So you’ve started recovering from your holiday spending hangover and what do you know, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Today marks exactly three weeks until Valentine’s Day, which gives you plenty of time to plan, find the best deals, and make this Valentine’s Day extra special. Each Friday leading up until Valentine’s Day, we will post different tips, tricks, and ideas for a budget-friendly celebration.
This week I will focus on low-cost, loving gifts to impress that special someone. Some of these gifts require some advanced planning, so it’s a good thing you came to Talking Cents for some advice.
My first recommendation is a card. I know a card sounds lame and is not something you need to plan far in advance. Not if it’s a personalized Valentine’s Day photo card. From now until January 28th, Cherishables is offering a free photo card with promo code 28FAC. The sample cards have great photo ideas and with three weeks ahead of you, you will have plenty of time to choose or snap that perfect photo. Pick up a cheap picture frame (try the dollar store, clearance section at Home Goods, or Michael’s) and this makes a perfect gift!
Check out Personalization Mall’s Valentine’s Day Gifts under $25 section for affordable and romantic personalized gift ideas. Some of these gifts may even inspire you to make your own for a cheaper cost and even more personalized feel. For example, this personalized love letter in a bottle for $14.95 could easily be recreated at a fraction of the cost. Check your local dollar store for a bottle and sea shells (or if you’re near a beach, go collect some) and your local craft store for a piece of fancy paper (as low as $0.29 per sheet).
Check daily deal sites such as Groupon or Living Social frequently for inspiration. Look for vouchers to a restaurant you have both wanted to try (make sure Valentine’s Day or whichever day you plan to celebrate is not blacked out). Also check the Events & Activities section; there are always deals on things like painting classes, wine tastings, and tours, all of which make for a romantic Valentine’s Day.
If you’re considering a romantic getaway, daily deal sites are a great place to look for discounts on hotel fare. Another gift idea is to give no gift at all and instead save with your significant other for a trip in the future. If you start planning and saving now, together you will be able to scope out the best deals and get excited for your romantic getaway. (Use ACCC’s Travel Budgeting calculator for help along the way.)
It’s not always about a gift, but an experience. Inspired by a past Talking Cents post, consider taking your special someone on a “love tour.” Think of all of the romantic places of your past such as where you met, where you had your first date or kiss, and any other milestones. This could require a great deal of planning (especially if you have been with your significant other for a long time). End the tour with dessert and a bottle of wine. Going out for just dessert is much less expensive than an entire dinner.
Check back next week for more frugal Valentine’s Day activities and every Friday until the big day for more tips and tricks for a budget-friendly celebration. In the meantime, take our poll over at ConsumerCredit.com and let us know how much you plan to spend on Valentine’s Day this year and how much you typically spend on date night.