Valentine's day savings - MoneySense

Valentine’s day savings

Impressing your better half needn’t break the bank. Here are some ideas to get you fired up for Valentine’s Day while staying on budget.

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Guess what Americans spent on Valentine’s Day last year? Over $17 billion. Man, that’s a lot of chocolates and flowers. It’s days like this that can throw your savings plan way off track. So how to you show your Honey that you care and still have the money you need to save? You’ve got to get creative.

I’ve always found that the most romantic gifts I received on Valentine’s Day were the things into which lots of thought (but not necessarily lots of money) went. Gobs of flowers and a box of chocolates are, in my mind, the default; they’re the “I don’t want to have to think about this too much” present.

I remember the year my boyfriend of the day bought me a bunch of red and white balloons, which he blew up with his own hot air. Before he did, he wedged a bunch of notes and some of my fave candies (those candy-covered almonds) into them. Then he blew ‘em up, attached them to skewers (like the ones you use for shish kebab) and tied them together with a bow. I was very impressed. He got his just reward.

Back when he still cared to impress, my third husband used to make me breakfast on Valentine’s Day and everything was heart-shaped: the friend eggs, the pancakes, the toast. He’d quote me poetry in my card and declare his undying love. It was very sweet.

If your Honey has a sweet tooth, you could make a red velvet cake, bake heart-shaped cookies, or make cupcakes decorated with hearts. Or maybe you’d make your own truffles at home and put them in a home-made box decorated with hearts. DIY not only saves tons of money, it declares that the person is important enough for you to do something special for them.

How about making a mix of your favorite songs to listen to while you serve your Honey’s favorite meal? Or if you’re musically inclined you could serenade your honey by candlelight while you sip a bottle of home-made wine with your Honey’s face on the label. Plan far enough ahead and you could knit Valentine’s socks or a scarf for Honey.

How about the Ye Old Coupon Book filled with promises of massages and foot rubs, bubble baths drawn by candlelight, and whatever special treats your Honey really loves. Just make sure you’re prepared for when Honey is ready to redeem.

Rent a romantic movie (or borrow it from the library) and pop some corn. Turn down the lights and snuggle up under a cozy blankie.

The more creative you can be, the more work you put into making your Honey’s day special, the more you’ll demonstrate just how important your Honey is to you. And that’s the point of Valentine’s Day and every other celebratory day, isn’t it? It’s shouldn’t be about seeing how much money you can spend on crap that’ll be forgotten long before the credit card bill arrives.

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