3 Ways to Pull Off a Romantic Yet Frugal Valentine’s Day

You can celebrate the big day without spending a fortune.

Main points

  • Consumers expect to spend an average of $192.80 on Valentine’s Day this year.
  • Making your own meals and treats can save you a bundle.

Valentine’s Day will be here before we know it. And if you haven’t already started planning, you better get moving.

But if money is tight, which is the case for many people right now due to inflation, then you might dread Valentine’s Day more than you expect. After all, there’s a lot of pressure to spend money — money you could be keeping in your savings account instead.

Additionally, many people are still struggling with credit card debt left over from the holidays. If that’s the boat you’re in, then you don’t want to spend a fortune to go to an expensive party and spring for another gift when you’ve recently blown your Christmas gift budget.

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According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day this year. And all told, consumers plan to spend an average of $192.80. If that doesn’t work for your budget, here are other ways you can celebrate your loved one without breaking the bank.

1. Prepare multi-course meals at home

If you’re ordering dinner for Valentine’s Day, you’re likely looking at a prepackaged, pre-set menu that will cost you more than you would normally spend on a night out. Instead of going this route, cook a fabulous meal at home. Spring for higher-quality ingredients than you’d normally buy and prepare extra courses to make it feel more like an event than a regular meal at your dining table.

And don’t forget the environment. Light the candles and put out the beautiful table you use for special occasions. Your lover is likely to appreciate your efforts.

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2. Make your own candy

It is common to give heart-shaped chocolates and other goodies on Valentine’s Day. But guess what? For a few bucks, you can buy your own heart-shaped silicone cookie molds online. From there, it’s a matter of buying some decent chocolate, melting it, pouring it into the molds, and letting your pan sit in the fridge for a few hours. All told, you can gift a heart-shaped chocolate for half the price you’d pay at a fancy chocolate shop.

3. Give a gift from the heart

The spring for Valentine’s Day jewelry can be really long for you. Instead of going that route, make your partner something they will appreciate. Write them a poem or song, or find a great photo from your last vacation and frame it. There are tons of homemade gifts you can make that don’t cost a fortune while still meaning a lot.

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Some people are not fans of Valentine’s Day and skip it altogether. But if that doesn’t fly with your partner, it’s probably not worth fighting for. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to spending more money than you’re comfortable with. Instead, get creative at home to make your loved one’s Valentine’s Day memorable for a long time.

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