My daughter asked me how El Carino and I typically spend Valentine’s Day. As one who is not particularly romantic, it’s somewhat ironic that I’m writing about this topic. Yet, in spite of my underdeveloped sense of romanticism, we usually celebrate by going out to dinner and exchanging gifts, such as candy or a small memento; earrings or costume jewelry for me and sports memorabilia for El Carino.
As an expert on the cheap way to do just about everything, I do have some wonderful ideas for making this holiday really special while not catering to the pressure of excessive consumerism. After all, do you want Hallmark to tell you how to spend your money?
Know Your Partner
Think long and hard about what makes your honey happy? Create a celebration tailored just for them.
Is she/he the type who loves to stay in and cuddle? Order a gourmet meal in, rent a favorite movie, buy them their favorite indulgence, and trade massages. Tie in a traditional gift. They are popular for a reason; perfume, candy, flowers, jewelry, additions to a collection or hobby. Put in the time and thought and create a special memory.
Are you an adventurous couple? Plan an evening excursion. If you live in a cold climate, bundle up and go for a special walk. Live in the south or west? Visit a nature area for a romantic walk in a local park. Bring a picnic dinner and a bottle of wine.
Laser tag or video games your guilty pleasure? How about a valentine’s day session?
If your partner swoons for jewelry, flowers, and candy; get the best for less. Take a beautiful glass dish from the dollar store and fill it with an assortment of bagged candy from the supermarket; elegant and cheap. You don’t have to spring for roses, buy a more affordable variety of flower and put in a vase you already own. Personally, I love costume jewelry. Shower your honey with a new watch, necklace, or bracelet. Check out Kohl’s, Target, Macy’s, and JC Penney’s, you’re certain to snare a bargain.
Smart Marriages lists 50 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Less. Some of these clever ideas are adapted from the PDF.
Burn a CD with romantic love songs.
Make a quick movie “card” espousing your love. I think I’ll try this one and email it to El Carino at work! Update; just made one with “10 Ten Things I Love About You”. Don’t worry about making it perfect, the more personal, the better.
Have kids? Bake valentines cookies together then send the kids to watch a movie while mom and dad have some couples’ time.
Don’t want to spring for an expensive restaurant meal? Go to a cozy spot after dinner for a special valentines day dessert.
If one spouse normally cooks, let the non-chef surprise their partner with a special meal.
Mighty Bargain Hunter eschews the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts with surprise gifts throughout the year. Why not celebrate Valentines Day this year on Saturday, February 18, when related gifts are 50% off or more?
For more ideas, stop by Invest it Wisely and read this super romantic article about 3 Frugal Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day.
What are your cheap valentine’s day ideas?