Roses Are Red… And Pretty Darn Expensive!
While the following ideas are specifically geared towards helping your and your mate or family express your Valentine’s love for each other without hawking your hearts to do it, you can really use these ideas any day of the year to show just how much you care. Ignore the retail pitchmen who try to convince you that your love and the heft of your wallet are synonymous. Sometimes the simplest of things reveal the best way of saying “I love you”.
-Give the gift of time. A great way to do this is to make up coupons or time certificates to give out to loved ones. Your time really is the most valuable and important gift you can give, and the list of “things” you can commit to here is nearly endless. Offer to do someone’s chores for a day, or walk the dog for a week. Cook a meal or a batch of cookies, or pick up the responsibility of cleaning up after by doing the dishes for a few days. Wash your mate’s car, offer back rubs or foot massages… anything that will be appreciated by the receiver is fair game to give.
-Plan a frugal outing. Much like the gift of time, this one can be as inexpensive and creative as you can make it. Much will depend on your location, but some outings include: plan a picnic; go fishing or boating; go sledding, skating or snow shoeing; head to the park for a walk, bike ride or just to soak in some sun.
-Look locally for free/low cost events. Your local chamber of commerce or area groups may be putting on free concerts or other events that you can partake of on Valentine’s Day. Also, look to local colleges and museums to see if they are offering any Valentine-related entertainment.
-Plan a special meal at home. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive meal, just something special. Set up a table in a room you don’t normally eat in, or outside if it’s warm enough. Light candles, or put on some soft music. Make a heart-shaped pizza, or heart-shaped meatloaf, or biscuits (you know the shape). Cook something red, or purple, or pink. Go crazy! If it’s just the two of you and you want to kick this up a notch, don a skimpy waiter or waitress outfit. Anything that screams “this ain’t like yesterday’s chow” will do it.
Go out for Valentine’s lunch. If you absolutely must go out for Valentine’s Day — it’s in your DNA! — try scheduling a lunch instead of a dinner. You can often order many of the same dishes, for considerably less than what you would pay for a dinner.
-Go out for coffee and dessert. An even cheaper alternative is to just go out for coffee and a sweet treat of some sort. You’ll save a bundle and still have the fun of going out (for, like, cake or a sundae… mmm).
-Make a present. If you’re creative, try making your own present, be it a card, a wooden spice rack, or paper flowers.
-Create a present. If you’re really feeling creative, try your hands at composing a poem, song, story or picture that the receiver can keep and cherish
-Scatter stuff around the house. This can be as simple as buying a bag of Hersey’s kisses and hiding them around to organizing a full-fledged scavenger hunt, complete with hints. Somewhere in the middle is making your own hearts out of construction paper and writing short messages of love on them, then hiding them where your loved ones will run across them throughout the day.
-Streeeeeeeeetch it out. Why one day? Why not 12? Break down your festivities into 12 smaller units and celebrate the 12 days of Valentine’s. Christmas has been hogging this concept for far too long.
-Roses? Tulips! If your traditional heart says you have to go with flowers, try a less-expensive bloom than the rose. Call up your florist and price a few different kinds of flower bunches (roses vs. tulips, daffodils, a mixed bunch) for a real eye-opener.
-Celebrating with the kids? Bake cookies! Well, try to. The dough will be consumed by the handful before it gets anywhere near a stove, but anything that survives the taste-testing can still be cut into fun shapes and decorated with frosting, sprinkles, little candy heart, etc.
-Plan ahead. Finally, look far, far into the future, like a year ahead, and plan for the next Valentine’s Day. While money may be tight, you may still be able to set aside $2-3 a week to splurge with next year. Which brings us to the last thing you can do for frugal Valentine’s Day fun this year. Decorate a coffee can or jar with hearts and a little sign: “Oh, the fun we’re gonna have!” Throw a couple of bucks in it to start things off. Then get busy making a heart-shaped pizza or something for dinner. Sheesh, it’s Valentine’s Day, for Pete’s sake.
This entry was posted by admin and is filed under Articles, Frugal Tips, Gifts, Holidays. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.