Valentine’s Day is the most manufactured and commercialized “holiday” in the world. It’s not even a holiday. The government doesn’t recognize it as a holiday, and no one gets the day off for Valentine’s Day. It’s in the same category as Halloween. It’s basically an economic stimulus holiday. But, I’ll stop. The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that over 1 billion cards are sent each year for Valentine’s Day. Okay, I’ll stop being Mr. Bah-Humbug about Valentine’s day. It does have some good qualities. Having a day to celebrate true love is always a good thing, and St. Valentine was a Christian martyr. My only problem with it is that it causes people to spend way too much money for a holiday that’s not really a holiday. Having said that, I’m married and I’m not stupid enough to just disregard the day altogether.
Here are some tips for saving money on Valentine’s Day that I have learned over the past few years:
- If you just started dating, do something more tongue and cheek rather than sappy and romantic. Go eat at a great pizza plaze or local burger joint, and then go see a cheesy horror flick. Or, do something during the day rather than at night. Going to the park and having a picnic is always a big winner.
- Skip the gifts and spend your money on making memories. She doesn’t need diamond on Valentine’s Day. Save that for more meaningful holidays like her birthday or Christmas. Focus your efforts on doing something you’ve never done before as a couple.
- Re-enact your first date. Chances are that your first date wasn’t too extravagant, and he or she will melt over the thought.
- Choose a restaurant off the beaten path or a small, local establishment. There are tons of local restaurants with romantic atmospheres that might not have such high prices as the hottest reastaurant downtown.
- Stay in for the night. Rent her favorite romantic comedy and cook her dinner.
- This one isn’t going to save you money, but women love bed and breakfast inns. If you can find availability at one with a nice atmosphere, you’ll have a great time enjoying the homey atmosphere.
The more creative that you are with Valentine’s Day, the more money you will save. Many of us are strapped for cash this year, so don’t overdo it. Sometimes the simple things in life create the best memories.