Sense & Centsibility Blog
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Throwback: finance & romance

This Thursday brings one of those holidays people either love or hate: Valentine's Day. For those of us who enthusiastically celebrate the holiday, it's easy to get caught up in the red roses, boxes of chocolates, and romantic dinners and overspend. With a little quick planning, you can celebrate the one you love and avoid breaking the bank!

At the start of the year, my significant other and I agreed on an ambitious savings plan. We knew that executing the plan would mean cutting back on some expenses and Valentine’s Day became our first clear savings opportunity.

Our original plans included an evening out at our favorite Italian restaurant followed by a movie. Restaurant reservations were set, but as we began discussing movies it struck us: our fancy night out was impeding our savings goals.

Why not use all of that money for a nice Valentine’s Day AND our savings goals? We could swap out our original plans for more cost effective options and put the leftover cash straight into savings.

Become the Chef

Adjusting our dinner plans didn’t mean eating a meal we wouldn’t enjoy. Instead, we found a relatively simple looking recipe for a creamy lobster ravioli and created a grocery list.

Luckily, we usually keep a few bottles of wine around the house, which we will gladly utilize for this special occasion. 

To provide a dessert and gift for both of us, I raided our pantry and found the supplies to make peanut butter filled chocolates. A little effort meant big savings!

Tip: Be sure to check your pantry for supplies before heading to the grocery store. Utilizing items you already have will definitely create an opportunity for savings every day of the year.

Frills for Less

Giving or receiving gifts can feel like an important part of Valentine’s Day. This year we have elected to forgo gifts, but we have used some creative methods for other occasions.

My husband often purchases candy bouquets, which I adore and it’s cheaper than heading to your local florist.

Tip: Re-use vases! Every time my husband sends me flowers, I save the vase. If he wants to grab flowers from the local grocery store, he can save by arranging them himself in one of our vases.

Creative Entertainment

This time of year, I’m always begging my husband to accompany me to films I hadn’t heard of until the Academy acknowledged their greatness.

Although I try to see them all, I miss a majority of these fantastic works every year. Instead of trying to squeeze in one of this year’s hottest flicks, I looked back a few years for a film I regretted missing.

For me, that film was Whiplash, which I happened to nab on sale.

Tip: If you’re like my husband and I, we already own several movies we love or haven’t watched. Not into owning movies? There are plenty of places to rent movies for under $4.00.

In the end, we saved $135.01 with our stripped down Valentine’s Day celebration. Do you and your significant other have thrifty plans this Valentine’s Day? Let us know your plan for romance on a budget!

Author Tracie Fauth is a Marketing Specialist with LSS Financial Counseling.