On the most romantic day of the year, love notes will be exchanged and flowers will be bought, but do you know how money can be saved? According to Global News, Canadians will on average spend over 1.5 million dollars total on Valentine’s Day flowers, lingerie, dining and chocolates.
Are you part of this group that spends a lot on the woman/man/kids you love? Why not cut down this year and save your money? I cannot promise that your partner or kids will be happy they did not get the 12 dozen long stem over-priced roses or you do not have reservations for the fancy restaurant in town, however, I can promise that you can spend your money elsewhere and be just as happy with that decision. Below is a list of 10 Tips to Trim your Valentine’s Day Budget:
1) Cook at Home
This is probably the most obvious. The majority of good sit-down restaurants in town are booked, cramped and not romantic at all with all the people crowded into one space. Fine dining restaurants often have set price menus that are over-priced to begin with for this special holiday. Why not find a new recipe to try as a couple or family at home, have the kids set up a romantic dining room atmosphere with candles, table cloth and special music. You could even get the kids to make menus while the dinner is being prepared. Check out the Dollar Store for some cheap decorations.
2) Chocolates and Candy
Instead of buying expensive chocolates, why not buy and prepare your own cake or brownie mix, frost it and put a special love message with candies on top.
3) Make your own Valentine Cards
The average price of a Hallmark card these days can run upwards of $6 or more. Homemade cards are just as nice and you can add your own personal message of love inside. You can even make your own Valentine cards for your children’s class on the computer ~ lots of images they can download and use online, extremely unique and classy for all ages.
4) Valentine Love Coupons
Instead of gifts, why not give your loved ones “I Love U Coupons”. Some great ideas for the kids coupons include: redeem a free room cleaning; get out of doing the laundry for a day; and a free pass to not have to take out the trash. For your partner, you can be as creative as you want with their coupons, I do not need to give you any ideas here 😉 (wink)
5) Celebrating a Week Later
If your partner/kids really wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out for a nice meal, why not celebrate Valentines’ day the week AFTER or BEFORE. It will definitely not be as crowded and hustle and bustle will have calmed down. February 14 is just a day; you should love each other every day (feel free to use this on your family/partner to get them to agree with this decision).
6) Cheap Gift Ideas ~ Make a CD
Everyone loves a good tune in the car or a great song to listen to while they are cleaning, why not get some old classics you as a couple used to listen to and make a CD. Who does not like to listen to classics that bring smiles to our face remembering the memories of our younger years!
7) Photo Booth
Turn the very popular photo booth you see at weddings/events into a fun event to do at home on Valentine’s Day. Set up a sheet in an area in your home, get some fun props, maybe have the kids dress up as the parents, and the parents dress up as the kids, recreate your wedding pictures and have fun!
8) Massage and Love
As a couponer with a growing stock pile of creams and lotions, I am sure we can all get rid of some with a special sensual massage.
9) Cheap Gift Idea
Calendar of Love: There were a ton of FREE calendars offered by many great companies this year. Why not use one of those to make a special “love calendar” for your partner. Write in special events: wedding date, date you met, birth of your child, etc. Then come up with some fun activities you plan to do together: getting a babysitter to have date night, renting a movie, or simply going on a walk together once a week for the month of April. Place 3 or 4 “to do’s” in the calendar per month and stick to it. We all know we sometimes forget to have “us” time, great way to stay in love all year long.
10) The Scavenger Love Hunt
Works great for kids and lovers, set up a long scavenger hunt around the house, finding clues and leaving special messages along the way about reasons you love them or why they are such great kids.
And finally remember, the best Valentine’s gift is time spent together. Pull out some board games, cards, watch a movie on TV, pull out some old photos/videos and reminisce, the ideas are endless. Time spent together is FREE and it is a great time to remember why you fell in love with one another to begin with.
This article has recently been updated and was written by Christine (aka Coupon Christine), a contributing author of PromotionalCode.ca, who is passionate about couponing and saving money. An avid couponer since early 2011, she’s easily saved well over $15,000. Her coupon resume includes a very busy website at CouponChristine.com; video blog series on Dealzinga.com/blog, TV appearances on several local stations, radio shows and print articles in the Londoner and Metro. She also has been an invited guest at the London Home Show and Women’s Lifestyle Show.