Coco Chanel once said, “There are people who have money, and people who are rich.” Valentine’s Day is one holiday where this sentiment rings most true. Rich in love unfortunately does not necessarily mean rich in pocket.
Yet while you can’t get away with giving your loved one day-old yellow roses or a straight-from-the-freezer dinner, you can find expressions of love that won’t completely break your budget.
Matt Coffin, CEO and founder of LowerMyBills.com, provides a few suggestions on how to save money this Valentine’s Day:
1) Eat in on Valentine’s Day. When was the last time the two of you actually cooked a full dinner together that didn’t come out of the freezer? Nothing says you care as much as a home-cooked meal.
2) Don’t have dinner. Be more creative with your loved one. Watch the sunset on the beach with a bottle of merlot. Drive to the mountains for sunrise with hot chocolate and blankets. Be kids again and go to the zoo. Remember, love doesn’t require reservations.
3) Bring your own wine to the restaurant if you must to go out to dinner – you’ll have to pay a corkage fee (often $5-15), but in the long run you can enjoy a nicer bottle of wine at a much lower cost.
4) Watching someone else’s romance can ignite your own. Stay home and rent Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, An Affair to Remember or When Harry Met Sally.
5) Think small, but tasteful. What would you rather have, a petite diamond, or a gaudy cubic zirconia? One delectable piece of Godiva, or a whole bag of Hershey’s? You get the picture.
6) Don’t send flowers. They’re expensive, and they die. Give a more thoughtful, long lasting gift, like a burned CD of his or her favorite love songs or a gift basket of favorite foods.
7) If you must send flowers, order them online. You’ll be able to comparison shop for the best deal on a set of 12 stems on ftd.com and dozens of other sites.
8) Celebrate the day after allowing you to make dinner reservations more easily and buy roses and other Valentine’s bouquets at discounted prices. Plus you won’t have to worry about rushing home from work and have the whole day to spend together.
9) Instead of buying each other gifts, why not save up for a trip together? You could spend the evening of Valentine’s planning your weekend getaway by comparing the best deals on orbitz.com, expedia.com and several other sites on the Web.
10) Skip the traditional celebrations entirely. Spend your time together volunteering at a food bank or animal shelter. Sharing your love with others has its own rewards.