Well folks, Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and you know what that means: time to spend some money! According to National Retail Federation (as reported by USA Today), those celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend an average of $126 each.
Flowers, a heart-felt card, dinner at a fancy restaurant, maybe some diamond jewelry. I think those heart necklaces are hot this year. All of this stuff adds up quick and sometimes it feels like a choice between a broken bank or a broken heart. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way! Nay, if you play your cards right, you can enjoy what I’m dubbing a Fairly Frugal Valentine’s Day.
It starts with an evening at home.
Let’s Just Stay In, Honey
These little words are magic but only if you follow it up with something good. Here’s a few examples but I encourage you to come up with your own:
- “Ive been working so much lately, I just want some quality time with you”
- “A bottle of wine and a nice meal together are all I need”
- “We can watch that movie you’ve been wanting to watch”
That last one works great for me since my wife is a movie buff and me – not so much. Once you have set the stage, you can move to phase two.
Let’s cook a nice meal together
Rather than a fancy meal at a restaurant, you can have a fairly fancy meal at home for half the price. If you want to kick up the romance, you can offer to cook it yourself and say something like “Don’t worry about dinner, I’ll take care of everything.”
Even a white belt in frugal Kung-fu should be able to follow a recipe! The trick is to cook something you don’t normally eat. Something a little special, but not something that requires a lot of expensive ingredient.
In our house, we eat primarily paleo so for us, a special meal is usually one with pasta. We had a delicious baked ziti with hot Italian sausage and we took the left overs to my parents’ house for another fairly frugal family get-together.
A Toast to Us
If you are frugal and a drinker, you probably buy the cheap stuff most of the time. Well, not tonight!
For your fairly frugal Valentine’s evening at home, you could step it up a notch and buy a nicer bottle of wine or a six pack of craft brew. By skipping the overpriced restaurant booze, you’ve already saved a chunk of change. Plus, life is too short to drink cheap swill all the time. If you are going to enjoy a fine wine or beer, tonight is the night. Just don’t go overboard.
What I Haven’t Told You
Astute readers may have noticed the one thing I left out: this will only work if your partner is already frugal. Unfortunately, there’s no good way to get out of a traditional Valentine’s day if that is what your partner expects (or demands). This further highlights one key element of a successful frugal lifestyle: having everyone on board with the frugal plan.
I should also confess that this Valentine’s Day, it was actually my wife who wanted to tone it down! I was fine with going out to eat since it is a “special occasion” so it was really her that used all these tips on me.
So thanks, honey, for keeping us on track for this holiday. I love you and happy Valentine’s day!
One final tip for a frugal gift: if you have a blog, you can brag about how great your special someone is to everyone on the internet
How about y’all? Any plans for a night together on the cheap?