Valentine’s Day on a Budget


It is a known fact that restaurants mark up their menu prices around Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. They know most don’t care to cook or clean on days meant for indulging. This doesn’t mean an overpriced outing is the only option. Surprise your significant other on another day during the week when it’s totally unexpected, the lines aren’t so long and the prices are normal. When everyone else is scrambling to find a babysitter and make a reservation, you can snuggle on the couch and order pizza.

While greeting cards aren’t a huge expense it’s certainly lucrative for retailers. Give your kids some crayons, cardstock, glitter and have them get creative. Heck, bring out your inner kid and make it yourself.

Before you spend $100 on long-stemmed roses keep in mind that other flowers in other colors can show love too. As for chocolates, by all means buy some chocolate! Just be sure to think outside of the heart-shaped box. Make a trip to the grocery store, grab some chocolate, fruit, and pretzels to dip in chocolate. Have kids? Make a giant cookie and have them decorate it, talk about melting someone’s heart.

Now for the biggest expense of all, a woman’s best friend so they say, *Diamonds*. Buying them just isn’t necessary unless it’s your anniversary. Visit sites like Etsy where you can custom order a one-of-a-kind gift for your loved one. Maybe you have a diamond or precious gem or two laying around that you inherited from a grandparent or family member that you could take to a reputable jeweler to have made into a necklace, earrings or put in a new ring setting. Even gifting a simple repair or quick cleaning to wedding rings is an option.

Retailers love to sell love and each year they spend millions making sure we crave 5-course meals, pricey roses and diamonds earrings. And it’s working. Americans pay out more than $13 billion for Valentine’s Day. Make a realistic budget and if you need to scale back, do so without any love lost while saving money.