5 Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Valentine’s Day Without Breaking the Bank
By: Russell Pinto Jr
Whether you’re a budget conscious couple, or newlyweds still recovering from the sticker shock & cost of your Big Day, Valentine’s Day can get very costly – but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 pro tips on how to make the most out of Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.
1. Consider making it a double!
A double dinner date at home is a great way to make the most out of Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. A major benefit of sharing the evening with another couple – or just a couple of friends – is splitting the cost of the meal. If you’re hosting the dinner, then you should cook the main meal. Ask your guests to bring wine, a nice bottle of bubbly, a decadent dessert or the makings for a delicious seasonal cocktail.
When we first started dating, my wife and I fell into the typical fanfare of going out to a fancy dinner for Valentine’s Day. We quickly learned that we can make an exponentially better tasting and higher quality meal at home – for much less than you would spend at a restaurant! Now, every year, we opt to stay in for Valentine’s Day, and share the day with friends. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating all kinds of love, right? So why not make the best of the day by spending it with people that you cherish.
To make it extra special, bust out your best plates, linen napkins and light candles to create a warm ambiance. If you feel like splurging, go and run down to the corner bodega, grab an inexpensive bunch of flowers, and put them in your nicest vase.
2. Don’t celebrate on the prime days.
February 14th is a great day for restaurants and hotels– they get to jack up their prices, typically in the form of expensive prix fixe dinners or romantic weekend packages. The good news is that we have the opportunity, heck, the right, to choose when we want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. You can score a much better deal by avoiding the actual holiday – even electing to celebrate the day before or after can save you bundles of money. Ditto on Valentine’s Day cards, candy and other paraphernalia.
3. Plan ahead.
No matter what you decide to do, don’t wait until the last minute!
If you’re making a dinner reservation, make sure to secure the reservation well in advance in order to ensure that you don’t get stuck going someplace more expensive just because they had an available dinner reservation.
If you’re personalizing or buying a gift online, make sure to double check production & shipping details, as to ensure you place your order with enough time so that you won’t incur any rush production fees or expedited shipping fees, which can end up costing you a lot of extra money.
4. Get sentimental.
Go ahead and tug at your partner’s heart-strings by creating a date night that has more sentimental value than monetary value. For my first date with my wife, we went to a cute but casual Thai restaurant in the neighborhood. Even though it isn’t a very fancy place and is downright cheap, we always feel extra lovey-dovey when we go there, remembering our first date from years ago. Recreating a happy memory can be extremely romantic but doesn’t have to cost much: Netflix the first movie you watched together, walk by the place where you shared your first kiss, or just cuddle up on the couch with a bottle of wine and scroll through some old photos.
Some girls aren’t the hearts-and-flowers type, so instead of going down that well-worn path, try to find something specific to your partner that will be meaningful and appreciated. What does he or she like? Try a hand-made card or gift – create a shadowbox of past memorabilia including programs & ticket stubs, or a simple, homemade greeting card with some words from the heart.
5. Go the extra mile.
Relationships can be hard work, and sometimes it is easy to do just enough to get by. Valentine’s Day is not one of those times. For a moment, forget about the nice dinner, flowers, and candy – these are just material things. What does your partner really need right now to feel special and loved? Perhaps this means something as simple as surprising your partner by doing all of the household chores you know he despises, or getting the kids off to school while she sleeps for an extra hour. This might not sound very romantic, but trust me, it makes more of an impact than overpriced roses. Taking that extra step to make sure that your significant other knows how special they are to you doesn’t have a price tag – it’s priceless.
How are you planning to make the most of Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank? I want to hear about it. Tell me in the comment section below.