Budget-Friendly Ideas for Valentine’s Day … or any Day

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Feb 2021

There are plenty of ways to romance your sweetheart without breaking the bank. All it takes is a little planning and creativity.


Dining on a Dime

Dinner reservations may be difficult to book this February 14th, and even if you can score one, it’ll probably come with a hefty price tag. Why not cook up a meal from scratch with some romantic ambiance at home? Lay out a white tablecloth, light some tapers, eat off the good china and prepare a dish they’ll love, whether it’s spaghetti and meatballs, chicken cordon bleu or stir-fried veggies with tofu. You can linger at the table as long as you want, and you don’t need to leave a tip.


Cut Candy Costs

Forgo the pricey store-bought chocolates for a sweet home-baked treat. The price of fancy foil-wrapped confections in heart-shaped boxes can be a budget buster. But you can do something a lot more unique that shows you’ve put your heart into each and every delicious bite. Bake a batch of mini cookies, cupcakes or homemade fudge and pack a love note with them.


Frugal Flowers

Red roses are so commonplace on Valentine’s Day that they’ve become almost cliché. Break the norm — and save money — by giving your loved one his or her favorite flower, whatever that may be. A bouquet of daisies, peonies or gardenias with their amazing perfume can go a long way toward helping your romance bloom. Or gift a live flowering plant to symbolize how your love will grow over time.


Gift Thrift

Present your sweetheart with one of these frugal-but-fabulous tokens of your affection.


1. Budget-friendly bauble. If you want to give jewelry but can’t afford something 14-karat, take a stroll to the local vintage shop and find an interesting treasure with a history for a fraction of the price such as a ruby red rhinestone or a sterling silver locket.


2. Memory montage. Another great idea is a small photo album. As most photographs stay on hard drives these days, a memory album is a lovely keepsake. Be sure to add some blank pages at the end to leave room for the memories you’ll make together in the future.  


3. Love story. Purchase a poetry book, a love story or even a coffee table book of Renaissance artwork. Then, inscribe it with a dedication. Remember, you don’t have to be Shakespeare — it’s the sentiment that counts. 


Economical Entertainment

There are plenty of low-cost, high-romance activities to choose from. How about a romantic stroll through a museum gazing at masterpieces depicting lovers through the ages? Or visit a public garden and steal a kiss among the snowdrops? If it’s cold enough, head out for some ice skating and then snuggle by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa — with marshmallows of course!


The Finale

Wrap up the night by lighting some candles and slow dancing to a personalized playlist of your favorite ballads. Remember that the best things in life are often the things that money can’t buy.

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