideas to have a romantic day without spending a fortune.
1. Instead of buying a Valentine’s card from the store, make your own card. I made my husband a nice Valentine’s Day card using special greeting card paper in the printer and free online software from Hewlett-Packard (hp.com/go/printcards). Customize your card with pictures of some of your favorite times together to bring back fond memories. Write your own poems or verses or use some romantic Valentine quotations from the web.
2. Give out a printed a coupon you’ve made up for something special like a future breakfast in bed, one free “I’ll take out the trash even when it is your turn” coupon, or one free “you can win this argument even though I know I’m right coupon.”
3. If you live where it is warm, go out for a picnic on Valentine’s Day instead of having an expensive restaurant meal. Look for romantic places like the beach, parks with waterfalls or babbling brooks. Pack some healthy, whole food items like grapes, pecans, and chicken curry salad in an old fashioned wooden basket and lay it out on a pretty tablecloth or blanket.
4. Instead of buying a bouquet of roses, opt for one single beautiful rose in a bud vase. Alternatively, opt for a cheaper kind of flower such as daisies or carnations. The Costco near our house usually has a nice selection of assorted cut flowers at discount prices.
5. Potted plants, which last more then a few days, can be a more frugal alternative to cut flowers.
6. If you do want to eat out for the occasion, consider going out for lunch instead of dinner when the prices are cheaper. The menu items are often the same or similar, yet daytime prices tend to be much less than evening prices. (Matinee movies are also often significantly cheaper than evening movies, too.) Another option is to keep an eye out in the paper for Valentine’s Day dinner specials. You can also have a special, candle lit spaghetti dinner at home and then just go out afterwards for coffee and a decadent dessert.
7. Entertainment books (www.entertainment.com) have great deals on restaurants, flowers, plays and movie tickets. (Be sure to check the restrictions on any restaurant coupons, as some exclude holidays from the discount offers.)
8. Beside the Entertainment books, our local Costco also has discount movie tickets that are good for any movie showing, even first run movies, at 1/3 off the normal evening ticket price.
9. A photo of the two of you together in an elegant picture frame can make a thoughtful yet inexpensive gift.
10. Instead of actual roses, give a gift of rose scented soap, rose scented floating candles, or a jar filled with rose scented potpourri.
There is no need to go into debt in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Sometimes the simple ways of showing how much you care can mean the most.