7 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day on a Budget

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Due to Valentine's Day falling on a Wednesday and the craziness of the day in a large city, my wife and I celebrated Valentine's Day over the weekend. We went out to a nice dinner and spent the rest of the evening at home without kids. Sometimes doing things in a simpler way can be better than some elaborate evening that drains the energy out of both people.

My wife and I are not big on celebrating the Valentine's Day holiday. It all started while we were engaged. I booked a reservation and had an elaborate evening planned for our date. Sadly, I picked a restaurant that overbooks reservations on this special day. Therefore, we stood in a line waiting an hour to be seated. Yes, we waited an hour after our reservation time to get into the restaurant. That was the last Valentine's Day that we tried to celebrate on Valentine's Day!

Six strategies listed below were compiled by Jason Green Jr., a freelance writer (I threw in one for fun). He proposed this article to me last week and I thought it was a great idea for the Monday before Valentine's Day. I hope you enjoy and can even find something that you can use to decrease the cost of Valentine's Day. - $eth

The Gifting Section

Number One: Write Your Heart Out

In this world of the Hallmark greeting cards, love has become very mechanical. Choose to be different this valentine's day and write a love letter. Believe me, a handwritten love letter can replace the most expensive gift.

How You Save - Those beautifully decorated Valentine’s Day cards can cost you between $5 and $10. A simple blank greeting card costs between $1 and $2. That's a couple dollars of savings.

Number Two: Express Your Love on Social Media

In conjunction with the handwritten letter, you could tell the world how much your partner means to you. Post a picture or video of your partner on social media and scribble down your heartfelt words. This won’t cost you a penny and will bring the brightest smile on your partner's face.

How You Save - Minimally, because of reasons suggested in this little note from $eth: (This is a great idea, however, don't let yourself believe that this is the only thing you need to do. I personally believe that a post on social media doesn't have as much meaning as a gift that you give to that special someone. Everybody and their dog posts about how much they love their partner on Valentine's Day. Maybe just maybe, you could be a little different in how you show your affection.)

Number Three: Bring Out Your Inner Origami Artist

There are no better gifts than the handmade gift version. You could try your hand at making a bouquet of flowers out of paper (Not my fortay - $eth) or you could make something that suites your abilities. The hardest part about the homemade gift is the time that it takes to make the gift, but you will really light up that special person in your life with that homemade gift!

How You Save - Despite the materials needed and the time it takes to make, a homemade gift is cheaper than purchasing that diamond necklace or fancy figurine.

Number Four: Discuss Avoiding Gifts for Valentine's Day (A Bonus from $eth)

My wife and I made a decision after getting married that we would not get each other gifts for Birthdays, Christmas or Valentine's Day. Instead, we wanted to use our resources to pay down debt, set a solid financial footing and begin to build wealth. This has been our plan for the last four and a half years. Sure, we still get each other a card and I still get my wife flowers, but the obligation of trying to find that special gift is not there. 

You can read more about our gifting decision, by reading Gifts: Our Radical Decision.

How You Save - This tip might give you the biggest savings of all. I'm not sure how much everybody spends on gifts for their significant other, but whatever you spent this year...you could be saving!

The Celebrating Section

Number Five: Celebrate Valentine's Day on the Weekend

With the holiday falling on a Wednesday, it can be hard to find the time to celebrate on the actual holiday. Instead, schedule a special day for just the two of you on the weekend. You could do the weekend before (like the SoC family) or the weekend after. 

How You Save: Flowers and Cards will be cheaper after the holiday. If you decide to brave the restaurants, the lines will be shorter on the weekends as opposed to the actual holiday.

Number Six: Share the Kids!

For all of the families out there, the best way to celebrate your love for someone is with out the kids. Propose a child watching deal with another family or relative. One night or day you watch their kids. They then return the favor on another day. This gives you time to celebrate without the children interrupting the evening and allows you to save on the cost of getting a babysitter.

How You Save - You avoid the cost of a babysitter by making this deal with another family.

Number Seven: Celebrate with a Rest and Relax Day

Now that we have the kids taken care of, you can celebrate at home. Don't go out, just enjoy each other's company. Turn off your phones and make dinner together. Cap the evening with a leisurely walk to watch the sunset and connect. The next morning, surprise you partner with bed in breakfast. Just what the doctor ordered for your relationship: time to reconnect!

How You Save -You save by staying in and avoiding all of the expensive activities that are available to couples. A nice homemade dinner, some candles and a walk to remember. Save on dinner and the event!

Maybe you already had plans for your valentine's day and it might be a little late to suggest no gifts for this year (there's always next year!). Maybe you had not decided how you will celebrate. Hopefully, these ideas will help you find something special to do with that special person. Remember some of the best ways to celebrate don't have to be elaborate. They can just be taking time to reconnect.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

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