As I said last year, I don’t actually do Valentine’s Day.  It’s crowded, gift prices go up, and no one really has enough time and space for romance. This year will be even worse, because it falls on a Saturday that is also part of a holiday weekend. Cue the mad dash to a romantic getaway. Except that everyone else will be going to those same places. Yuck. Here are eight frugal Valentine’s day ideas that will help you avoid the crowds.

Skip It
Seriously. I know Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the big romantic day, but I prefer to make the rest of the year more romantic instead of loading up one single day with the duty.

Stay Home for a Nice Dinner
Since I know some people (i.e. women) can’t give up the idea of Valentine’s Day, why not stay home? Light a fire in the fireplace, cook a romantic dinner, and then play a game together. It will be much more romantic then sitting in traffic for an hour to reach a crowded restaurant.

Delay Valentine’s Day a Week
Last year I recommended delaying it a day if you plan to go out to eat, but this year you should probably delay it a week. Because it falls on a Saturday before a holiday, you could be stuck eating whatever the restaurant has leftover if you go out the next day. It may also still be crowded if you live in a touristy area. If you wait a week, the restaurants will be empty, the prices will be normal again, and the food will be fresh.

Skip Presents
Do you really need Valentine’s Day gifts? Won’t a simple card do? I much prefer a card to some trinket or pack of love coupons that will just be shoved into a drawer and forgotten. At least I can recycle the card. If you must get presents, but them the next day when they’ll be marked down to half price.

Enjoy the Outdoors
If it’s warm enough, pack a picnic. If it’s too cold, then go ice skating, take a wintery walk, or drive up into the mountains. It’s romantic, it’s alone-time, and it will probably be less crowded.

Have a Romantic Movie Night
If you’re not big on cooking, then load up your DVD queue with romantic movies. Or go rent a few at the local store (tip: rent them Thursday or Friday so the good titles aren’t taken already.) Then mix up a big batch of popcorn and settle in under a toasty blanket together. Bonus points for not making it all the way through the first movie!

Make Truffles
Don’t feel like paying $3 for one chocolate truffle? Make 18-36 for about the same price. You can flavor my truffle recipe any way you want.

Don’t Bother Getting Out of Bed
Isn’t “bed” really the main event of Valentine’s Day anyway? So why not just stay in it all day? Make breakfast together, then eat it in bed. Read the paper or books together. Bring the laptop in to watch DVDs. Have a lunchtime picnic in bed, and then later follow it up with dinner in bed. People pay hundreds of dollars to do the same exact thing in some trendy bars or restaurants. You can do that nearly free at home. At home, you can also do whatever else it is you enjoy doing in bed without being arrested.

Do you have other frugal Valentine’s Day ideas? If you do, share them in the comments. As a non-celebrator, I don’t have all the inside scoop on making it a cheap yet romantic day.


7 Responses to “8 Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas”

  1. sarah on January 29th, 2009 5:22 am

    I don’t celebrate- the entire idea if a bit distasteful, forced displays of emotion pretty much killing any genuine emotion for me.

    I take exception to the statement, “some people (i.e. women) can’t give up the idea of Valentine’s Day,” seeing as I’m the one in my relationship who opted out of this false and commercial holiday. I know I’m not the only woman who feels this way.

  2. Aryn on January 29th, 2009 10:50 am

    Sorry to offend, Sarah! It was meant as a joke. For the record, I’m a woman, too.

  3. George on January 30th, 2009 1:33 am

    I got the joke. Don’t worry about it Aryn. Also, if you decide that you have to go out. Check out this website It shows cheap places to eat around the US.

  4. Kylie on January 30th, 2009 10:17 am

    Valentine’s Day is a holiday where coming up with new gift ideas is always difficult. No one wants that expected bouquet of roses every year, so we try to surprise our special someone. Well this year I came up with a great gift idea for my boyfriend. With help from this article..
    I was able to book my boyfriend and I, a little four day getaway for only $4. Yea, I know sounds crazy but it’s true.. I got the hotel for only $1 a night.

  5. Fesitval of Frugality #163rd Edition | My Journey to Millions on February 2nd, 2009 10:12 pm

    [...] presents 8 Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas posted at Sound Money Matters. While #1 is good, you have to check out #8! I don’t think The [...]

  6. Ashley on February 8th, 2010 8:31 am

    My husband and I don’t go out or buy anything for each other. We just take the time to get eachother a nice card and write where our relationship is now, how much we care for one another, what we will promise to eachother to compromise on and etc. Then we stay in all day and just be together. I loved the stay in bed all day idea. :)

  7. Aryn on February 8th, 2010 12:05 pm

    Ashley, I love that idea. I hope you date those cards and save them so that fifty years from now you can look back at your annual record of where you were.

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