Ten Valentines Day
Money-Saving Ideas

It's not necessary to break the bank in order to express your love on Valentine's Day.  Here are some romantic money-saving Valentines Day ideas to help you stay on budget and out of debt.

Remember the great Beatles' song, "Can't Buy Me Love?"

Be creative to come up with a memorable V-Day without spending a lot of money. 

These 10 ideas money-saving Valentines Day ideas should warm her (or his) heart and make your wallet happy as well.

  • Recreate the beginning (or a memorable moment) of your romance.  Whether your relationship began at work, at a party, or at a bus stop, returning to that spot and re-staging that moment can re-capture precious (and romantic) memories.
  • Deliver gifts from the heart.  Instead of buying gifts, why not offer to do a least favorite chore (or one you've been neglecting), or make a gift based on your talents?  Sometimes this can be a simple as a gift of your time (and undivided attention), especially if your life has been hectic lately.  Just arrange to spend a quiet day together, engaged in your favorite activity, even if that's just staying at home and enjoying each other's company.

  • Skip (or substitute) the roses.  Yes, a dozen red roses are the classic gift for Valentine's Day.  But usually, because of the demand, prices are jacked up significantly for V-Day, and if you're late in going to pick them out, you may be left with very few choices.  What you do find may not look so great, and, because the demand is so high, roses are "held back" for Valentine's Day, so the bouquet you pick may have already been held in a refrigerator for couple of weeks and will begin to wilt in just a couple of days.  What a bummer, especially after you spend so much money on them!  Instead, why not choose either a different color of roses, which may look better than the available red ones, or choose her favorite flower (assuming it's not roses).  If you just HAVE to have red roses, think about delivering them a couple of days early so she can enjoy them before Valentine's Day.  You'll have a much better selection then.
  • Ask!  If you are at a loss for ideas, ask your significant other about his/her best or ideal Valentine's Day.  Listen for clues you might pick up about gifts, activities, or certain places you might try.  Another BIG tip:  Don't wait until the day before to try to come up with an idea!  You can collect creative Valentine's Day ideas all year.
  • Cook a romantic dinner at home.  That will always be less expensive than going out, and as long as you won't be interrupted by kids, it's a more intimate setting and shows that you spent some time planning and delivering it.
  • If you must go out, do some homework ahead of time.  Most good restaurants will be booked long before Valentine's Day, so make reservations as soon as you can, at least a week ahead of time, more if possible, to prevent disappointment.  Or choose another day to go out, perhaps the night before.  Just know that menus may be more limited, and prices may be a little higher if you insist on going out to eat on February 14, so plan accordingly.
  • Take advantage of coupons, free passes and points.  But first, check to make sure they're not blacked out on Valentine's Day (some probably will be).  If you have a rewards credit card, for example, you may be able to use some rewards points to pay for dinner and/or a hotel room.  Just explore your options.  
  • Consider alternatives.  Why pay more for champagne or cocktails at the restaurant if there's a nearby happy hour where you can save a little money, OR think about buying a bottle of her favorite bubbly and going somewhere romantic to watch the sunset before heading to the restaurant (just be careful not to drink and drive).  
  • Take a staycation.  Send the kids to stay with grandma if necessary (or possible), and just spend a day visiting local museums, parks, or other attractions, or some little out-of-the-way restaurant you always wanted to try.  Even a local hotel might offer you a better deal than traveling out of town.
  • Bling responsibly.  If your plans for this Valentine's Day include a marriage proposal or another grand (expensive) gesture of romance, plan well in advance so you can get advice on what you're buying and make sure it's in line with your loved one's taste.  Maybe ask relatives for suggestions.  You never know, there may be a family member with a family heirloom ring they want to pass along, or they might offer to you at a friendly price.  By the time your relationship reaches this stage, you should know whether she wants to pick out her own ring.  Many women do prefer to choose their own jewelry, and this is a piece that you want her to love for the rest of her life, so see if you can determine whether it's important to her to help select it, or if she'd rather be surprised.  After all, you don't want to spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on something she really doesn't like.

Bottom line:  Just remember, Valentine's Day is about expressing your love, not emptying your wallet.  Be creative and engineer a memorable day without going into debt or dipping too far into savings.  Create memories, not debt. 


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