Will You Be My Frugal Valentine?

by Samantha Bryant on January 28, 2013

Valentine's Day Ideas

Valentine’s Day is upon us and the pressure is on for most. How do we possibly show our love for one person that’s limited to this one special day? It is possible to go beyond the usual suspects of flowers and candy, without causing your wallet heartbreak. From a one-of-a-kind date that your soul mate will never forget, to a unique keepsake they can always have as a memento – here’s one sweet list of Valentines Day ideas for your sweetie.

Dating Cents

You don’t have to make a reservation at the hottest restaurant in town to impress your date. All you need is an amazing meal you put together with care at home. Have a “picnic” on your living room floor. Bring out a throw blanket, delicious meal, a bottle of your significant other’s favorite wine or beer and candlelight. It’s sure to be a Valentine’s Day that will be memorable.

If you still really want to hit the town and go to a restaurant, check your local restaurants for Valentine’s Day specials in advance. Many restaurants will have a pre-fixe menu available, giving you more bang for your buck with an appetizer, entrée, dessert and sometimes even drinks included with one set price. Another option is to peruse Groupon or LivingSocial for any special cupid-approved dining deals.

Also, to slim that final check amount, save dessert for home. Enjoy your meal at the restaurant and make sure you have something sweet whipped up at home. If your Valentine has a chocolate tooth, have some homemade brownies or cupcakes waiting for them when you walk through the door. Nothing says I love you more than homemade dessert.

Another fun date is a movie night. This doesn’t mean going to the theater and blowing your cash on tubs of popcorn, $6 sodas and Sour Patch Kids. You can have the same effects in the comfort of your own home. Go to a Redbox and rent a new release. Make your own tub of popcorn and buy some movie-worthy candy at the grocery store.

Kissable Keepsakes

When it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts, there’s nothing more I prefer than a homemade gift from the heart. One of my favorite gifts includes homemade coupons.  Make your own coupons offering a favorite meal, favorite things to do to relax, favorite movie and more. Add some stickers or glitter for some extra character.

Another thoughtful DIY Valentine’s gift includes buying a deck of playing cards. Punch a hole on the cards, so they come together like a book. On the front of the card “book”, write “52 Things I Love About You.” On each card write different reasons why you love your Valentine.

Nothing says “I love you” more than documentation of your love. Make a scrapbook with different things you’ve done since you’ve started dating. Include movie ticket, museum, and sports ticket stubs. Add different photos and mementos you’ve taken throughout the years.

With all of the above ideas, I think this year you’ll big getting a big “yes!” when you ask, “will you be my frugal Valentine?”

What is the best Frugal Valentine’s Day gift you have received?

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Samantha Bryant

  • John S @ Frugal Rules

    Great ideas! We’ve done a few of them in the past and they always work out great. We try to avoid the alcohol and dessert at the restaurant and have something at home. That way we can have something nicer and at a fraction of the cost.

  • http://twitter.com/RFIndependence Pauline

    I enjoy the nice homemade meal or picnic but a change of scenery would be nice. Too bad Valentine Day is in February! My bast frugal Valentine was a road trip, we drove one hour to the beach and opened a bottle there, chatted and watched the stars.

  • http://twitter.com/TacklingOurDebt TacklingOurDebt

    Restaurant desserts are super expensive. $7 to $8 for a piece of cheesecake or an ice cream sundae. For $7 I can buy 2 tubes of ice cream and enjoy them at home.

  • AvgJoeMoney

    I think the best frugal Valentine’s gift I received was just time. After work last year we put everything else aside and just hung out together. Awesome day.

  • http://twitter.com/CanadianBudgetB CanadianBudgetBinder

    We just hang out at home or go for a walk through the mall and cook dinner and have a dessert at home. Pretty low key over here but it’s an enjoyable day.

  • http://twitter.com/StumbleForward Chris Holdheide

    It’s like you read my mind when you said a tub of popcorn and a pack of Sour Patch Kids, HA HA. Anyways I haven’t done that for a long time but I like your ideas. One thing the kids and I like to do is make our own cards. A few years back I went to a local gift shop to buy my wife a card and my jaw nearly hit the ground when I seen they were charging $5 a card.

  • FrugalPortland

    One year I made conversation heart cookies and passed them out to all of my friends. And no, I wasn’t 11 at the time. :)

  • http://www.onesmartdollar.com/ Sean @ One Smart Dollar

    Yeah my wife is a big fan of sour patch kids

  • http://www.debtroundup.com/ Grayson @ Debt Roundup

    My wife and I usually just go out and enjoy ourselves. We don’t get a lot of time to spend with each other due to our crazy work schedules, so when we can just relax and talk to each other, it is better than any little gift.

  • Kylie Ofiu

    My parents never celebrated Valentine’s Day (it wasn’t big in Australia until recent years), so I never really did either. Things like a picnic on the beach, or my favourite flower (which is not a rose), favourite fruit instead of chocolate, or just going for a drive up the Blue Mountains are all god frugal valentines day things to me. I love your list of suggestions too.

    • http://www.onesmartdollar.com/ Sean @ One Smart Dollar

      My wife is right there with you. She would much prefer to get lilly’s instead of roses. They mark the price of roses up to a ridiculous amount anyways.

  • moneybulldog

    A free homemade coupon, I think i’ll be using that for every gift this year! Cracking idea.

  • http://twitter.com/MarriageInDebt Diane MarriageInDebt

    The best frugal gift is to do something for the other person – perhaps something they have been wanting to do or unable to get around to it. My favorite gift – when he got my wedding ring cleaned. It was symbolic, frugal, and something I had been meaning to do for years.

  • http://www.monsterpiggybank.com/ Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank

    I used to do the whole book an expensive restaurant when I was on the dating scene, but now that I am married my wife and I agreed not to bother with V-day as it is just another commercially sponsored event designed to get us to spend money. The true meaning is being eroded away with every passing year.

  • addvodka

    I loved when my significant other cooked for me. It was nice to just be able to come home – not worry about going out into the masses of other couples at restaurants, and not have to worry about dinner. He made all of my favorite foods and got my favorite wine. It wasn’t expensive, but it was fun!

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  • http://luke1428.com/ Brian @ Luke1428

    I don’t know how frugal this is but spending some money on a babysitter so the two of you can have a quiet night together goes a long way!

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  • http://twitter.com/Eyesonthedollar Kim

    We have gone out on the day before or after Valentine’s Day. Way less crowded and usually less expensive as they don’t have the Valentine’s fixed price menu.

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