How are we already in February? I’m sorry, wasn’t Christmas just a few weeks ago? If any of you are like me and still reeling from end of the year festivities, your wallet may not be ready for another gift giving holiday just yet. I know for many, Valentine’s Day gift purchasing is “guy’s territory” but I always join in on the fun. Whether I’m having a themed party with family and friends, or enjoying date night with my guy, Valentine’s Day can get expensive. Fast. Not to mention, J and I may not be married, but our finances are still pretty heavily intertwined given that we live together. If he’s shelling out a bunch of cash for V-Day, that more or less affects both of us, and I know this is the case for married couples as well. So, I thought I’d share a few budget friendly ways to celebrate on the 14th.
One of the biggest budget annihilators on Valentine’s Day is eating out. Restaurants often go crazy jacking up prices or forcing a pre-fix menu on you for the special day. Something that we’ve done in the past to circumvent this is cooking a meal at home together. One of our tried and true meals to prepare together is pizza. It’s fun, easy, and always satisfying. You can get handmade dough ready to go at Whole Foods or Trader Joes, or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous there are a thousand recipes from scratch on Pinterest like this one.
Not ready to give up a fancy date night out? Flowers are easily the #2 budget killing culprit. Like restaurants, florists and even grocers take advantage of the increased demand for flowers and suddenly prices seem to quadruple. If you’re in LA, a great place to save some extra dough in this area is the LA Flower Market Downtown. Most farmer’s markets have flowers that match florists’ quality, but often beat out their price. Another
ploy thing worth avoiding, depending on the person, is buying into the need for roses. I personally don’t find them any more appealing or romantic than peonies (my favorite) or a mixed bouquet of all the flowers she loves, so why splurge on red roses just because they’re everywhere you turn? I’d be curious to take a poll of my girlfriends and family members to see how many of them feel the same.
Theoretically, this one applies whether you stay in or go out because many restaurants allow you to bring your own bottle for a small corkage fee. Listen, I appreciate an extravagant bottle of wine as much as the next person (we splurged on this bad boy for our anniversary in October and it was absolutely worth every penny- highly recommend for a special occasion!) but I certainly don’t mind cutting corners here if need be. There are plenty of “middle of the road” bottles of wine and champagne that are just as good. You can also stop in to BevMo and pray for the 2 cent sale! Wine is very subjective and everyone’s preferences are different, but check out this list of 20 of the best bottles under $20 for some direction if needed. In fact, a little at-home wine tasting sounds like a great way to spend a Valentine’s date night in. 🙂
My last tip seems to have taken off with the help of Pinterest, but for good reason. DIY gifts are always thoughtful, meaningful, and appreciated. Here, here and here are a few ideas I found through a quick Pinterest search to get the wheels turning. However, just the term DIY may scare some people, so even if you’re not chummy with the ladies who work at your local Michael’s, trust me there are plenty of “DIY type” gifts out there for you too. One idea is to take a piece of jewelry he or she already owns and loves and have it engraved with a sweet message or your anniversary. It’s like the gift that keeps giving 🙂 Gestures are always lovely gifts too, you could always have a photo/photo collage framed, prepare a special meal, or make my go-to Mother’s Day gift as a kid, a hand written book full of coupons to redeem for back rubs, dish duty, and whine-free shopping (ironically these probably all apply coming from husbands and boyfriends too, ha!)
I know there are some nonbelievers out there who gag at the idea of this Pepto Bismol pink holiday, but I think it can be fun and tailored to everyone 🙂 How are you planning on spending Valentine’s Day?