Celebrating Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Each February rolls around and millions of people flock to the stores, the florists and the candy shops to spend huge amounts of money buying gifts and tokens for their loved one. I’ve always wondered why?

There is so much commercialism associated with Valentine’s Day. Each year the merchants concoct ways you can “prove” to your sweetheart how much you care. Do we really need to spend outrageous sums of money on flowers, candy, stuffed animals and expensive jewelry to demonstrate to our loved ones how much we care?

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Image credit: Leigh Goessl

The fact is we really don’t have to max out our credit cards for Valentine’s Day. There are many ways we can show our loved ones how much we care through our words and actions. There are many things we can do which are far more significant in meaning. 

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Breaking the Bank

Cook Dinner Together

Plan the evening with a menu of favorite foods and make a savory culinary creation standing side-by-side cooking. Our days are usually so busy with activity that we don’t take the time to appreciate the small things we can do together. Make Valentine’s Day special by putting aside daily worries and tasks. Do a little decorating. For instance, set a pretty tablecloth atop with lightly scented candles and dim the lights. You can even “dress up” if you want to achieve that “dining out” atmosphere. The best part about it, you aren’t in a crowded restaurant, but alone with one another.

Plan a Moonlit Evening

What’s more romantic than holding hands and strolling under the stars? It doesn’t cost a thing and spending quiet time talking (or “not talking”) is a wonderful way to spend quality time together without having to deal with all the interruptions of the hustle and bustle of daily life. This might be challenging if you have little ones, but even if you can’t physically leave the house, you can set the conditions in your own backyard. Sit on the porch and quietly hold hands or set up some lawn chairs with a table; light some candles and put out a tray of handmade chocolate dipped strawberries or bake some cookies to share.

Romantic Picnic

This isn’t an option for many places, but if weather permits and you are in sunny climates, go on a picnic, day or night works. A quick trip to the grocery to pick up some sandwiches or cold chicken with some fixings doesn’t cost much. If you can plan it during sunset, even better. One of my most favorite memories entails sitting on blanket relaxing with our quiet meal. We watched the sun slowly dip down as we sat next to one another enjoying the gentle breeze. Total cost? About $10-$15 along with some great memories.

Write a Poem or Create Your Own Card

Meaningful words that can be written or typed out mean a lot.  I’d much rather have a handwritten note or computer-designed card that was created just for me. Something like this can mean far more than any diamond or gold trinket ever could. 

Buy Your Love a Single Red Rose

Do we really need to purchase the expensive dozens to “prove” love or affection? When my guy was on active duty and I was flying to various airports to meet him, he’d always meet me at the gate with a single red rose. To me, it was much more romantic than receiving dozens of expensive flowers once a year. A single red rose takes says so much and it isn’t even something that has to be reserved for one day of the year. I have a vase filled with dried rose petals I’d collected over the years from those visits. It looks beautiful sitting on the table.


Image credit: Leigh Goessl

The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank is to not get wrapped up in the commercialism of the day and instead focus on things the two of you enjoy doing together. Take this day to escape from everyday life and spend time (not money!) reflecting on why you’re together in the first place.

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