Frugal Ways to Show Your Valentine You Love Them

Date posted: Feb. 9, 2017
Frugal Ways to Show Your Valentine You Love Them

Photo Credit: Laura Ockel

Valentine’s Day is nearing and for many Canadians that means paying an average of $164 for flowers, chocolates, and jewelry. I don’t know about you, but $164 is a pretty steep price to pay to show your partner how much you love them – especially if you are on a budget or paying off debt.

I’ve been living on a budget for the past five years, and I’ve never spent that much money on Valentine’s Day. Instead, I turn to my repertoire of tried and true frugal Valentine’s Day activities to show my husband how much he means to me – without breaking the bank. Here are some of my go-to’s.

Celebrate On the Day Before or After

Valentine’s Day – the actual day – is one of the most expensive and difficult days of the year to go to a restaurant. It’ll be packed, expensive, and you’ll have to make reservations weeks in advance. You’ll probably only have the option of a few limited items, and you’re guaranteed to be brushing elbows with other patrons.

To avoid all of this mess, I’ll make a point to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the day before or after the actual day. Celebrating before or after the big day ensures the restaurants will be less expensive and busy, and I can take advantage of specials and deals instead of being limited to a prix fixe menu.

Coupons and Groupon

This tip will go hand in hand with the tip above because coupons and Groupons often specifically prohibit use on Valentine’s Day. If my husband and I want to experience a little luxury and go to an extra fancy restaurant, we’ll often purchase a Groupon to that restaurant that will allow us to go there to eat while saving a few dollars. Using a Groupon decreases the cost of the overall outing but still allows us to eat out as though we are having a fancy meal.

The downside of this strategy is that you are limited in the restaurants you can choose from, but the upside is that the quality of the restaurants is still quite high.

Do an Activity Together

In recent years, my husband and I have changed our preferences from a fancy meal out to doing an activity together for this special day. Whether it’s taking a cooking class together, trying out rock climbing for the first time, or learning pottery or painting, taking a class together can be a great way to enjoy each other’s company without having to spend hundreds of dollars on special gifts or meals out.

Choose Alternative Gifts

Instead of the traditional flowers and chocolate, try switching it up with some more unexpected (and less expensive) gifts. The sky is the limit in this category, but some suggestions I’ve seen in the past include customized candy hearts, a framed photograph of the two of you, knitting scarves or mittens, or home baked cookies. All of these gifts are just as meaningful as a bouquet of flowers but cost a fraction of the price.

If you are dead set on going with flowers, avoid going to a florist for Valentine’s specific bouquets. Those bouquets, while beautiful, can cost upwards of $50 including delivery. Instead, go to grocery store or Costco and pick up a less expensive bouquet and dress it up yourself with a cute vase, a custom card, and some ribbon. You’ll still win points for the flowers without paying big bucks.

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