There are a handful of things typically associated with Valentine’s Day. Some obvious signs that Valentine’s Day is nearing are the appearance of hearts in grocery stores and shopping centers, more frequent advertisements for flowers and chocolate. But, before Cupid sucks you in, check out some of the easy ways to save this Valentine’s Day below.
Keep the gifts in check
Some common Valentine’s Day gifts include flowers, chocolate, jewelry and cards. Because stores know that these items are popular around Valentine’s Day, it is not uncommon for prices to go up around the holiday. To keep costs down, consider skipping a pricy card. Most people tend to throw them out anyway. Also, instead of buying roses from a florist, opt for a more original and cost-effective option. Grocery stores have a great selection for a fraction of the florist price. If you have kids, check out the One Spot at Target or the Dollar Store to pick up a low-cost stuffed animal or small gift. These places sometimes also have deals on Valentine’s cards for school exchanges.
You can also get creative and make a meaningful gift by hand. Consider a framing a photo, compiling a scrapbook or making your own chocolate-covered strawberries. Not only are these great gifts, they are also activities that you can do with your loved ones. Another option is creating a scavenger hunt for your partner or kids, or developing a coupon book (free download available here) full of passes to be used throughout the year. Or, simply skip gifts altogether and opt for spending the money on an experience for you and those you are celebrating with.
Check your local deals
There are tons of ways to find deals in your city. For Valentine’s Day, consider checking Groupon, LivingSocial or your local newspaper to find out about events or restaurant deals in your area. You can often find deals that allow you to have the same experience for a fraction of the price. If something you find seems expensive, compare the cost to what you would spend going out to dinner and a movie. In many cases, it may be cheaper and more memorable to do something new instead of defaulting to a typical Valentine’s Day date night. Just make sure to read the fine print to make sure it doesn’t exclude holidays.
“Date night” doesn’t have to mean a nice dinner
A romantic dinner may sound like a wonderful escape from the stresses of everyday life, but when dinner is the only activity planned for date night, you tend to spend more time in the restaurant. Typically, that leads to a higher bill that includes appetizers, desserts and additional rounds of drinks. To save money, consider making dinner only one part of the evening and doing that first. That way, the meal isn’t the total focus, which makes it easier to go to and spend less time at a cheaper restaurant. Most cities have at least one BYOB restaurant, which is another way to help keep your bill down. If battling the Valentine’s Day crowd is not something you want to worry about, consider packing up a picnic and finding some open space to stargaze and spend quality time with your partner, kids or friends.
Plan your date at home
With Valentine’s Day falling on a weeknight this year, it may make more sense for you to plan your date night at home instead of fighting the crowds and costs of a night out on the town. With some thoughtful planning, you can create the ambience of a night out right at home in your kitchen and living room. You can pick up some cheap candles at the Dollar Store or on Amazon to create a relaxing mood (and save electricity at the same time). To take it a step further, you can create a Valentine’s Day playlist or use a playlist created here.
What is your favorite way to spend Valentine’s Day? Share it with Payless Power on Facebook!