Feb 1, 2012. By Savvy Sugar contributed to learnvest.com
Valentine’s is a holiday that celebrates your relationship, but it’s also a time when retailers rejoice, because it’s an occasion when wallets come out. Try not to buy into the V-day hype—you don’t have to blow chunks of cash for a romantic mood.
After all, you can’t buy love and good memories! Read on for some frugal tips to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
1. Make Each Other Laugh
Instead of lavishing cash on expensive gifts, consider doing a gag gift exchange with your partner. Maybe it’s a roll of toilet paper with lip imprints stamped all over it ($7) or a giant bleeding gummy candy heart ($7), you can have a blast with your sweetie and aim to spend less than $10 on a gift.
2. Do a Bar Excursion
Savvy Sugar reader gumdrops334 suggested going to a “wine bar or bar instead of a restaurant and only get drinks and snacks.” Bar outings are more convenient because you can leave and arrive when you please. As Valentine’s falls on a Tuesday this year, you might find yourself rushing from work to make it to your restaurant booking on time. Cut down on the stress and the time restraints by having dinner at home, then leisurely wander over to a bar if the both of you feel up to it.
3. Watch Romantic Movies
Share a bowl of popcorn and pop a movie that you’re dying to see or an old favorite. You can also relive your early dating days by watching the first movie you ever watched together. Check out BuzzSugar’s list of most romantic movie moments for inspiration.
4. Share a Present
Combine finance forces together with your honey, and brainstorm for one gift that you both can enjoy together. Maybe it’s a practical item like an everyday gadget or something more indulgent like a nice bottle of wine.
5. Celebrate After
Avoid the hectic rush on Valentine’s Day, and push off your plans to the weekend. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy the romantic holiday without work hanging over your head, and you don’t have to deal with the V-day mark-ups from retailers and restaurants.
6. Have a Game Night
What better way to pass the night than playing some entertaining games with your honey? Geek out with some of these video games, or go the traditional board game route. One of my personal favorites to play with that special someone is Life Stories ($20), a storytelling question-and-answer board game.
7. Make Handmade Vouchers
Giving the gift of experience is a creative and personal present that your partner would enjoy. Write out vouchers for anything from a massage to a romantic dance. Another good option is to offer an IOU for a chore your partner dislikes to do.
8. Pick Rose Alternatives
Florists increase the prices of traditional Valentine’s flowers during the holiday, so pick some nontraditional alternatives to lower the costs. You can also giving more functional choices like rosemary or basil plants. If you’re set on giving roses, mix it up with other varieties to save.
9. Take a Moonlit Walk
After a hearty meal, stroll with your honey under the moon for a romantic night out. Head toward a nearby park or beach and gaze at the stars. You can also choose to wander aimlessly and explore new routes.
10. Meaningful Message
Words from the bottom of your heart are priceless, so write love letters expressing how you feel, or even lists like “10 Reasons Why I Love You” would make sweet presents.
11. Revisiting Memories
It’s time to bring out your old albums and scrapbooks and reminisce over your photo memories! If you prefer to go digital, compile a Flickr album of your pictures and click through them together with your partner.
12. Cooking for Two
Eating home-cooked meals sure beats those pricey meals at restaurants. Stay in and cook with your partner, and try new dishes if you’re feeling adventurous. YumSugar has great tips on creating a perfect dinner for two.
13. Home Tourists
Don’t take a romantic trip far from home—find your escape at a local hotel if you want the travel experience. The savviest way to go about this: If you’re a loyal hotel rewards card member, use this holiday to use up your points toward your Valentine’s stay.
14. Online Deals
There are plenty of Valentine’s-themed deals on online coupon sites like Groupon and PopSugar Shop, so keep your eye out on great bargains you can enjoy with your other half. Buying a half-off coupon for a restaurant the both of you would love to try or greatly discounted deal for pastries you can share will be the perfect complement to your V-day planning.