The personal finance site Wise Bread has a fabulous guide to celebrating Feb. 14 while staying true to your cheapskate roots. A post by Will Chen has cheap date ideas, do-it-yourself greeting cards, directions to make an impressive dinner at home, tips for ordering cheaply if you go out, V-day factoids and a review of online dating sites.The post is so useful I wish I’d thought of it myself!
There are a few tips I use to save on Valentine’s Day that anyone can take advantage of! Here are my tips for having a romantic and frugal Valentine’s Day.
How to save on Valentine’s Day
1. Make a Gourmet Dinner – My boyfriend, Derrick, loves to eat out (probably because it save him from doing the dishes!) but we always eat at home on Valentine’s Day. By making food at home you can save TONS of money. Derrick’s favorite food is chicken parmesan. At a restaurant it costs anywhere from $12-$19, but if you make it at home it’s about $4 per serving! Besides saving money, staying in also helps you avoid chaos. Everyone is out on Valentine’s Day, so the service you receive may not always be the best. To avoid this, go out the weekend before or after!
2. Make Your Gifts – Just like it’s cheaper to make dinner than it is to eat out, it’s cheaper to make your gifts than to buy them. Do you have a special skill or talent? Use it to your advantage. Make a photo collage of your favorite pictures of the two of you or make a list of the 100 reasons you love your partner. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating your love for each other, so make this the focus instead of cards and flowers. If you can’t imagine Valentine’s Day without chocolate, you can even make your own homemade truffles! Trust me, they’re easier to make then you’d think!
3. Exchange Gifts Feb. 15 – Since Derrick and I live in different states, it’s rare that we even see each other on Valentine’s Day. This year I saved big on cards and decorations by buying them the day after Valentine’s Day. If you’re not into celebrating the day after, this is also a great way to prepare for next year! Stock up on cards or decorations that you know you’ll use and take advantage of discount prices.
How to you avoid Valentine’s Day overspending? We’d love to hear your personal saving secrets so be sure to share them in the comments!