Romance on the Cheap

   By drodriguez  Feb 07, 2008

If you are still working on paying down credit cards from the holidays, then a more modest Valentine’s Day may be just what you need. A recent article from MSNBC reported that many of us end up spending anywhere from $180 to $420 on gifts for a loved one on Valentine’s Day.

If this kind of spending is not in your budget this February, you should know that there are other meaningful and enjoyable things you can do with your sweetheart. MSNBC’s contributing writer Laura Coffey offers some ideas to keep the romance without emptying the wallet.

One idea Coffey offers is to forgo the expensive night out at a restaurant and cook or order a gourmet meal at home. Lighting candles and dressing up for the occasion will make it more special than your average night spent at home.

Another idea, if possible for you and your spouse, is to play hooky from work that day. If you have an extra personal day and your boss will allow you the time, you may even want to take both Thursday and Friday off to make a long weekend out of it. You can spend the extra time together at home or go on a small budget get-away for a couple of days.

If you feel you need to get out on the town on Valentine’s, but don’t have the cash for an expensive dinner, you may want to go to a nice restaurant for cocktails, dessert, or a cup of coffee. This way, you and yours can enjoy the ambiance and fun of being out, but won’t suffer the consequences when the bill arrives.

For the complete list of Laura Coffey’s 10 Tips for a fun ?but frugal- Valentine’s Day you can go to .

What do you think of the tips listed above for having a more inexpensive Valentine’s Day celebration?

Do you have any tips of your own for getting romantic without breaking the bank on February 14th?

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bbcoop by bbcoop | GREENFIELD, IN
Mar 18, 2008

The first year I was married we had no $ but I was teaching part time for an internship so the kids at school helped me cut out a ton of diff shapes/colors of hearts and I made a grid with ribbon and hung a million of them all over the house. I used clipart and small phrases and made about 40 little notes and put them in random places all over the house before he got home. They were everywhere--in fridge drawers, sock drawers, bathroom cabinets, the shower, the garage, and he was finding so of them weeks later. Super cheesy, but he knows I think he's special, right!?!

When we are low on cash, we will eat something at home and then go out and get just dessert--that way we still get to go on "a date" but we don't break the bank--most restaurants are fine with that as long as you tip decent despite the small purchase!

leemor16 by leemor16 | fairview, OK
Mar 10, 2008

leemor16 says:

we usually go out to dinner

scatteredpearl by scatteredpearl | Durand, MI
Feb 27, 2008

Our family Valentined was one. We traced all of our left hands, Hubby's, mine, oldest son, then youngest son. Cut them out of that cute foam rubber, glued them over each other, framed it and hung it the wall.

It's from all of us to all of us and was a family time together.

Holidays do not have to be costly. They are meant for memories.

luv2try by luv2try | West Fargo, ND
Feb 23, 2008

Valentines is about the only time I get flowers from my husband. He is so great about it too. I wish I could get him to buy cheaper flowers though, a dozen roses is over the top on Valentine's day. I pretty much agree that you don't need to spend alot to show people you love them. we made our valentines this year

LoriLoriBear by LoriLoriBear | GREENVILLE, SC
Feb 22, 2008

You do not have to spend much to show your loved one that you care.Just being able to spend time together without discussing bills or work is always good.Even just sitting cuddled up on the couch watching a favorite tv show can be pretty romantic.

lizmolik by lizmolik | Eldorado, IL
Feb 16, 2008

My hubby wrote me a poem and gave me a rose...That was just fine with me! I got him a box of chocolates and a card and made him dinner!

kirstensapphire by kirstensapphire | Fremont, CA
Feb 16, 2008

It's the thought that counts. Just a nice card or a box of chocolates will be enough. You don't need to break the bank to show someone your love, you will be saving alot of money in the long run!

kjennings by kjennings | huntsville, AL
Feb 14, 2008

My husband is allowing me to sleep late in the morning while he watches the kids and cooks breakfast for everyone. He's an ANGEL!! I'll be spending extra quality time with him after the kids get to bed. A Long hot bubble bath with massage oil.

We won't be spending a dime.

anniei12 by anniei12 | Downers Grove, IL
Feb 13, 2008

I buy a card for my husband and his favorite candy (which he will not eat until after Lent is over) and I usually get the same from him. I can't see going out on Valentine's Day when the same meal you get any other day is half the price they will charge on Feb 14th.

Minime777 by Minime777 | UPLAND, CA
Feb 11, 2008

A handmade card is plenty for my hubby. He still talks about the one I made last year ;-) No need for expensive gift to impress hem...

fairy73 by fairy73 | Spring Hill, FL
Feb 11, 2008

instead of buying the usual valentines cards at the store for the school parties, we print out our own and this way they are unique and something we do together but as far as gifts, hubby and i buy small little gifts for the kids all for under 20$ and then we rent a movie to watch for the whole family and eat the cookies made earlier @-}----

ses0007 by ses0007 | amsterdam, NY
Feb 11, 2008

We sometimes go out and eat, but service can be a problem on this busy day. I'd rather stay home or go out on a different day if we're going to spend the money on a nice meal. Or I cook in w/ crab legs and prime rib. Not sure of this year as my husband is teaching his night class on VDay. We don't normally get expensive gifts. A nice meal is plenty for us.

libby1260 by libby1260 | FRANKFORT, KY
Feb 09, 2008

We always go out to eat and share cards within the family

funny-face by funny-face | Kannapolis, NC
Feb 09, 2008

I believe in saving as much as I can. I also believe in teaching my grands about saving and how to make things that are inexpensive because it means a lot to others that you are willing to take time and patience to make something that they can use, read and enjoy.

RebeccaOT by RebeccaOT | West Chester, PA
Feb 07, 2008

This is my first Valentine's Day married. Everyday is Valentines day for us. haha.