How to Make Valentine's Day Special on a Budget


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Avoid equating love with consumption. It's easy to get bogged down in the buying frenzy surrounding Valentine's Day, as retailers vie to rake in some decent profits from romance-inspired lovers. Love isn't about what you give in goods though; it's about what you give by way of time, attention, and acknowledgment of the other person. And none of those can be purchased. Once you view Valentine's Day from the perspective of it being about acknowledging and celebrating your love by spending time together, it's easier to realize that a budget Valentine is still a perfect date opportunity.

Minimize rather than do without. One of the tricks to saving money on Valentine's Day is to still indulge in some of the traditional Valentine's accessories but to reduce them. For example, instead giving her a dozen red roses, give her one, held in your teeth, and accompanied by your best impression of a Spanish dancer. Or, give him a special brand of chocolate bar instead of a whole box of expensive chocolates. In this way, you can still participate in the essence of Valentine's Day but spend very little.

Make your own. A homemade card is always more meaningful than a purchased one. It says not only what you write in it but also "I took the time to make this because I care enough about you to give that time." As far as mementos go, it's likely the card will be kept for many years to come! Other things can be made too, for gifts. Draw on your own skills when making gifts; for example, if you're a keen gardener, give something from the garden; if you're a keen cook, make something delectable; if you're a keen outdoor enthusiast, give a fully guided nature walk or a lesson in your favorite sport.

Think of something you can do for your love. An excellent way to show your love can be through making love coupons or vouchers. These can contain promises that range from the mundane to the downright sexy, all depending on your willingness to do things for your love.

Exchange cheesy but sweet gifts that remind you of one another, for whatever reason. 

Give time. Giving time is the ultimate romantic gesture. It will mean a great deal if you're usually stretched for time and you choose to give up the whole day to spend with your beloved, doing things together that have nothing to do with work, raising a family, paying bills, etc. Banish the mundane and just allow the day to be about the two of you together. As part of this, be thoroughly attentive, listen, and take the chance to share dreams and hopes for the future, including renewing dreams that might have been taken for granted over time.

Create a special evening at home together. Make a meal in which you go to extra trouble. It doesn't have to be expensive food; just spend time making it more complicated and interesting than the usual daily meals. Look online for recipe ideas to help you turn ordinary ingredients into something fabulous. If you're going to watch a special DVD together, be sure to make some tasty popcorn to share.

Stargaze Put on warm clothes and step out to check out the night sky. If you have to travel, add picnic rugs, a thermos of warm drink, some snack bars, and a full tank of fuel. Find somewhere on the city outskirts where the sky is clear. Take along a star chart and look for stars that you know. Choose a star just for the two of you and make a promise to look for it every Valentine's Day.