Valentine’s Day for Less

Columnist – Chelsea Day

Budget-Friendly in the Kitchen

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and I’ve noticed a tendency for people to get really wrapped up in this holiday – and go way over budget in the process! Even long-established couples dole out for expensive flowers, fancy meals and boutique chocolates.

During this national Impress Your Beau frenzy, competition for the best seats at the nicest places rise dramatically, causing costs at restaurants to increase and service to decrease. The wait staff are overworked with too many people to serve, and meal quality declines as restaurants dish out specialties en masse or switch to prix fixe menus. The demand for flowers skyrockets (along with their price tag), and all the effort seems less exciting when you know your love went out of his/her way due to social pressure and repeated commercial reminders. I’m all for the occasional upscale date, but you can save a lot by agreeing as a couple to celebrate a night on the town anytime other than Valentine’s Day.

I’m certainly not suggesting that couples forego Valentine’s Day altogether. Instead of a traditional night out, be creative and plan a date that will truly be special and meaningful. A nice, home-cooked meal with candles and a relaxing bubble bath can be just as romantic as being waited on at your favorite restaurant. Drop the kids off at their grandparents’ house and cozy up with your favorite movie. Pack a picnic or build a quiet bonfire at the beach. Set up a table on the porch and enjoy dessert under the stars. A simple change of scenery can go a long way.

Your significant other’s hobbies can also be a great source of inspiration. If your husband enjoys photography, grab the cameras and explore new vantage points. If you’re an outdoorsy couple, go discover a new trail on your mountain bikes. Some of my favorite dates have involved bonding over a new activity or adventure. And as far as those overpriced flowers…hand-picked bouquets are my personal favorite!



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Category: Gift Ideas

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