Sense & Centsibility Blog

Six Tips for a Cheaper Valentine’s Day

Personally, I’m not a big Valentine’s Day kind of lady. This is one of those holidays that feels like the greeting card people made it a big deal to make some money. However, I do like an excuse to have a nice dinner &/or eat chocolate or dessert, so I’m definitely not against this holiday. At the same time, I don’t really care to spend (or have my husband spend) a ton of money on a holiday that for me is really just another day.

Couple in winterWith that said, whether or not YOU want to celebrate it might not matter if your partner, spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend does. So here are some ways for you both to enjoy Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank:

  1. Stay in and make a home-cooked meal. If you’re a good cook, making dinner at home might be the perfect gift. And if you’re really not that great of a cook or don’t cook at all, this may be an especially nice treat for your significant other because it will be unexpected…and they’ll appreciate the effort.
  1. Order take-out and stream a movie. Dinner doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy; sometimes pizza or Chinese food hits the spot. And if you already have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or another streaming service, you can watch any kind of movie the two of you may like. If not, hit up Redbox for a cheap rental. If you lead hectic lives, a simple night in may be just what you both want.
  1. Go out for dessert. Keep dinner simple at home and head somewhere for your favorite dessert. That way you still get out, but not eating dinner out will save you quite a bit of money. Or, bring home a nice dessert and bottle of your favorite beverage.
  1. Make homemade gifts for each other. Yep, I know…this sounded cheesy to me even while I was writing this sentence. But I’m not necessarily talking about making cards for each other. Think about what the other person really likes or uses. For instance, I love homemade sugar scrubs. All you need is sugar, coconut oil, and your favorite essential oil. There may be a little investment in the beginning, but you can make several batches from what you purchase. (I’m always happy when I receive this as a gift!) For more ideas, check out Pinterest or Google DIY gifts.
  1. Go ice-skating or take a hike. This year Valentines’s Day is on a Sunday so you could make a day of it…and with the decent weather we’ve been having, spending the afternoon outdoors might be really nice. Have hot chocolate with whipped cream ready for when you get home for a little bonus treat.
  1. Surprise her/him with a clean house. While s/he is out, clean the house &/or decorate a room with hearts and candy. You’d be surprised how far that gesture alone will go. :)

Regardless what you decide to do if you put in a little effort and planning, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll make the special person in your life happy. It doesn’t have to be a holiday to plan something fun to do. Check out "10 Cheap Date Night Ideas" for more ideas that won't break the bank.

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.