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Frugal Love: 9 Low-Cost Valentine’s Day Ideas

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Valentine's Day 2011 CollectionAs February 14 steals ever closer, many wonder what they can do to show how much they care — without breaking the bank. The good news is that the vastness of your love doesn’t have to be measured in dollars.

Indeed, if you can find a heartfelt, sincere way to express your love, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. A good relationship doesn’t have to be based on expensive things and grand gestures. Instead, here are 9 ideas that will cost you less, and help you show your love more:

  1. Play hooky together: Instead of going in to work, take the day off. Or, take a half day. Either way, you can play hooky together and have a great time. This is especially effective if your kids are in school. You don’t have to pay a baby-sitter and you can spend some quality time taking a walk, watching a movie at home, or going to lunch (which is much less expensive than going to dinner).
  2. Save on flowers: Instead of getting flowers for Valentine’s Day, get them a couple of weeks early, or a couple of weeks late. My husband almost always gets me my Valentine’s Day bouquet sometime around the end of January. The flowers are just as beautiful, and just as romantic — but at half the price.
  3. Share your feelings: Write little notes expressing how you feel, or sharing the good qualities of your significant other. Leave them for your partner to find in unexpected places like the purse or wallet, inside a frequently used drawer, or some other hiding place. Best of all: If your partner doesn’t find them all on Valentine’s Day, s/he will get a fun reminder later on.
  4. Cook dinner together: You don’t have to go out to have a romantic dinner. If possible, cook dinner together. Make something you both like, and enjoy it — add candles for a special touch. It’ll provide you with some quality time as you cook together, and then eat slowly.
  5. Use deal specials: If you must go out, use deal specials. Look for discounted gift certificates online, and get your meal for cheap. Just remember that the tip is supposed to be on the original cost of the meal.
  6. Go for dessert instead: If you want to get out, but don’t want to spend the money for dinner, consider just going for dessert. You can pay a sitter to come for a couple hours (less expensive than an entire evening) and head to the local pastry shop or coffee shop. Share a dessert and have some coffee or cocoa, then head back home.
  7. Get your candy for less: Don’t worry about having candy on the day-of. Instead, consider how much you can save if you head to the store on February 15th. Go shopping together and pick out your favorite chocolates for 50% to 75% off. Yum!
  8. Memory box: Decorate an empty box, and then fill it with favorite memories. Use items that remind you of times spent together, including photos, ticket stubs, and small trinkets. Your partner can go through it and remember all the loving times you’ve shared.
  9. Homemade goodies: You can make homemade goodies for Valentine’s day together. Heart-shaped cookies, chocolate-drizzled popcorn, and other tasty treats. Create a special dessert for dinner, that you two can share with a special drink and a movie later. No need to go out.

(Photo: Sugar Daze)

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5 Responses to “Frugal Love: 9 Low-Cost Valentine’s Day Ideas”

  1. These are great ideas, especially for students and I’m going to share them at Economically Humble, a site where I share ideas for students.

  2. MJB says:

    I send valentines to my family and a few friends and also I give them to some co-workers. I use the same ones kids give each other in school. I buy them the previous year on close out but in the last several years, I’ve found the best cards in dollar stores, not in Target, CVS, etc…

  3. I’m not romantic, so I never come up with stuff like this. I think these are fantastic ideas. Particularly the one about having just the dessert instead of an entire meal out. Maybe it can be combined with your 1st tip, play hooky together. I can see taking a half day and enjoying a decadent dessert with my Valentine for lunch.

    Your tip, get your candy for less reminded me that my mom would buy our Easter baskets the day after the holiday when we were kids. They were so much cheaper and us kids didn’t mind one bit.

  4. Shirley says:

    My husband’s computer has a changeable centered picture for his desktop wallpaper. I use a valentine picture or saying and put that there so that he sees it with his morning coffee.

  5. If only everyone could have such a low-cost girlfriend! Still, I definitely appreciated the underlying message of the blog, namely that intent is more important than money spent when it comes to love and romance. There are more ways to show that you care then through money. Spending time together, sharing intimate moments, and shutting out the rest of the world can result in a wonderful Valentine’s Day and a heightened sense of connection.


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