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

As 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 [3])