A Fairly Frugal Valentine’s Day

Wuv.. Twoo Wuv... Flickr photo by mozzercork

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?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Posted February 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s our baby’s 1st birthday. :) We’re just staying in and celebrating at home.
    retirebyforty recently posted..Go It AloneMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted February 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Even better! Give my birthday wishes to Baby RB40!

  2. Mrs. Dollar
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Our at-home Valentine’s was great!
    We made: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-ziti-i/ …which was absolutely wonderful. Easy, too.

  3. Posted February 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I talked today to my friend and she asked me if we are doing anything for Valentine’s. I said no, we are staying and not doing anything special. We hate doing stuff in the middle of the week. We don’t like Valentine’s because it is another commercial holiday. So I said “I don’t need or want anything.” In response I’ve heard “And I do need! I want to go out and celebrate!” People are really very different.
    Aloysa @ My Broken C recently posted..50 Things No One Told Me About AmericaMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Valentine’s is definitely a commercial holiday but we look at it as one more reason to spend a little quality time together. We’re busy all the time and it’s nice to take the evening off and relax.

      Some people definitely have high expectations for Valentine’s… thankfully we don’t! Just a dinner together is enough for us :)

  4. Posted February 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    We are having a low key Valentine but that is because my wife had an impromptu trip to LA which took our Valentine funds.
    YFS recently posted..6 Reasons Why You Should Never Let Your Tenant Have A Pet!My Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      That’s too bad! Well, at least you got to spend some time together.

  5. Posted February 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Good point about expectations. If you spoil your partner every year and then suddenly go cheap, they might take it the wrong way. I spoiled my girlfriend early in our relationship, but once I started trying to tighten up my spending I think she figured she wasn’t worth being spoiled anymore. You do have to make sure you’re both on the same page. She may agree to it verbally, but you should be able to tell if she secretly wants the whole nine yards.
    Modest Money recently posted..Modest Money Blog Mid-February UpdateMy Profile

    • Dollar D
      Posted February 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      I think that happens a lot actually! You spend a lot of time and money wooing a girl and when you finally win her over, you don’t keep up the same level of effort and she feels unappreciated.

      Communication is supremely important in all relationships. Also, being able to read people is a *very* important skill. I never thought I was good at it until I realized not to long ago that I can tell when just about anybody wasn’t really listening :) Some people don’t catch on.

  6. Posted February 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    We had a simple Valentine’s Day. Fortunately we’re not big “holiday” people, so it wasn’t a big deal. Cards and cheap takeout but with dessert, which we normally skip. It certainly saves a few bucks by not being big holiday gift folks.
    Nick recently posted..Perspective, and introducing another new blogger.My Profile

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge