Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and merchants are gearing up to capitalize on the popular holiday for couples. Valentine’s Day is not a cheap holiday, especially if you’re in a relationship. Americans spend an average of $17.6 billion on the holiday and men tend to spend the most money. Go figure.
With the average person spending $168.74 to celebrate Valentine’s Day – whether that total includes gifts for your spouse or kids and meals and outings – it can be a tough pill to swallow especially if you are finally getting back on your feet financially after the holidays.
If you want to minimize your spending on Valentine’s Day but still acknowledge the holiday, here are a few ways to make Valentine’s Day more affordable.
Avoid Dinner and go to Breakfast Instead
Going out to breakfast is my favorite because it’s cheap and breakfast food is delicious. You can easily eat a filling meal for breakfast and spend an average of $10-12 per person, instead of dropping $100 on a Valentine’s Day dinner.
Not to mention, most restaurants are packed that night. It’s not uncommon to wait in line for 45 minutes or so before getting a table which can really offset your night. Some restaurants are so crowded that couples have to eat super close to each other. If you want to save money, still dine out and have some private time together, it’s best to go to breakfast in the morning and cook dinner together at home and enjoy a delicious meal by candlelight.
Make Dessert Yourself
Instead of spending money on expensive store-bought treats, try baking your own dessert or arranging something creative without heading to a bakery. Retailers and bakeries make a lot of money during this time of year and sometimes their desserts are only subpar. You can purchase a box of cake mix, brownie mix or pick up your favorite cookie dough and use ideas from Pinterest to arrange it creatively.
One year I made ‘cookie pops’ for my fiancé using homemade cookies and baking sticks. It was super easy, delicious and more meaningful than store-bought goods.
Ditch the Cards
Cards aren’t required to prove your love or appreciation to anyone. The $5 needed to purchase a generic card can be used for something else in your budget. Sometimes, writing a special letter in your own words can be just as meaningful to the recipient if not more.
Head to the Dollar Store for the Kids
Kids look forward to one main thing on Valentine’s Day: candy. Luckily, you can pick up loads of candy for cheap at the dollar store and kids won’t even know or care where it comes from. If you have a few kids you want to get something for, purchase $1 gift bags at the dollar store along with assorted candy and a book to read or a coloring book. All in all, you’ll spend an average of $5 per person.
Choose a Budget Entertainment Option of Bonding Experience
If you can’t afford expensive tickets to performances, concerts or the movie theatre, find an entertainment option that fits within your budget. This year, Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday and most bowling alleys offer extreme discounts on Sundays.
You can also check out local museums or art galleries that may be open late. You can end the day on a high note by taking a relaxing walk together or riding bikes through a bike trail.
At the end of the day, Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with you loved ones and reminding them how much you appreciate them. It’s not about spending money as much as retailers to focus on that idea.
Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day this year?
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