Crap, I just looked at the calendar. Next week. . .Next Week.
. . .February 14th. . .Valentine’s Day. The day that stores everywhere put away the green Christmas decorations and trade them out for pink transforming every visual square inch into an ocean of red, white, and pink. Hearts and love and smoochies all around. The day that women anticipate, men stress about, and single folks everywhere despise.
Okay, that may be just a touch too dramatic! At the risk of sounding pessimistic and cynical, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day. To me, it’s the quintessential example of a “Hallmark holiday” (sorry, Hallmark!) and has become a day that seems to lean more on the money spent vs. quality time spent together with the one(s) you love. When I start seeing those marketing ploys to bleed me of the money in my pocket, I do have a tendency to become a tad defensive.
Whether it’s that you’re a homesteader who lives miles from town and don’t want to venture out just to shop for the Holiday, you’re a frugal soul who would like to celebrate Valentine’s Day without sacrificing the money for the electric bill or you are aiming for a more minimalist lifestyle and prefer not to bring more stuff in, I’m sharing some ideas that range from “Listen, I got absolutely NO money to spend” to “eh, I’ve got a few bucks to throw Cupid’s way”. Regardless of your situation, if you’ve got some loves in your life that you want to recognize on the day of Lovey Dovey or you just want to pamper yourself, you can do so without having to swear off the day entirely!
Carry forth and show love!
Frugal Valentine’s Day Ideas that won’t break your budget
These ideas shouldn't cost you ANY spend at all.
- Make dinner using ingredients that you already have at home. Use your finest china (in my house, that constitutes a real plate vs. a paper plate!), light a candle, and set a dress code for dinner (too extreme? fine.) and get gussied up. Put on some soft dinner music and pretend like you’re at a romantic restaurant. Trust me, when the bill comes for this dinner, you’ll be super glad you didn’t fight the crowds (OMG. . have you ever seen the crowds in a restaurant on V day?!) just to pay for an overpriced steak and glass (or two!) of vino.
- Dig out a movie you own that you and your love enjoy and watch it together. Pop some popcorn and have a movie night in.
- Play a game. Board, card, video . . .whatever floats your boat!
- Go to a local (free) museum or park. Take a walk with your love and talk about all of the things that you love about the other person. Or, reminisce about your first date or the way you met. Just talking about these moments can reignite those belly butterflies!
- Turn the lights down, turn the soft music on and have a slow dance with the one you love.
- Go to a local park and head straight for the playground! Swing on the swings like a child again and laugh with your love.
- After dark, take a blanket outdoors and stare up at the stars together. Each of you could pick out a star and “dedicate” it to the other one.
- Do a puzzle together — teamwork makes the dream work!
Itty Bitty Teeny Tiny amount of $$
These ideas may cost a few bucks but really shouldn't be more than @ $15
- Make dinner at home using ingredients that you may already have on-hand but add a nice bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer that you and your love both enjoy. Maybe add some nice cheese or bread to the meal.
- Rent a movie from Redbox or Netflix and have a movie night in at home. Pop some popcorn and maybe grab some $1 boxes of candy from your local dollar store or Target $1 spot.
- Purchase the supplies to make chocolate covered strawberries or other candies and make them together. The time spent working together and then enjoying your creation is so valuable!
- Pick up some nice massage oil or bubble bath and give each other massages or take a relaxing bath together with a glass of wine.
- Grab supplies to make homemade pizzas from the grocery store and make pizzas together. It’s extra fun to see who can toss the dough the highest!
- Instead of going out for dinner, go out for ice cream or share a dessert at a local restaurant.
- Go to a local thrift store and each person is challenged to find the best gift they possibly can for their partner using only $5.
Just a little bit of $
These ideas may cost a little bit but really shouldn't be more than $25-$30
- Get takeout and have a candlelit dinner at home (trust me, you want to avoid those restaurant crowds!)
- Pick up ingredients to make a special meal at home. Don’t forget the candles and wine.
- Search Groupon or LivingSocial for a discounted voucher for an experience together – maybe a museum, sporting event, or even couple’s massage. I once found an amazing deal for a date night where Mr. FVF and I went on a tour of our city (when we lived in a city) on Segways!
- If you and your love met and started dating when times were leaner, re-create your first date. Chances are, you didn’t spend a lot on it and it might be fun to revisit those old times again!
- Visit a local brewery or winery and try a glass of something.
- Fuel that competitive spirit and go mini-golfing or bowling.
- Plan your next project or a garden. If you’re like me, you’ve got a project that you and your love are considering or you’ve got a garden that needs to be planned for the spring. Take the money that you would have spent on a gift and put it toward the project or garden. Use Valentine’s Day to plan out the project or garden together.
*Disclaimer* I cannot be held responsible for the fireworks or sparks that may fly if you implement any of the above ideas. Saving money and having a good time together does have a tendency to get those romantic sparks flying if you know what I mean. There’s a reason why obstetricians and pediatricians become a lot busier in the fall months! Heh heh heh. 😉 (Yes, I’m a 13 year old boy trapped in this female frugal homesteader’s body. . I can’t help but snicker at a sex joke.)
Because Mr. FVF and I don’t get too wrapped up into Valentine’s Day, I already know what I’m getting. He’s actually on his way to our local home supply store to pick up the last few things needed to complete an awesome project that he’s completing for me. Call me old, call me boring, or call me practical if you will but I would much rather have the labors of his love in the form of a completed project than chocolates or flowers or other “things”. Now, I have no idea what I’m going to do for the Mister but I’ll probably grab a tip from the first section and opt to spend quality time together where I’m not shelling out any dollars.
How are you planning on spending your Valentine’s Day?