Roses are red, violets are blue, and a quick Google search tells me that a dozen roses for Valentine’s Day can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 plus taxes and shipping. Up from last year, the average person is expected to spend $130.97 this Valentine’s Day, totaling a record high of $17.6 billion on jewelry, gift cards, flowers, candy, and a night out according to the National Retail Federation. Although your loved one may deserve an extravagant gift, there are many alternatives to show you care just as much while sticking to a budget. Here are some last-minute, budget-friendly ideas for Valentine’s Day:
- If your ideal night consists of dinner and a movie, it is not out of the question if you are on a tight budget. Cook a meal from scratch together. (This will be especially impressive if you are typically not much of a chef!) There’s nothing better than a home cooked meal to warm the heart and your wallet. A dinner out on Valentine’s Day quickly adds up with price-fixed menus, wine, and dessert. Skip the hassle of reservations and dining out, and spend some quality time in. Then, bypass the crowded theaters and consider renting a movie from Redbox (just $1).
- Instead of skipping the whole idea of flowers, candy, and jewelry; simply minimize. Instead of a dozen roses, consider a single rose in a creative presentation. Instead of an expensive box of chocolates, consider making your own dessert such as chocolate covered strawberries.
- Postpone your celebrations. Dinner, flowers, etc. will be at a fraction of the cost after Valentine’s Day. Since it falls on Thursday this year, why not wait until the weekend to celebrate when you have more time, less stress, and prices won’t be inflated?
- Create, create, create. Why buy a $5 card filled with someone else’s thoughts and sentiments when you can make your own? A homemade gift or card will always hold more meaning than something generic and store bought. Make a scrapbook, write a letter, whatever it is the effort will be appreciated.
How will you stick to your budget on Valentine’s Day this year?