How to save money this Valentine’s Day
As the saying goes, money can’t buy love, but you may be receiving a different message with all the advertising, merchandise and pressure to celebrate your love on Valentine’s Day.
“Valentine’s day is about showing love and appreciation for your significant other, not about blowing the budget. In fact, sentimental celebrations and gifts are more intimate, more meaningful and usually less expensive,” says Jeff Schwartz Executive Director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“The inclination is not to budget for Valentines like you might for other costly holidays, like Christmas, which leads to impulse shopping and overspending. Set a budget for cupid’s holiday and plan ahead to keep your costs down,” says Schwartz.
Here are some tips on how to save money this Valentine’s Day.
Skip the restaurant
In reality, dining out on Valentine’s Day isn’t very romantic. Restaurants are crowded, service is usually slow because the kitchen is at capacity and it may be hard to get a reservation at a time that suits you. In many cases, you may even be paying a premium if you are at a restaurant that has a “special” for Valentine’s Day.
Skip the crowds and the costs and have your Valentines dinner in. Cook together or order in special dishes. Share a bottle of wine and save lots of money by staying home. If you’ve got kids, staying home can even be an even greater money saving opportunity, because you don’t need to spring for a babysitter. Just wait until the kids have gone to bed and have a later-evening date.
If you do decide that you must go out to eat, try lunch instead of dinner, or just have dessert and coffee instead of a full meal. Either way, it’s a treat.
Plan an experience, rather than an event
A “date event”, like say a dinner and a movie can be really pricey. What about planning an experience that emphasizes the time that you are spending together, rather than the money spent on the event?
Think of things like window shopping, hiking, outdoor skating, wandering through a museum or something else that is low-cost but time well spent together.
Want to be traditional? Bargain hunt
If you are a traditionalist and really have your heart set on buying (or receiving) flowers, cards, candy and other traditional Valentine’s Day gifts, expect that these types of gifts will set you back a substantial sum. However, you can keep these costs under control by budgeting and by finding ways to save.
For instance, does your sweetheart have a sweet tooth and covet those costly boxes of chocolates? How about hand dipping strawberries in melted chocolate chips and putting them in pretty packaging? Or visit your dollar or bulk store and stock up on chocolate and arrange a gift bag or basket.
Want those Valentine’s flowers? How open are you and your sweetheart to extending this holiday to February 15 or beyond? Those Valentine’s roses and other flower arrangements that were unsold on Valentine’s Day will be offered at deep, deep discounts (like 50 per cent off or even more) and you still essentially get the same timeframe for enjoyment.
Does your debt load leave you cash-strapped and stressed out? Don’t add to your debts by blowing your budget this Valentine’s Day. Call one of our trained credit counsellors at or visit our free online debt analysis .