Save Money on Valentine’s Day

You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t looking to save money. With that in mind, here are a bunch a tips to save some dough on Valentine’s Day. I’ll confess… some are a little unconventional. And not that you care, but I’ll let you know what I’m up to this Valentine’s Day.

  • Write a Love Note – This was suggested by a couple of people. I did that last year. I was reading a book on writing that mentioned the 10 most beautiful adjectives in the English language. I found a way to work them all in. I think it came out a little forced, but still worked. It’s the thought that counts.
  • Celebrate at Home – There were a few suggestions that could work together for a romantic time at home. My caveat with this is that you really have to make it special because the venue is simply ordinary. However, if you can pull it off this idea has big dividends as you are already near closed doors.
    • Breakfast in Bed –  It gives a couple of bonus points, due to the location… can’t get much better than bed.
    • Cook a Special Dinner – Lobster, a great steak, or shrimp scampi, heart-shaped pasta. We’ve done the steak before for special dinners. In the past they were gifts from Omaha Steaks. We haven’t done the seafood, because I’m not a fan. I’d rather take her out just to not have to deal with the kitchen smelling like seafood. Also, alcohol is much cheaper at home, so this can be a big savings.
    • Cue up a Movie – Buying a cheap DVD or package of them as part of a Valentine’s gift. If you belong to Netflix, you could go that route.
    • Cue up Music and/or Cut a Rug – I’m not big into dance, but I could probably brush off some ballroom tricks from classes a few years ago. Also, my cable television has all sorts of commercial-free romantic music. Or an iTunes playlist of meaningful songs to the two of you.
    • Massage Oils – Looking for something after dinner? How about breaking out the massage oils.
  • Do Some Chores – I really thought this would have gotten forgotten as it’s not typically thought of as romantic. However, I’ve personally found it to have its rewards. The smell of bleach equals clean to my wife… and clean equals sexy. When I invent bleach-scented cologne and make millions that last sentence won’t sound so weird. This wouldn’t be the only Valentine’s gift, but it would be work well in combination with the Celebrate at Home package previously mentioned.
  • Go For a Picnic – Someone mentioned this idea for those in warmer climates. Sandwiches, good scenery, and a bottle of wine (which may or may not be legal in your area) all add up to a good time.
  • Do Fixed Price Activities – Museums are typically the same price any time of year. Thai or Indian food could work as well.
  • Tour the Romantic Places of the Past – Go to where you had a first date or first kissed or other milestone.
  • Plant a Rose Bush – I’m a little surprised that this would get a great reaction, but Marie said it was one of her favorite gifts.
  • Celebrate a Different Day – Celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 15th. It makes sense because the date itself doesn’t seem to represent anything special. We often go out the weekend or two before. It’s not as crowded and we get into the places that we want to without paying any special markups. For Valentine’s Day itself we’ll do something small like takeout.
  • Exchange Small Practical Gifts – Marie noted that her husband likes to grill and would appreciate silicon brushes for sauces. I would love this gift if I didn’t already have a couple of silicon brushes. I like them quite a bit for grilling.

Of course if all the above fails, you can go the traditional route – flowers and chocolate.