Every year, restaurateurs, jewelers, and owners of florists all begin to salivate as they watch February 14th drawing nearer on the calendar. Not coincidentally, springing for a fancy dinner, a diamond necklace, and two dozen long-stem roses will make your wallet shrivel faster than a raisin left to bake in the Saharan sun.
Let’s face it; whether you are a man or a woman, if you’re in a relationship, there is an unwritten law that says each year on February 14, you must make your significant other feel . . . well, significant.
Some folks are content receiving a nice card. Some folks expect a candlelit dinner at the most expensive restaurant in the city. Some folks expect a new Jaguar, a full-body massage, a trip to the wilds of Borneo, and a pair of ring-tailed lemurs. (Heaven help your wallet if you’re dating someone who expects ring-tailed lemurs and a $74,000 vehicle as a gift.)
You do not have to put yourself in the poor house to express your undying love and devotion to someone—you just need to be creative. Here’s a list of three inexpensive and easy ways to win big on Valentine’s Day, without going broke.
Plan a Date around Your Lover’s Interests
Is your significant other an animal lover? You could take him or her to go horseback riding, to a petting zoo, or to your local animal shelter to adopt a new pet. If your main squeeze is an art enthusiast, you could earn some brownie points by taking them on a trip to a museum in your area. Is your love interest a bookworm? Take them to a bookstore and let them pick out whatever they please. (Most hardcover books cost less than $50.)
Cook Their Favorite Meal
Fancy restaurants are great, but they aren’t cheap, and landing a reservation for the busiest day of the year might not work out too well if you’re calling at the last minute. You can save yourself a bunch of cash (and stress) by preparing your lover’s favorite meal and serving it paired with a decent bottle of wine and some candles.
Create a Day Spa at Home
Sending your boo to a spa for the afternoon can easily set you back a few hundred dollars. Consider giving your lover the spa treatment at home; leave a trail of flower petals leading from the front door to the bathroom, use candles as a strategic (and flattering) lighting option, and turn on some relaxing music for the two of you to listen to while he or she tells you about their day. When bath time ends, guide your significant other to the bedroom so you can spoil them with a full body massage. Bath bombs are inexpensive, a bouquet of flowers should run you no more than fifty dollars, and you can score fragrant massage oil just about anywhere.