I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a huge fan of days that are purely commercial. Valentine’s Day is one of those. I’m sure it’s a huge money maker for card makers, chocolatiers and restaurants. Yet I’d be somewhat disappointed if the day passed and nothing was acknowledged. Valentine’s Day should be about appreciating the one you love. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
Here are some ideas for celebrating a frugal Valentine’s Day.
Cook a romantic dinner together
Find a new recipe. Buy the ingredients together. Get a bottle of wine, light some candles, put on some favourite music and get dressed up nicely. If you have young kids, you can have your romantic dinner after they’re in bed for the night. There is something very intimate about cooking side by side.
Write your beloved a note instead of buying a card
This is my favourite Valentine tradition of ours. I have every Valentine note my husband has ever written me. He uses plain old pen and paper but his words meant more than any store bought card every could.
Think outside the box
Forget flowers, chocolate and cards unless you know that’s what she’d love. Find something that is special to that individual, be it a book, a CD or a day of skiing together. Ask your partner what they would like. Don’t assume the traditional route is the best. I for one would prefer plants to flowers. I’m okay with chocolate as long as it’s Lindor truffles and I think cards are a complete waste of money. Why spend $7 to get someone else to tell me how you feel about me?
Make it a family affair
In our house we celebrate on a Friday night when the grandparents have the kids over at their house. On the 14th, we have a family candlelit dinner and write notes to each other. We bake heart shaped cookies or a pink cake along with a favourite family meal. We’ll write each of our kids a Valentine’s note and give them each a few chocolates.
Go to bed early
You don’t have to go to sleep anytime soon but I can think of a few fun free things to do after the kids are asleep. Give yourself plenty of time so neither one of you feels tired or rushed. Enough said on that one.
Don’t even think about avoiding Valentine’s Day unless you both agree on it.
I’ve seen many a new relationship end shortly after February 14th when one partner views the day as a purely commercial event better to be ignored. Talk about it before it arrives. If you both hate the day go ahead and skip it. Just be warned, if you don’t talk about it and nothing happens someone has the potential to be greatly disappointed.
For those who are single
When I was single Valentine’s Day was my least favourite day of the year. That was until a group of friends got together for an anti-Valentine’s party. Find a group of friends who aren’t currently in relationships and have a big party. No chocolate, romantic movies or flowers allowed.
How are you spending Valentine’s Day this year?
Kathryn has been a staff writer for MDJ since January 2009. During the day she works in an office. In her off hours, she volunteers as a financial coach helping ordinary Canadians with the basics of money management. Kathryn, along with her husband and two children live in Ontario.