Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a relaxed, calm day for you and your loved one to lavish love upon each other. However, the cost of most Valentine’s Day activities can cause unnecessary drama on what’s supposed to be a romantic day. Flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys, on top of a delicious meal at a restaurant can all amount to a lot of bother where your wallet is concerned.
Here are five great alternatives to splashing cash on your Valentine’s Day:
1 – Don’t eat out
In the US, around $13.2bn is spent on the average Valentine’s Day, with 34.6% of that being spent on eating out at restaurants. This compares to £880m in the UK, which, when compared to population, is significantly more per person. It’s no wonder why the British (also known as the ‘Brits’) are swiftly becoming experts when it comes to cutting the cost on the most romantic day of the year. A tip from Money.co.uk, is to avoid trendy restaurants on Valentine’s Day itself and instead opt to go a couple of days after. This is because the prices are inflated on Valentine’s Day and could end up costing you double what they usually would. Alternatively, go to the supermarket and put together a picnic hamper. Buy snacks, including tactile food that you and your partner can eat with your hands, such as strawberries, and pack them away with a comfortable picnic blanket. Buy some plastic wine glasses and a reasonably priced bottle of wine of your choosing. Be sure to bring an umbrella and extra clothing in case the weather isn’t on your side.
2 – Rent a movie
According to USA Today, cinema ticket prices are at an all-time high. Most movies will set you back at least $8 for an adult ticket, not to mention snacks and beverages. A trip to see the latest rom-com could set you back almost $40 for the both of you. Therefore, stay in and watch a movie; light some candles, make some warm, homemade popcorn and either visit your local movie store or pick a film to rent via Netflix. This increasingly popular method of watching the latest TV series and movies will only set you back $7.99 a month – the cost of one movie ticket – and here you can watch as many movies as you want.
3 – Go for a walk
Although exercise may not sound like the most romantic idea in the world to most people, for those couples who like to remain active, going for a romantic walk can be a great way to spend Valentine’s Day. Forbes suggests visiting the Hoh Rain Forest. Located in Washington’s Olympic National Park, this stunning, lush forest will make you and your loved one feel as if you’re the only people in the world – or in another world altogether. Dense trees, waterfalls and ponds create the atmosphere that you’re trekking through a rainforest in the Congo, not the US’s capital. Bring some snacks, water and warm clothing and explore the unique location together.
4 – Groupon
Signing up on Groupon or any discount code site can be extremely lucrative for one-off deals. For example, many offer up to 50% off of helicopter flights, a dessert item for free at a certain establishment, or a pampering session at a new salon. Each one makes a great Valentine’s Day gift for your loved one without having to shell out for extortionate prices.
5 – If you’re planning an engagement, shop local
If you have your heart set on treating your special lady (or man) to some sparkly diamonds on Valentine’s Day, there are still ways you can save money. Reader’s Digest points out that you should never, ever order jewelry online – always buy in store. This is for a couple of reasons: firstly, you can get a feel for the jewelry. As bizarre as this may sound, when it comes to personal pieces – especially engagement rings – each piece, even if the design concept is the same, may seem different. You should pick a piece that speaks to you and, more importantly, will speak to your lover. Secondly, a lot of jewelers will send their ‘worst’ picks out with the online purchases so that they can save their ‘best’ for those ordering in store. Don’t be an online purchasers; be the in store buyer. And who knows? You may even come across some great coupons by shopping locally.