I’m no Casanova by any stretch of the imagination, but I have managed to navigate and survive my share of Valentine’s Days so far. Some were extravagant, some were very simple, but they were all great. Here are five tips from my own experiences, with the primary goal being to improve the experience and any money saved money merely a happy side effect.
1. Food cooked for you by your Valentine is always better than from any restaurant. When someone takes the time and effort to cook you a meal from scratch, how can it not be great? There’s no need to achieve culinary perfection here; Some simple and successful recipes I’ve tried include this pasta with vodka cream sauce, or perhaps grilling up some salmon and asparagus. You can even add a great wine and candles for less than the tip would be at a nice restaurant.
2. The same goes for Valentine’s candy. A $20 box of Russell Stover’s? Yawn. Try dipping your own chocolate-covered strawberries, it’s easy. Rice Krispie treats shaped into hearts. Cookies. If it’s chilly out, I highly recommend making your own hot chocolate. The possibilities are endless. For an added touch, make it together.
3. Movies are a horrible date activity. I love movies, but let’s see, you sit the dark and never look at each other for 2 hours. How is that romantic? Take the afternoon off and go hiking somewhere. Take a walk in the park or along the waterfront. Find a bar or restaurant with a view, and just go for a drink while watching the sunset. All these ideas will cost less than two movie tickets, and you’ll actually be able to talk to each other.
4. Flowers are always better on any day besides February 14th, yet this is when they are the most expensive. I’ve spent a great deal on flowers in my life. I can’t argue against getting them – the gesture is always a nice one. Try to go locally if you do. But if you’re in a relationship, realize that a surprise bouquet on any other random day will be much more memorable, not to mention cheaper.
5. Always make your own Valentine’s Day cards. This is not a time for Hallmark. Instead, buy some red construction paper and make a list of what you love/like about your Valentine. If you are feeling outgoing, make a HUGE one out of red posterboard. I’m talking 2 feet by 2 feet. This is especially fun if you are picking up your special someone from the airport
Feel free to share your V-day thoughts in the comments.
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 2/11/07, 1:20am