Affordable and Practical Ways to Mark the Day for Lovers

If your bank balance is at its all-time low after the shopping sprees during Christmas and the New Year holidays, you probably dread thinking about getting the ideal Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone. But fret not. Here are some frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without losing all the romance.

Eat in on Valentine’s Day

Cooking at home costs very little. Those who are experts in the kitchen should really opt to dine in. A flop in the kitchen? No worries. Get Mum or a friend to prepare the dishes the day before and freeze them first. Then heat the dishes up when it’s time for that romantic candlelit dinner.

To make it more memorable, dress up for dinner even if you and your partner are not going out. Play your favorite songs as you tuck into the delicious home-cooked dishes. You can even convert the living room into a mini ballroom and dance the night away.

Have Coffee Instead of Dinner

If you both really must go out instead of staying in, have a simple meal at home first. Then dress up and have a coffee and dessert at a fancy, romantic café or bistro. This way, both of you will be able to savor the romantic ambiance without paying the hefty price of an expensive meal on this particular day. Remember to make the drink last, though. It will cost just as much as a dinner if there are orders after orders of drinks!

Stage a Movie Marathon

Rent some movies and watch them non-stop after dinner. The neighborhood video store will have loads of choices for you and your loved one. Pick a few that you both have watched in the early days of the relationship and relive the wonderful moments you had experienced before. Snuggle up comfortably on the couch and enjoy the movies. And of course, don’t forget the popcorn, chips and soft drinks.

Make Own Valentine’s Day Gifts

Those who can’t afford expensive gifts can create their own gifts for their partners too. Make use of your talent. Portraits, paintings, framed photographs, cookies and cakes, CDs with your favorite songs, knitted scarves and sweaters are items that can be made by those with the right skills. When you make and present your own gifts, the labor of love is often much more appreciated than a gift bought from the store.

Offer Free Valentine’s Day “Coupons”

Even if you have no talent whatsoever to make anything to give that special someone, you can still create your own free service “coupons” or “vouchers” for him or her. Create coupons for a free foot rub, a free massage, a free car wash, a free day with the boys or just about anything that will thrill the other half. To make the coupons look more original, use the computer and the fonts and colors available to create the book of free coupons.

Buy Valentine’s Day Present in Advance

If you feel the need to buy something, don’t wait until the week before Valentine’s Day to start hunting for that perfect gift. Shops are open all year round and there are great bargains from time to time. Get something special for your loved one during those sales. The same strategy can be applied for birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents. It saves time and money.

Quiet Quality Time Together

Sometimes, you don’t even need a romantic dinner or any gifts. Just some quiet, quality time together is enough. A leisurely stroll in the park (provided the weather is okay), a trip to the library or bookstore to browse books and magazines or even watching TV at home can be memorable as well. If you have kids, leave them in the care of a babysitter or a trusted friend on that day.

There are frugal ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It just takes a little bit of planning and some effort. Impressive gifts are wonderful but entirely unnecessary if the relationship is founded on love, trust and devotion. After all, it’s the thought that counts.