Tips For Celebrating Valentine’s Day Without Breaking The Bank
Every year people make it a big deal to do something special for their loved one(s) on Valentine’s Day. Personally, I don’t buy into the hype. I feel it best to celebrate the person you love year round, taking the pressure off this one particular day. That’s not to say that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, because I do. I just don’t feel the need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a gift or battle the crowds to sit down to a limited & overpriced menu at my favorite dining establishment. Instead, I’ve come up with my own way of showing my fiancé just how much he means to me without the pressure or breaking the bank. If you are like me…or still recovering from the holidays spending spree you went on, here are a few of my favorite tips:
- Recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home. Josh (my fiancé) and I love Tucker’s & Broadway Oyster Bar; both of which cost a pretty penny when dinner is all said and done. Some of that is attributed to our menu choices (filet mignon at Tuckers and crab legs at BOB) but if I’m going to pay to eat out, I’m getting exactly what I want. Instead of trying to make reservations at either place on V-day, I decided one year that I was going to make our very own surf & turf menu. I picked up two delicious bacon wrapped filets from Kenrick’s (a must visit for meat lovers) with a side of their homemade steak butter (to die for) then headed to Dierberg’s for the crab legs & our sides. Although I almost burnt the house down with bacon grease (side note – use a broiler pan when cooking steaks in the oven, I learned the hard way) my meal turned out amazing!! My hubby was so grateful to have his favorite dish while in his comfy sweats, watching his favorite TV show. Since that year, we each take turns making each other dinner. This way, the pressure isn’t always on him to come up with some huge romantic gesture just because it’s February 14th.
- Save on the store bought gift & DIY. I would take a personal/homemade gift any day over a store-bought diamond necklace from the local mall jeweler. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t agree with me here. Not only do you save money, most importantly it shows your loved one that you took the time & energy to find something truly unique for them. Being the Pinterest addict that I am, over the years I found a few truly unique faves:
- Using a deck of cards, share the “52 Things I Love About You” or “52 Reasons I Love You”. This is simple & inexpensive to do. Details on how to make this gift can be found at: http://www.52reasonsiloveyou.com/
- Make Man Chocolates/Man Bouquet. Fill a heart-shaped box with your loved one’s favorite mini bottles of alcohol, lotto tix or favorite snack. You can re-create this same idea as a bouquet of flowers using a beer bucket, wooden sticks & what I call “flower pot foam” (it’s that green stuff you find at the local craft store to stick fake flowers in).
- Send a “heart attack”. This is a great way to celebrate if you are apart from your loved one on V-day. Similar to the deck of cards idea, cut out paper hearts & write one thing you love about them on each heart. Put them in a cardboard box & mail it off. Easy peasy!
- Make your own Love Notes. It doesn’t get more romantic than this folks. Using stationary or blank cards, create handwritten notes & place them in envelopes to be opened when…you need to know how much I love you, you don’t feel beautiful, you need a laugh, you miss me, you’re mad at me, you need a date night, etc. For all the men out there…you’re welcome. For all the romantic women…get ready to hand out that hall pass you’ve been clutching ever so tightly.
- Movie/Netflix Marathon. Josh is a huge Harry Potter fan (one of the many adorable things I love about him). While we were renovating our first house & living with his parents, we spent an hour or so every few nights watching the Harry Potter movies from start to finish. Cuddled up on the couch with our pups & bowl of popcorn – it’s one of my fondest memories of us. Our new obsession – anything & everything Marvels or DC Comics. Now that we have Netflix we binge watch Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Flash & The Arrow. Huge Star Wars fan? Grab a fuzzy blanket, your favorite movie snacks & cuddle up on the couch for a day of binge watching the first 6 movies.
- Go on a Scavenger Hunt. Now this takes a little bit more planning but could turn out to be one of the most romantic & fun evenings you have together. If you’re the “let’s go do something” type of person, this is perfect for you. Starting at home with your first clue, take your significant other down memory lane. First, to the place you had your first date. Say you met up at that quaint little martini bar or your fave local dive; leave your next clue with the bartender (with their permission of course) for your honey to find. While you’re there, have a drink and reminisce before heading to your next stop. If yon’t want to battle the crowds of people, you can re-create this at home. Create little memory lane stations throughout your house using pictures or trinkets from your past dates.
If you’re like me & would rather do anything than sit down to an overpriced meal at a crowded restaurant on Valentine’s Day, I hope these few tips help you create the perfect day with your loved one. If not, there are a ton of great ideas hiding in magazines, books & all over the internet. I’m sure with a little bit of scouring, you’re sure to find the perfect way to celebrate. Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day – my wish for you is that you spend it surrounded by the people that you love!
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