As a young couple living on a limited budget, my boyfriend and I have found alternate ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without spending too much money. Valentine’s Day can be one of the most expensive holidays. A 2011 survey by the market research firm BIGresearch projected that Americans would spend a total of $3.4 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day dinner last year, with the average romantic meal adding up to $116.21.
Here are a few ways to spend Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank:
1. Stay in. Don’t want to face the crowds of couples and pricey menus? Stay in and plan your own romantic meal for two. Two years ago, my boyfriend and I hit up our local Whole Foods Market and purchased whole wheat pizza dough, cheese, and an assortment of veggie toppings. Together, we made our own homemade pizza. Making our own dinner, we were able to work together and enjoy a delicious meal that we had created together! Even if you are not a top chef, many grocery stores have pre-made dinner for two packages. Serve by candlelight and viola! You have created a romantic setting you can both feel good about.
2. Make your own card. It is no secret that Valentine’s Day cards are just a overpriced piece of paper with cheesy quotes. Make your own card that can actually represent how you feel about your partner. Even if you are not the super creative type (I’m not), a homemade card carries loads more sentiment than its store bought counterpart. Have a favorite author or poet? Search Google for a romantic quote by them. Even better, use your partner’s favorite author or poet!
3. Celebrate on a different day. You can save a good bit of money by going out to dinner on a different night. As Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year, restaurants tend to jack up prices. Besides Valentine’s Day, February is a relatively low revenue month for restaurants. Choose another night to go out, and check out the web for local restaurant deals.
4. Spend time together. You do not need to be showered in flowers or dined in expensive champagne to enjoy some quality time with your partner. The most important thing is just spending time together, enjoying each other’s company. If you are usually stretched for time, devote the day to your loved one. Be especially attentive and remember why you love this person and why you want to spend this day with each other.
What are some ways you celebrate Valentine’s Day on a budget?