If you walk into a store this time of the year, your eyes may detect the pink glow coming from several aisles toward the front. Thats the sight of an $18.6 billion dollar industry waiting for you to dump your change on the counter before February 14th. If you want to save money on Valentine’s Day, want it to be special, and still want to eat the next day, then please focus your attention on the following information for the next two minutes.
Youre reading a personal finance blog, so, first of all, youre headed in the right direction. Second of all, youre reading this article, so you want to provide a quality experience for your valentine. Major kudos. Im sure this will be an old hat to you, but the heart of this article is to remind you that you can have an unforgettable Valentines Day without taking out a second mortgage or cashing in your 401K. It will take some extra work on your part, but what better time to do it than on the sweetest day of the year?
OK, cashing in your 401K is an exaggeration, but according to a report by the National Retail Federation published on CNN, the cost of Valentines Day per person is $130.97.
Thats $130.97 per person.
If you want to spend over $260, have at it. Money is a tool; use it how you will. If you want to save money on Valentine’s Day, and score some major frugal brownie points with your significant other, then please keep reading.
5 Ways to Save Money on Valentine’s Day
1. Recreate a favorite restaurant meal at home
Try recreating your significant others favorite restaurant meal at home. You can perform this task for a fraction of the cost dining out. The last time I did this to celebrate my husbands promotion, I stumbled upon a marvelous dish called Steak Oscar that required one trip to the store and a couple YouTube tutorials to get me through. Success.
Bonus Points: If you have Netflix, then play the Fireplace feature in the background to set the mood.
Photo via Netflix
2. Change up the roses
The word is out. Roses actually do cost more on Valentines Day, according to a report on Time Money. Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Honestly, Shakespeare, most flowers smell pretty nice. Sometimes it just takes a quick conversation to make that known.
For example, my husband bought me a dozen roses on Valentines Day. Every time. The gesture was SO loving, seriously. But after years of this, I finally told him that I would genuinely enjoy seeing a variety of flowers, not just roses. That way, we could spend the money he saved by doing something fun together, rather than watching my beautiful bouquet of pricey buds slowly decay every morning at breakfast.
Guys, if flowers are on your radar this Valentines Day, ask your significant other for some favorites. If roses make the list, then buy three red roses, then surround them with a beautiful bundle of other (less price-jacked) favorites.
Gals, if you want to save money on Valentine’s Day and think youve got flowers headed your way, then give your man a kiss, because thats awesome. Then, offer a heads up that he can jump off the rose bandwagon and it wont offend you. (Unless he just really wants to buy you roses, then you let that man buy you roses!)
3. Write a letter
Cards are so expensive. My great uncle, who joined the American work force as a young man during the Great Depression, refused to buy cards, only handwriting letters for the rest of his life. What was his response when people asked him why he did it?
I worked too hard for a dollar a day to waste it.
So, skip the $4.99 Hallmark card that sings that song from Ghost and is covered in glitter and velvet. Try handwriting a love letter. Perhaps you can put it in his or her car before work or under a pillow. Words of affection are universal. Ive yet to see a recipient of a heartfelt letter hold it up and say, So cheap.
Twenty-nine percent of people will type a romantic text message on Valentines Day, and 145 million cards will be purchased. Must it be one or the other?
4. Earn gift cards online
Bing will reward you with gift cards for simply using its search engine. Spend a little time searching each day and youll save money on Valentines just in time at places like Amazon, Starbucks, Fandango, Macys, and Chipotle. Free date night on Bings tab? Yes, please.
You can earn Bing rewards on your smartphone as well.
If you want to earn gift cards or PayPal cash for doing online surveys, searches, and shopping, then Swagbucks is your new best friend. The biggest investment is your time, so start now to make it in time for February 14th.
Online Survey Sites
For more cash-generating survey opportunities, read: The 9 Best Survey Sites to Make Extra Money
5. Cut a monthly expense
Perhaps you simply want to invest a chunk of change on your V-Day. Do it. Ebeneezer Scrooge lost the girl for being a tightwad. Dont be Scrooge. Instead, you could take a good look at your expenses and see if something could finally get the ax. Its a brand new year; what better time to start fresh without cable or all 17 different subscriptions to video streaming services or hitting the daily Starbucks 7:00 a.m. drive-thru? Cutting costs is about creating other opportunities, like having a luxurious experience this February 14th.
Now youve seen just a few suggestions for ways to save money on Valentine’s Day without appearing cheap. Pick your favorite, or tell us your own, in the comments below.
This article was written by Laura Harris, a fantastic writer and blogger of personal finance.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.