Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Walk into any store or take a look around Pinterest and it will be immediately clear that love is in the air.
But Valentine’s Day, as sentimental and nice as the idea behind it is, can quickly become a frugal person’s nightmare. Commercialism is a frequent critique of the holiday, with cards, candies, sweets, lingerie, nights out, etc. quickly adding up.
Whether you have a significant other, friends or family that you want to show that you care, here are some ideas for having a Valentine’s Day on a budget. After all, it’s about showing the people how much you care, not how much you can spend on them.
Set a monetary limit
There is a Keeping Up with the Joneses’ mentality to Valentine’s Day. To make sure that you are on the same page as your significant other, friends or family, set a spending limit prior to the big day. This helps ensure that no one breaks the bank and that expectations are realistic.
Spend the night in
Cooking together can be a fun and romantic activity. If you plan the right meal, it can also be much cheaper than going out to a restaurant and fighting the crowds on Valentine’s Day. Rent a movie, break out the wine and have a classy time.
Go out for wine and dessert
Want to go out, but don’t want to splurge on a full meal? Go out to a restaurant for wine and dessert, instead. Check with the restaurant ahead, however. Many restaurants do prix fixe menus on Valentine’s Day, so you may need to wait until the day after or go to a place that specializes in desserts.
Make your gifts special
Candy and cards are traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, but they aren’t particularly original. Try making your gifts special and one-of-a-kind by making your own handmade card, making your own candy (chocolate covered strawberries, anyone?), or getting something that speaks to an inside joke or special memory you have with each other.
Think beyond roses
Roses are beautiful and the flower typically associated with love, but there are so many other flowers out there! Roses for Valentine’s Day can add up, especially around Valentine’s Day when a dozen of roses can cost nearly $50 or more. Go for the flowers that you can pick up in the grocery store that run for $5.99 to $9.99 per dozen. Or, if you’re feeling hungry, make bacon roses, as featured above.