Valentine’s Day is less than a week away and so is the barrage of dinners, flowers, chocolates and presents. While I laude the idea of Valentine’s day; from a personal finance point of view, I don’t think it needs to be celebrated in the ‘traditional’ way. There are numerous opportunities to save money without skimping on the romance. Before you scoff at the idea of not spending a few hundred dollars this Valentine’s Day, read on..
Getting Rid of the Expensive Dinner
On Valentine’s day, it seems like every halfway decent restaurant in the city tries to jack up their prices by adding a fixed course menu. One creative alternative to going out involves typing out a fancy menu and making dinner at home. Nothing says romantic like a bottle of wine and a nice Italian dinner; there are some great simple romantic recipes online. Alternatively, why not celebrate the big day by going out the night before, or even after Valentine’s Day? The day after, prices return back to normal, and you won’t need a reservation two weeks in advance.
Making the Chocolates
One of the best gifts I ever received was a bouquet of chocolate dipped fruit. However, the price on these bouquets is astronomical. You can actually melt certain types of chocolate pretty easily, and if you have a creative side, add a little flair. Here’s a simple chocolate dipped strawberry recipe I’ve used in the past. This really is an impressive present(great for guys!), and doesn’t require too much work or cost.
What about the Card?
We have a solution for that too; there are some great options on Shutterfly where you can customize photo cards, make collages or even make a small romantic booklet. The price range will vary depending on what you want, but most of the time the prints are available for local pick-up at retailers like Walmart, Target or CVS. This is a great alternative to a generic $5 Valentine’s Day card you pick up at the grocery store on your way home from work.
Don’t Cheap out on the Flowers
If you feel inclined to spend money on one aspect of V-Day, this is it! Women love flowers, there’s something special about a dozen roses or a nice bouquet of flowers. But instead of having them delivered, make a personal trip at lunch time to hand deliver. This will show how much you care and save you some cash.
Most of these options may seem like a little more work, but that is the trade-off when you’re saving money. The key is knowing what to sacrifice. Sacrifice what you must, but splurge on the thing that makes you or your Valentine the most happy. Take some, none or all of these ideas and use them to create your own special day. If you try making dinner at home and hate it or spill chocolate all over the kitchen, there’s always next year..
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