Don’t let Valentine’s Day break your budget
As much as we want to shower our special someone with gifts to show we love them, spending a couple hundred dollars is not in everyone’s budget, and in today’s economy that money won’t go nearly as far as it used to. Food prices have increased a lot during 2023, in fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that food is 5.2% higher now than in December 2022. So, a romantic dinner with a few drinks may no longer fit your budget.
But don’t fret. There are ways to save money while still having a memorable Valentine’s Day.
5 ways to save money this Valentine’s Day
Here are five ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your special someone without breaking the bank.
Celebrate at home
Having a simple celebration at home can still be romantic and fun and save you money. Do you and your partner have a favorite meal? Buy the ingredients and cook it together or try a brand-new recipe. Break out the fine china and crystal and set the table with a tablecloth, candles and their favorite beverage. Or simply plan to spend time together. Order a heart-shaped pizza, watch a favorite movie and have a picnic in the living room. You could also do a puzzle, host your own wine and chocolate party, have a dance party in the living room or make a bucket list together. The possibilities are endless.
Nothing says “I love you” like the perfect gift
Giving and receiving gifts is always fun but choose gifts wisely; don’t just buy a gift to give a gift. Plan ahead before Valentine’s Day. If you know what you want to get, watch for the item to go on sale or look for coupons or bargains.
Indiana Farm Bureau members can access My Member Deals and save money at several flower shops, including 1-800-Flowers and Teleflora. Does your significant other prefer sweet treats more than flowers? There are discounts on Ghiradelli chocolate, the Chocolate Café, Cheryl’s cookies and Edible Arrangements. If you are a traditionalist and like to give jewelry, there are discounts available for that as well.
Give from the heart
Save even more money by not purchasing any gifts but by giving something homemade. Write a poem or a love letter, create a playlist (aka an old-fashioned mix tape), bake cookies, put together a memory album or create something special for the one you love.
Have an experience
Receiving a pretty package to unwrap is fun, but does your partner really need a stuffed whale that says, “I whalely love you?” Although cute, why not make memories instead? Plan a night out and book tickets to a play, concert or movie. Look into local theatre, most produce high-quality shows at a fraction of the price. Spend an afternoon at the museum or take a class together. Go to a local park to hike or play in the snow. Look up your city on a travel site and see what they recommend, then go play tourist in your hometown. Many experiences can be had at little to no cost; find one that suits you both.
Volunteering together is a great way to deepen your bond by supporting a cause you are both passionate about. Studies have shown that volunteering together helps couples improve communication, understanding and empathy. The Giving and Getting Back: Volunteering in America survey conducted by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society found that giving back widened social circles and enhanced relationships; it also found that volunteering encouraged physical activity and even improved couples’ love life.
Though there are many ways to save money, remember that Valentine’s Day is really about the sentiment of love, not the gifts you give or receive. Simply tell those you love that you love them and spend quality time together. That is often the perfect gift.