Lots of the things we typically end up doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day are overpriced and underwhelming. Restaurants are crowded, cooking classes and other “couples” activities hike their rates, and even a bouquet of roses can seem to break the bank. Everything is more pricey than it usually is but we pay up anyway, determined to celebrate the holiday the “right way.”
With all that in mind, Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to be fabulously frugal. When we opt to be fabulously frugal, we increase the fabulousness or joy in our life while maintaining or decreasing the cost. We do this by identifying what is important to us about an experience or item, and then we let go of the rest. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, most of us want to enjoy time with the person or people we love, whether it be our partner or friends. The good news is that there are so many ways to show love on Valentine’s Day, and they don’t have to be expensive. Here are some ideas for a fabulously frugal V-Day that you’ll actually enjoy!
Make it all about the gals. Invite your faves over for a dinner and movie night. Assign each friend a romantic movie (bonus points if they star your favorite leading ladies) and ask them to bring a corresponding dish or cocktail. On movie night, you can enjoy each other’s company and culinary creations as you watch (or chat through) some rom-com or love story favorites.
Make it all about the future. Still looking for love? Have your friends over for arts and crafts and make love vision boards. You get to create your dream partner and dream relationship. While it might sound silly, it can be exciting (and illuminating) to think about exactly what you want out of a relationship. Plus, there’s no pressure to be serious–it can be fun and hilarious!
Make it all about the love. Make a list of things you love about your partner and have them do the same. They can be funny, heartfelt, downright mushy, or a little bit of everything. Then, you are each in charge of making the other’s favorite food. (And if that means chocolate mousse for dinner, go ahead! Why not?) As you eat and enjoy, read your lists aloud. Hello, love fest!
Make it all about the ambiance. If you crave a romantic evening, create it at home. Light some candles, put on music, set the table for a lovely dinner and dip some strawberries in chocolate. If getting dressed up is part of the appeal of an evening out, throw on something that you love wearing. Everything will come together so quickly and easily, you might wonder why you don’t do it more often!
Make it all about the adventure. Avoid traditional Valentine’s Day activities (and the inflated prices) by venturing off the beaten path. If there’s a lesser-known activity on your wish list, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to make it happen. Whether it’s an underground show you’ve been meaning to see, a new museum you’ve been wanting to explore, or even a walking tour of a new neighborhood, make a plan to avoid the crowds by creating your own adventure.
Make it all about the community. If you and your partner (or friends) enjoy volunteering, find a worthy organization in your area and spend part of your day giving back. Many community meal organizations plan special Valentine’s Day dinners, and groups dedicated to helping both kids and seniors often throw parties or socials. You’ll definitely feel the love if you choose to donate some of your time to make the day special for others.
Make it all about the next day. If you are willing to wait a day or two to celebrate, you can benefit from all the post-Valentine’s Day sales. You can snag discounted flowers and chocolate, and enjoy regular menu prices at your favorite restaurant by celebrating just a little later. If you feel completely left out, try one of the ideas above to hold you over. (Then you get to celebrate twice!)
Make it a weekly thing. Now that you’ve discovered some great, fabulously frugal date night ideas, why not make it a weekly thing? While you’re in the Valentine’s Day mindset, write down some activities that you and your partner (or friends) want to do in the future. Put them in a jar and draw one out each week. (Or whenever you’re feeling inspired to do something special.)