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Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Pete

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10 Ultimate Valentine’s Day Money Saving Tips

Well, it’s that time of year again, where millions of people up and down the country remind each other of all the reasons they are together, and for smug couples to enjoy the fact that they have a reason to be smug. However, it might actually be the case that the singletons actually have a reason to be smug, as they will not be having to fork out all kinds of dosh on an event that I’m fairly confident was dreamed up by some clever marketing executives in Hallmarks many years ago. Anyway, if you are lucky enough to be in a relationship that you want to celebrate, (or are hoping to start one) then here are some ways you can save yourself some serious cash:

1. Make good flower choices

For some, Valentines day just wouldn’t be the same without flowers. Some like to use these leafy classics as a way of showing how they feel, rather than writing down a nice message or saying the words themselves. That’s fine, but of course flowers don’t always last long. Why not get a nice plant that can looked after and enjoyed for longer than the few days you might get out of some flowers (and flowers can of course be very expensive). If it does have to be flowers, does it have to be red roses, possibly the most expensive type? Why not find out what your partner’s favourite flowers are – that way you have the opportunity to potentially save some cash, and earn extra thoughtfulness related brownie points.

2. Use words, rather than cash to express your love

Words are free. Paper and pens are relatively cheap too. Rather than spending a fortune on expensive gifts and flowers, why not simply write down a few reasons why you love your chosen mate. You can give them to him / her, or perhaps spread them around your home so that they can find them throughout the day – this has the added bonus of spreading the love throughout the day, as well as maximising brownie points for lovely thoughtfulness. If you are a naturally gifted hider, this is an option that could keep on giving for weeks, or even months (depending on how observant your partner is).

3. Save up for it

A bit of an obvious on this, and a favourite of mine. Well, the old ones are the best aren’t they? If Valentines Day is important to you and your significant other,  and you like to have a bit of a splurge at this time of year, than that’s okay – providing you have planned for it. Why not put a little bit aside every month (just like I suggest you do for Christmas). That way, you will be able to spoil your partner rotten, guilt free, as you know that you will not be causing yourself problems down the line.

4. Get your apron on

They say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I’m sure that’s also true of the fairer sex. Why not either bake a cake or some romantic cookies for your partner. Even more daring, for the budding chefs, or established cooks out there, why not a romantic meal at home. You can control exactly what is on the menu, how many courses you have, what wine you drink, and more importantly, how much it costs. Of course there’s nothing that romantic about one person slaving away in the kitchen whilst the other just sits around waiting to be fed – why not prepare the meal together? Put some music on, pour the wine and have fun – all at a fraction of the cost that going to an expensive restaurant.

5. Don’t go out, and don’t cook

This is the option that I tend to favour with Mrs MoneySuperstar. She also likes it, which is a bonus. We agree just to get each other a card, and then enjoy a takeaway. That way, no one has to cook, and we can just enjoy waiting for dinner to arrive and enjoy a DVD with a bottle of wine. This is a reasonably cheap option we can plan for, and the card with some heartfelt words can take care of the romance side of things. The bonus is that I am not aware of any takeaways that are going to randomly double their prices to make the most out of people trying to celebrate a special occasion, much like many restaurants do.

6. Change the date of Valentines Day    

Valentines Day happens to fall on the 14th February. However, that does not mean that you will be arrested for celebrating it on a different date. If you like to go out eat the celebrate this day, then that’s okay. Why not agree with your partner to celebrate on a different day – that means that again you avoid profiteering restaurants and eating venues, and can still spend a day reminding your partner how important they are to you.

7. Make your partner a card

Cards are normally standard purchases to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Again, this is an area that you can save a fair amount of money in. Why not make a card for your partner. You could use photographs of the two of you together, and again the extra effort you have gone to will surely be noticed by your significant other. And anyway, isn’t this what the day is all about? The bonus is for the people out there who are worried about the lack of craft skills, even if the card looks fairly crap, it can win points for effort, and you may even be able to pass it off as ‘cute’.

8. Look for some free music

If you are scratching your head about how to entertain your partner this Valentines day, why not check out local venues to see if there are any bands playing, or any other kind of musical entertainment. There are bound to be some local venues where you can snuggle with your partner whilst listening to the free entertainment. You might even be able to make a request that they dedicate a song to your partner on your behalf. Even if you are staying in, you could always use the music you have to make a playlist for your romantic evening – again extra effort points up for grabs!

9. Go for a walk, have a picnic

Okay – a fairly weather dependant one this. But if the weather is not too bracing, and you have a place that’s special to both of you, why not wander off there? You can spend the time reminiscing about fun things you have done together, or just talk about the reasons you are together – this can be really invigorating. The bonus, is it’s absolutely free! If it is unseasonably warm in February wherever you are, you could take a picnic as a low cost alternative to an expensive meal out.

10. Breakfast in bed

If schedules mean that you are not actually able to be with your partner during the day or evening of Valentines day, but still want to mark the occasion on the actual date, why not make your partner breakfast in bed? This of course will depend on morning routines, but if you are able this is often a real treat, and I’m sure the romantic and thoughtful gesture will be well received by your partner. You could even use jam to spell out a sweet message on your partner’s toast. See, the possibilities are endless!

So there we have it! Valentines Day doesn’t have to cost a fortune, unless you’re a polygamist, in which case spending a lot of money is likely to be less straightforward! What ideas have you got? Any other ideas I’ve missed are always welcome…

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