When you think about Valentine’s Day do you picture a heart shaped box of chocolates, dinner at a fancy restaurant and crimson rose petals strewn across the bed? Do you want to provide all of that and more to your significant other? Well before you walk into that flower shop or reserve that table stop and think about your finances. Can you really afford an expensive evening out on the town or do you need to dial back the celebrations this year? If you need to spend a little less this holiday have no fear. You can still create a magical evening without spending a ton of money. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Make Homemade Valentines
Do you remember how excited you felt in elementary school when you opened that brown paper bag full of handmade Valentine’s Day cards? Recreate that feeling for your significant other by making a heartfelt valentine card all on your own. Grab a bunch of construction paper from your kid’s stash of art supplies and a pack of colored pencils or markers. Cut out 10, 20, 30 or 50 small heart shapes and write down all of the reasons you love your spouse. Write whatever you feel in your heart no matter how silly it may sound. You can say “I love that you take out the garbage every trash day” or “I love that you let me watch my favorite sport’s team every Sunday.” You can also write sweet messages like “I love how you care for our children” or “I love how you snuggle with me while we watch movies.”
2. Cook Together
Of course you can pull out your wallet and pay for an expensive candlelit dinner with your credit card, but if money is tight consider staying in for a home cooked meal that the two of you can make together. Pick a new recipe and schedule Peapod to deliver all of the ingredients you need. Create a romantic playlist and turn up the music while you chop vegetables and stir ingredients. Make a point to dance in your tiny kitchen whenever the music moves you.
3. Set the Mood
In order to enjoy Valentine’s Day at home you’ll need to create a warm, cozy atmosphere for you and your loved one. Clean the house, put away all of the kids’ toys, clear out the clutter and make a space for the two of you to share. You can eat at your kitchen table, but if you want to spice things up a bit create a picnic area on the floor of another room. If you have an indoor fireplace now is the time to fire up those logs. Then dim the lamps and light a few candles. Yankee Candle is currently offering a buy-one-get-one deal on vase, tumbler and large jar candles that are sure to set the mood.
4. Prepare a Bath or Provide a Massage
After you eat dinner remove the dishes, empty out the space and set up a place to provide a relaxing massage. Make the moment feel extra special by purchasing massage oil or scented lotion that your spouse will love. Bath and Body Works offers a line of aromatherapy products. Some products are aimed at relieving stress while others are used to heighten sensuality. Choose a product based on the result you wish to achieve. You can also light aromatherapy candles or diffuse essential oils to provide that spa-like feel. Gather warm towels before you begin and place pillows under your partner’s knees and neck so that he or she feels relaxed and comfortable. If you own an oversized tub, light candles in the bathroom, turn off the over head lights and buy luxurious bath salts. Pour some wine and soak together while you relive the history of your first date, engagement or another romantic memory.
5. Say I Love You
You shouldn’t worry about going into debt to prove your love. Show your significant other just how much you love and appreciate them with home made valentines, a home cooked meal and an intimate bath or massage and before the night is over don’t forget to tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Your words and actions will be a lot more meaningful than a box of chocolates, a dozen roses and an overpriced dinner.