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.
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.
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!
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.