3 Ways to Have a Romantic but Frugal Valentine’s Day

You can celebrate the big day without spending a fortune.

Key points

  • Consumers expect to spend an average of $192.80 on Valentine’s Day this year.
  • Making your own food and gifts could save you a lot.

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. And if you haven’t started planning yet, well, you better get moving.

But if money is tight, which many people are right now due to inflation, then you may be dreading Valentine’s Day more than you’re looking forward to. After all, there’s a lot of pressure to spend money — money you might prefer to keep in your savings account instead.

Plus, many people are still struggling with leftover credit card debt from the holidays. If that’s the boat you’re in, then you might not want to spend a large sum of money on going to an overpriced dinner and getting yourself another freebie when you recently went over budget for the Christmas presents.

Consumers are estimated to spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation. And all told, consumers intend to spend an average of $192.80 individually. If that doesn’t work for your budget, here are other ways to celebrate your loved one without breaking the bank.

1. Cook a multi-course meal at home

If you make a reservation for Valentine’s Day dinner, you’ll likely be faced with a bloated, pre-set menu that will have you spending way more than you normally would on a night out. Rather than go that route, cook a fabulous meal at home. Buy higher quality ingredients than you would normally buy and prepare extra dishes to make it feel more like an event than a regular meal at your dining room table.

And don’t forget the atmosphere. Light some candles and pull out the beautiful tablecloth you use for special occasions. Your loved one is likely to appreciate your efforts.

2. Make your own sweets

It’s common to hand out heart-shaped chocolates and other fancy treats on Valentine’s Day. But guess what? For just a few dollars, you can buy your own heart-shaped silicone candy molds online. From there, it’s a matter of buying some decent chocolate, melting it, pouring it into those molds, and letting your tray sit in the fridge for a few hours. All told, you could offer heart-shaped chocolate for half the price you’d pay at a fancy chocolate shop.

3. Give a gift from the heart

The spring for jewelry on Valentine’s Day could really be a stretch for you. Instead of going that route, make your partner something they will appreciate. Write them a poem or a song, or find a nice picture from your last vacation and put it in a frame. There are plenty of homemade gifts you can make that won’t cost a fortune but still mean a lot.

Some people are not fans of Valentine’s Day and completely ignore it. But if it’s not working out with your partner, it’s probably not worth fighting for. This does not mean, however, that you should resign yourself to spending more money than you want. Instead, get creative at home to throw a Valentine’s Day your loved one will remember for a long time.

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