Keep in simple, Cupid The little things are the keys to a successful Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day On A (Very) Low Budget.
A lot of couples used to think nothing of blowing $90 on a bunch of roses and hundreds of dollars on a Valentine’s Day dinner, and then maybe even more money on a weekend in a romantic hotel.
Reality check: Few of us have kind of money anymore and if you have a family, forget about it.
You could skip the day altogether, but then you run the risk of disappointing your partner, especially if you haven’t been together for a long time. Here are some quick tips for celebrating your love without blowing your budget:
l First, do you really have to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day?
Does it really mean that much to you that back in 196 AD Saint Valentine was buried on February 14? A lot of restaurants have set menus on Valentine’s Day but sometimes they can be downright disappointing. Why not go out to eat after Valentine’s Day? A lot of people will probably be doing that this year as Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week. Also, a lot of restaurants are offering specials due to the poor economy, so it might work in your favour financially to go after Valentine’s Day.
l Does your significant other really need roses? Why not get him or her a potted plant? It’s more cost-effective because it will hopefully last longer than a week if you take care of it. Isn’t your love supposed to be enduring?
l Store-bought greeting cards always seem like the ultimate waste of money to me. If you have children, get them to make your significant other a Valentine’s Day card. The cute factor will outweigh the cheapness. If you have a pet, paint its paw red and stamp it on the front of a sheet of paper. Fold the paper in half and write really sweet things inside. Again, the cuteness should make up for the fact that you didn’t fork out real money for a greeting card. Warning: make sure you wash your pet’s foot afterward. All cuteness will be nullified if your partner comes home and finds red paw prints all over the carpet and furniture.
l Make it a movie night and watch a chick flick like ‘Twilight’ or ‘Titanic’.
l Make your own meal to impress your spouse, particularly if you are normally a stranger in the kitchen.
Here is a quick Valentine’s Day menu for those who aren’t very savvy in the kitchen.
Appetiser: Spinach and artichoke dip from your favourite supermarket’s freezer section should do nicely. Eat with some pita chips or carrot sticks. Yum! You could also try a package of shrimp and cocktail sauce.
Main course: One of the nicer family-size frozen lasagnas such as Stouffer’s. Read the label carefully as some lasagnas take some time to cook. If you know how to cook, make your own! Buy some fresh bread and some pre-made garlic butter, or buy a loaf of frozen garlic bread.
Dessert: Yoplait Whips! This chocolate mousse-style yoghurt is really delicious, and has a texture very much like mousse. Cut the bottom of the yoghurt container with a knife, so that you can let the yoghurt slip out easily onto a plate. This provides a shape other than ‘splat’. Cut up some fresh fruit strawberries are a great pairing and put it next to your “mousse”. Drizzle some chocolate syrup over the strawberries. Find a sprig of mint to place on top to class things up a bit. One of the advantages of this particular mousse substitute is that it is gluten-free and egg-free.
Warning: One thing you probably don’t want to skimp on is the chocolate. If you decide to save money by ditching the chocolate, proceed very carefully! Chocolate is a deal breaker for a lot of women. Chocolate has also proven to produce a certain euphoria, which may help to smooth the way when she discovers you made such a cheap meal to celebrate your relationship.