Romance on a Budget

Come February, your cough drop decongestant, flu medicine shopping suddenly turns a violent shade of pink and red. That’s right, it’s Valentine’s Day, everyone’s favorite holiday after Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July. Whatever your feelings on the subject, you still have to show some love to your sweetie or they’ll be mad at you all month. February is already too dreary without the cold shoulder so behold some money-saving and creative ways to keep things hot with your Valentine.

1) Treat Them like a Royal

No, not a royal circa the French Revolution (angry mobs aren’t very romantic), but the kind of aristocrat that can have their heart’s desire with a snap of the fingers. Clean your place, set up your beloved with their feet up and pour them a glass of wine to enjoy as you prepare their favorite meal. Throw in a foot or back massage and they’ll be crowning you the monarch of their heart in no time.

2) Think Outside the Box (of Chocolates)

Don’t rely on Russell Stover to woo your loved one with their mass produced candies. Instead, take Cupid by the wings and make your own V Day treats. Chocolate dipped strawberries are easy to make and much cheaper than in stores. You can also dip other goodies, like Oreos, dried fruit and steak if you’re really feeling experimental. Get on YouTube and watch a tutorial on how to make your own edible fruit flowers. You can use pink bandages to keep things festive when you end up cutting yourself creating that perfect cantaloupe rose.

3) Use Your Head, Not Your Heart

Don’t let all those buzzing pheromones cloud your mind and get strategic about thrilling your honey. Secret love notes hidden in pockets, cars, drawers and six packs are always exciting to discover. Blindfold your beloved and lead them to a special destination (try the potato chip aisle at the supermarket). Write a love letter and mail it early so they get it on Valentine’s Day. If you plan ahead and use your resources, you can devise something more thoughtful than those indestructible, chalky conversation hearts that remind you of your grandparents.

4) Take it Outside

The Romantics knew what they were babbling about when they were salivating over nature. Mother Earth is hot! Enjoy the great outdoors with your baby by taking a hike, packing a picnic (complete with mini bottle of champagne and other goodies) and getting dirty. Then you can movie right into the clean-up portion of your festivities.

5) Embrace the Day After

This technique works when both partners agree to forgo festivities on the 14th and take advantage of all the savings February 15th can offer. All those love-hued candy, flowers, balloons and cards are usually marked down as soon as stores turn green in favor of St. Patrick’s Day.

6) One is the Cheapest Number  

It won’t get much more economical than taking yourself to the Zoo, the movies or your favorite sushi place. Buy your favorite food and drink. Eat all the garlic-laden dishes you want. Go sing karaoke with your other single friends (breakups songs recommended) and annoy couples in the bar.

As you see, you can avoid the hallmarks (yuk, yuk) of a traditional, overpriced Valentine’s Day by using your noggin and having fun. Enjoy and be safe!