Valentine’s Day gives us all a special occasion to let our loved ones know how much we care about them. But it’s also incredibly expensive. The inflated prices for flowers, chocolate, and other traditional gifts can set you back more than a few bucks. While Valentine’s Day should be a time of celebration, it doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to have a good day with your partner. If you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day with your significant other, read a few of these tips on how to have a great Valentine’s Day on a budget.
Valentine’s Day cards can run you anywhere from $3 to $7 apiece. While not a big expense in the overall gift budget, it’s an expense you don’t need. Making your own Valentine won’t cost you anything and it’s a personal gesture that your loved one will likely treasure more than a store-bought card. There are a variety of ways to make a great, homemade valentine.
- Write a poem or love letter.
- Draw a picture of love.
- Craft a card with materials you might have in your house – lace, dried flowers, twigs, felt, construction paper, beads, playing cards that have hearts on them, etc.
If you aren’t artistic or crafty, you can send a free animated valentine by email. Many sites offer free valentines. There are also printable cards available online that you can make at home. Do a Google search or check out Pinterest for ideas.
Skip the Chocolates and Bake
Valentine’s Day chocolates and candy are very pricey. Instead of spending a ton on store-bought treats, bake your significant other a batch of cookies or a cake. Not only will you save a lot of money, you’ll be putting in the extra effort that your love deserves. You can find great Valentine’s Day recipes online with a quick search. Try picking up some cheesy, heart-shaped cookie cutters for less than $5, or make heart-shaped pancakes in the morning.
Celebrate a Week Later
On Valentine’s Day, all the gifts are expensive and restaurants offer elaborate, pricey dinners. But you don’t have to celebrate on February 14th. Plan a date a week later to avoid crowds and dine at a great restaurant for less.
Consider Alternative Gifts
Traditional Valentine’s Day gifts will put a big dent in your wallet. But there’s no reason you have to stick with conventions. Try getting something inexpensive that your significant other would really enjoy, like a novel your date has been eyeing at the bookstore.
Celebrate at Home
Instead of going out on the town for a fancy dinner, stay in and save some cash. You can make a meal together, eat it by candlelight, then cuddle up on the couch for an evening of romantic movies. You could also spend the night playing board games, or put together a puzzle or adult LEGO set.
Go Out and Celebrate for Less
Celebrating Valentine’s Day at a nice restaurant is a traditional way to enjoy the holiday, but it shouldn’t be your only option. Plan a less expensive date like a trip to art or photography museums, which usually offer free admission or entry for a modest fee. Visit a coffee shop afterward and enjoy each other’s company over drinks. You can also take a walk, hike, or plan a picnic at a park if the weather cooperates.