Expectations can be high on Valentine’s Day, the flowers, candy jewelry and expensive gifts, not to mention the pressure to out due last year’s surprise. We all know them, that coworker, friend or even your favorite romantic Hallmark movie. You are surrounded by desks full of roses in every shape and color, romantic stories, new jewelry, not to mention fancy dinners or hard to find theater tickets. I say well good for them! However, it may leave you feeling left out.
I say put your happy face back on because the most memorable things in life or gifts you can give and receive do not come with a price tag. Celebrating the nation’s day of love should be meaningfully and memorable. Whether you are having a loving yourself celebration or sharing Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart below is a list of cost effective ways to treat yourself or share with the one you love without breaking the bank.
BE YOUR OWN VALENTINE (Because you are awesome!)
Have a “friends” date.
Odds are you’re not the only single in your group of close friends. People’s lives are hectic, so everyone will appreciate a little Valentine’s Day time out to enjoy each other’s company and do something a little different than the ordinary. If you really want to go all out, you can even buy each other little gifts.
Give Yourself a Spa Day
Buy yourself a few flowers, use one cup of Epsom salt, pink Himalayan sea salt if you can, add 10 drops of organic Ylang Ylang or lavender essential oil, fill tub with bath temperature water. Scatter the flower petals and flower tops into water, turn on some smooth music light a few candles, pour yourself a beverage of your choice and enjoy. If you don’t have time for a bath you can always do a foot soak.
Get a Massage
Use this day as an excuse to pamper yourself. Getting a massage is a great way to take a break from the daily grind and relax. You can find great Valentine’s Day spa packages right now that will allow you to save a bundle.
Yoga or Meditate
Start or end your day with some breathing and stretching. Take time to slow down from the crazy. This is a great way to re-focus. It’s fun, it’s inexpensive, and you might appreciate the Zen that day.
Throw a Party
The good news about celebrating Valentine’s Day as a single is you aren’t the only one. Call up all your friends and acquaintances that are looking for a place to celebrate without a date, you can save some cash on the expenses by asking guests to bring one snack or refreshment. All you need to do is coordinate, round up your group games and enjoy.
Go to the Movies
If you’re looking for a couple hours of entertainment, head to the movies. Catching a good flick is a great way to relax and enjoy yourself without spending much money. If you’re trying to avoid the crowds of couples, you should stick to early showings. Plus, tickets tend to be cheaper during the day. Just do yourself a favor, and stick to action and comedy films.
If you want to take some focus off the holiday, volunteering is a great way to spend your day. Donating your time to a noble cause will likely put you in a good mood and allow you to focus on the things that matter to you. Contact your local food bank or animal shelter and ask how you can help. How could you not feel loved when you have puppies kissing your face. You can bring friends or make new ones. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy a day dedicated to your favorite cause. And, it’s free!
Get out of town for a few days. Jump in the car, and drive somewhere you’ve never been, even if it’s not far from where you live. Take friends with you and split the gas and hotel bill to save some money. It will be Valentine’s Day wherever you go, so check out what local events are happening at your destination, and enjoy the differing prices in surrounding towns might just be the deciding factor on where you go. Take a mini vacation, go away for the night or a road trip for the entire day. Bring a group of friends or go alone; the options are endless.
Purchase a new outfit. If you really want to beat the system, take advantage of the numerous Valentine’s Day sales going on during the month of February! Now just might be the best time to invest in a necklace for yourself, a box of chocolates or new lingerie.
Celebrate your Independence
There are many people in the world that find themselves within the restrictions of others, be reminded of the freedom to make your own choices in life.
Whether you choose to celebrate with friends or focus on yourself this Valentine’s Day, make it productive. At the very least, read a book you’ve been setting aside or take yourself to brunch or pack yourself a picnic. When you’re single, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to treat yourself.
BE MY VALENTINE (For couples)
Pitch a Tent for Two
If it’s too cold outside, have an indoor picnic! Or, indoor camping! If you have children wait until they go to bed, rather than the Living room transform your bedroom. If your room is limited make it on the bed, there is no right or wrong place. Write romantic notes placing them where they will notice them sporadically through the day.
Don’t Pass on Dessert
If time is an issue and you have kids, have a family dinner, save room for dessert after you put the kids to bed and close out your day, share dessert for two in bed.
Make the Day all About your Sweetheart Meals of his or her choice, watch a movie even if you would rather listen to a screaming baby. Whatever you do, just keep surprises coming!
A sunset, a sunrise, or even an evening walk gazing at the moon. Fill a backpack with a thermos of homemade hot chocolate and two mugs, or grab a bottle of wine, glasses and a blanket and talk about everything, but work and kids.
Pick up bubble bath, foot soak, body scrub, candles and make it into a gift basket. Bring the spa to your sweetheart. Soft music, warm lighting and a tub full of suds. Give Body Massages. Shoulder and neck or even foot massage.
Create a movie theater in your own home: popcorn, soda, and old time movies or your wedding videos. Housework. Do some of your sweetheart’s chores for the day. Take the responsibility from them!
Spend time together walking the streets, window shopping, then stop for a beverage of your choice.
Pick out some intimate attire…letting your sweetheart pick what they want you to wear.
Dinner for two
Cook dinner, or order take out. Light candles and play some music. Get creative. Use paper plates, napkins and fast food- tight budget, no problem! Everything looks better in candlelight – remember a little goes a long way when there is thought involved.
Send pictures from your cell phone with subtle hints for your evening planned throughout the day.
What Kind of Flowers Would You Like To Receive?
Say it with a Flower
If flowers are what you wish to get or give, but cannot find a discount shop to buy them, nothing is more memorable than delivering one special flower yourself, attached with a special message. Guys, let’s face it! When you walk through the office, hand her a flower and kiss her on the forehead, you will look like the king of romance. Ladies, you can do the same. If possible, when handing it to him make sure he gets a glimpse of your lace camisole or corset.
Take a good photo of the two of you and frame it. It’s simple but meaningful. For the frame, second hand stores are not only budget friendly they help recycle and save the earth.
Put on some music and take your partner dancing, find a romantic hideaway, such as the woods waterfront or even your own backyard.
Be affectionate, try some new ways and places to kiss.
Valentine’s Day is all about the love. Take time to remind yourself just how wonderful YOU truly are as well as those around you—friends, family, dates and spouses!